HINDSIGHT is a wonderful thing in life.
For example, if Tasmania's football public had known back on April 20 that Fremantle's visit to Launceston would have been a grand final preview, would only 12,619 fans (at the time a new Hawks Aurora low) have bothered to turn up?
I think not.
For the second year in a row, the grand finalists have gone into battle in Tasmania, but unlike 2012, Launceston is the only source of recent history to go on.
Despite the fact that it was 22 weeks ago, there is still something to take out of this contest for both side.
The Hawks won the game in the first 30 minutes.
At quarter-time it led 5.2 to 0.2 and the final margin was only 10 points greater.
Fremantle's maniacal forward pressure had yet to magnify in this early part of the season, but there were signs there early.
It took nearly seven minutes before there was any impact on the scoreboard.
Then suddenly, in the blink of an eye, the Hawks took control.
This was largely due to one factor: pure unadulterated pace.
Outside run broke down the Fremantle defence, highlighted by a three-bounce running goal from outside 50 from Cyril Rioli.
It was these types, Rioli, Bradley Hill, Paul Puopolo, Isaac Smith and Shaun Burgoyne doing the most damage.
While this gives Alastair Clarkson some ammunition for tomorrow, what will give Ross Lyon hope is the way his Dockers fought back.
The five-goal buffer at quarter-time flattered Freo.
Down on the disposal count 109-76 and in the clearances 10-7, you could have sworn it was closer to 10 goals.
It was training run territory.
Missing 677 games of experience with Matthew Pavlich, Luke McPharlin and Aaron Sandilands on the sidelines, it did not seem like there was a way for them to get back.
But in many ways it took control of this game after the first break everywhere but the scoreboard.
The Dockers stayed with the Hawks for the second term (both teams kicked 5.2), before the Hawks stretched that to 44 points in the third quarter.
But Fremantle would not go away, getting the margin back to an achievable 17 points early in the last quarter, before the Hawks kicked the last four goals of the contest.
Grant Birchall (37 disposals off half-back) and Shaun Burgoyne (28 touches and 2.1 in a forward role) were Hawthorn's best, while Smith had 23 touches and took two marks and Rioli kicked 3.0.
Lance Franklin kicked 4.1 on Zac Dawson, and Jarryd Roughead 4.2 on Michael Johnson.
In a precursor to tomorrow, Ryan Crowley kept Sam Mitchell to 25 disposals and collected 21 and kicked 1.2 himself, while Nathan Fyfe (27 touches) and David Mundy (26) were red hot for the boys from the West.