AFL round 17 | Hawthorn v Brisbane in Launceston

Brisbane will take comfort into round 16 knowing it can topple Hawthorn in its quest to win three matches in succession for the first time in five years.

The young Lions stunned the Hawks by 56 points in round 9 and are coming off victories over Fremantle and Carlton.

However, the eighth-placed Hawks are building towards another September campaign and have won 24 of their past 26 matches in Launceston. 

And Brisbane has only prevailed over Hawthorn at UTAS Stadium once in eight attempts – by 42 points back in 2009.

“We know they value games down at Launceston and they pride themselves on winning there,” Lions coach Chris Fagan said.

“It wasn’t that long ago we played them so the boys can remember a fair bit about how Hawthorn plays.

“Our test now is, we’ve won two games in row, can we produce a strong performance again in the third.

“We've had two years [pre-season camps] in a row where we've had 10 days in Launceston, training on that oval, but it's not the same as playing on it four or five times a year.

“They have the advantage in that regard.”

Fagan has kept faith in his winning 22 yet again and said road trips did not haunt his fledgling outfit.

“We've been a team that's travelled well this year. We had a win in Perth and pushed Port Adelaide to five points at Adelaide Oval, so they're two pretty hostile environments and this is no different.

“We'll take some confidence from that.”

Hawthorn has been forced to switch two magnets around from the side that defeated Western Bulldogs by 63 points last week.

Brendan Whitecross and Tim O'Brien have come in for Ben McEvoy (face) and Jonathan O'Rourke (quad).

Jon Ceglar will shoulder a majority of the Hawks’ ruck load with first-choice McEvoy set to be sidelined for up to six weeks with a fractured cheekbone.

Ceglar, who only returned from a long-term knee injury in round 10, will be supported by skipper Jarryd Roughead and O'Brien against Lions big men Stefan Martin and Oscar McInerney. 

“[Martin’s] been in particularly good form for them and is a key reason why they've been pretty competitive through the midfield the last few weeks,” Clarkson said.

“One part is obviously the hitouts and the ruck work contests and then there’s the ground level stuff and [Dayne] Beams, [Dayne] Zorko, [Huge] McCluggage and these type of guys have been really good players for them at ground level.

“We’re just going to have to compete really hard in that space and if we do then we’ll give our forwards enough supply to kick a score, and if we don’t, then it’s going to be vice versa.”

Hawthorn’s final encounter at its home away from home will be the second time ex-skipper-turned Lion Luke Hodge has taken to the field against his former teammates.

The 34-year-old been in good form in the past month with Clarkson backing his midfield brigade in Tom Mitchell, Liam Shiels, Daniel Howe, Jaeger O'Meara and Co. to lead his side’s charge as they look to consolidate a spot in the top eight.

Ideal conditions for football are forecast with a frosty start set to yield a fine and 13-degree day.

Milestone man Frawley given Hipwood task

Hawthorn premiership and Melbourne All-Australian defender James Frawley will mark in-form Brisbane forward Eric Hipwood in his 200th AFL game.

Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson said the 29-year-old, who played 139 matches with the Demons before crossing over to the Hawks in 2015, would have no easy task for his milestone match.

Lions youngster Hipwood, 20, booted a career-high six goals in last weeks’ triumph over Carlton to take his season tally to 27 to date.

“To get to 200 games it means you've had to play a decade of consistent footy really,” Clarkson said. 

“[He's] played on some of the best forwards in the competition.

“The way that we defend it's not usually one-versus-one in terms of a direct opponent but [he] will find himself on Hipwood frequently throughout the course of the game.

“He's been in good form, Hipwood, but that goes for the whole Brisbane side. 

‘They’ve been getting supply down to their forwards to give them a chance to kick some goals.”

First bounce at UTAS Stadium is at 1.45pm.