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Hawks will learn from AFL pain: Clarkson
Sam Lienert
10:01 AEST Sat Aug 4 2012
Alastair Clarkson
Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson says his team will learn from Friday night's painful AFL defeat.

Hawthorn are determined to gain from the pain of their latest narrow AFL loss to Geelong.

Friday night's 18.10 (118) to 17.14 (116) defeat, sealed after the final siren, was the Hawks' ninth straight against the Cats and the fifth of those decided by less than a goal.

Coach Alastair Clarkson said his side could take some heart from turning a 51-point second-quarter deficit into an eight-point lead deep in the last term.

But he added it was crucial the Hawks learnt from their failure to prevent the Cats booting two late goals to snatch victory.

The last came after Hawthorn's Paul Puopolo tried to volley a goal out of mid-air, the ball instead landing in the arms of Geelong's Andrew Mackie, starting the chain of play which led to Tom Hawkins' post-siren winner.

"We had a couple of opportunities where we could have held the ball up and just taken some time off the clock and we just failed to do that, so we live and learn the hard way unfortunately," Clarkson said.

"You shouldn't lose games of footy from that position but we just lacked a bit of composure in crucial elements of the game in those last couple of minutes.

"We'll learn from it, we've still got a young group.

"It's just hard to contemplate given the fact that it's Geelong and they've done that to us before.

"But the only way forward is we'll just keep working away at our game and we'll get them at some point.

"Hopefully it's next time around."

Clarkson said the fact that Hawthorn gave themselves a winning chance after such a poor start at least showed character.

"We're on the right path," he said.

"Our results against Geelong aren't suggesting that right at the moment, but I think we're on the right path to becoming a good football side.

"We're just not quite there yet, hopefully (Friday night's loss) we'll help us get there a little bit quicker."