Hawthorn premiership star Luke Breust says there “won’t be any hugs” when they confront former teammate Isaac Smith on Easter Monday after his defection to Geelong.
Instead Bruest, who played in three premierships with Smith before he crossed to the Cats as an unrestricted free agent at the end of last year, said there would be a few Hawks “lining up to get him”.
Collingwood players came under fire for dishing out pre-game hugs to former Magpie Adam Treloar when he turned out for the Western Bulldogs in Round 1.
Smith is still much loved among his former teammates after 210 games in brown and gold.
But he will have a target on his back at the MCG on Monday.
“Don‘t you worry, there will certainly be a few boys lining up to get him,” Breust said on Tuesday.
“There will be a fair bit of banter on the field and it will certainly be fun out there.
“I don‘t think there’ll be any hugs or anything from us. At the end of the day, we’re running out against what is now an opposition player.
“It can be all smiles and fun and games, but once you cross that line it‘s game on again.
“If he‘s in the road then I’m sure the boys will be pretty happy to clean him up.”
Bruest said Smith would not only be expecting some special treatment from old team, but he’d be ready to respond in kind.
“We‘ll see how it goes but he’s going to have his cheeky little grin out there and he’ll certainly be throwing a bit our way, so it will be interesting,” he said.
“His good mate Liam Shiels, there will be plenty of banter going back and forward between those two forward, it will be fun to listen to | reckon.”
Isaac Smith looks “odd” in his new Geelong colours (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
Bruest said it was still “odd” to see Smith in Geelong colours, and sent him a snapshot of the left-footer from a Cats catalogue this week as the banter began.
“I saw him in a catalogue in the weekend, with a hat and a hoodie … it still looks a bit odd,” he said.
“But when he runs out he still looks same old, skinny legs, cheeky grin.“
Hawthorn and Geelong have enjoyed a fierce rivalry in recent times, with a series of matches decided by single-figure margins over the past 14 years.
Between 2016 and 2019, only one of seven clashes between the teams was decided by more than four goals.
A 61-point thumping at the hands of the Cats last year was more of an indication of where the Hawks currently sit, in a phase of regeneration after a long period as a serious AFL premiership contender.
But Breust still expects Monday‘s contest to be as hard fought as ever.
“We look forward to this clash every year and the build-up to it is always awesome,” he said.
“The game itself always produces a classic.”
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