THE pain of losing a grand final will take time to fade for Jordan Lewis and Luke Hodge.
The Hawthorn onballers, along with assistant coach Leon Cameron, made up the south-west contingent in the Hawks’ grand final loss to Sydney.
Lewis and Hodge were serviceable in the 14.7 (91) to 11.15 (81) loss at the MCG on Saturday.
Lewis had 20 disposals and laid seven tackles, while Hodge found the football 17 times in between having repairs to a frequently bleeding forehead.
But Swans onballers Ryan O’Keefe and Daniel Hannebery overshadowed the frontline Hawks as Sydney won the big moments in the match across the board.
Lewis’ father Shane said his son was quiet in the rooms post-match as the players reflected on an opportunity gone begging.
“He didn’t want to talk too much about it. It was like last year — after they got done by Collingwood he didn’t want to talk too much,” he said.
“It takes a few days to get over and review and go through the pain.”
Shane said Jordan was “serviceable” in the grand final.
“He was trying to tag a few of them in the middle and they were swapping them around in and out,” he said.
“It was hard to gauge. They went two quarters without kicking a goal, so they didn’t know who was doing what.”
The south-west exports were part of Hawthorn’s grand final victory against Geelong in 2008, two of 10 Hawks from that game who played on Saturday.
Defeat to Sydney meant they had experienced the ultimate high and the gut-wrenching low that football can deliver.
But not even the memory of grand final success could erase the heartbreak of losing on the AFL’s biggest stage.
Shane said grand final defeat could build the resolve of the younger Hawks.
But he was unsure what impact it would have on 26-year-old Jordan, who has 169 games and eight years’ experience to his name. “The last eight years, that should be there anyhow. If it’s not there after eight years, you’re never going to get any better,” Shane said.
He said he was “proud” of his son’s achievements, but did not believe he would consider season 2012 a success.
“They all play for that holy grail. They’ll probably say ‘no, we didn’t finish it off’,” he said. “You’re always proud. Sometimes the other side is better than you on the day.”