Hawthorn are deserved premiership favourites at present but if they are to go on and win the flag they simply must beat their nemesis Geelong on Friday night.
It is well documented that after causing one of the biggest grand final boilovers of recent memory in 2008 they have not beaten the Cats in the eight clashes between the teams since.
And while the current ladder positions of the teams suggests Alastair Clarkson's men may not have to worry about confronting the reigning premiers in September, they will be much better prepared for their flag assault if they have fine-tuned by beating their great rivals.
Two years ago Collingwood went into 2010 as arguably the second or third-best team in the competition, behind only Geelong and possibly St Kilda, who had played off in a memorable premiership decider the previous year.
But against those heavyweights they had been comfortably beaten four times in 2009, the Cats' two victories including one by 73 points in the preliminary final and the Saints boasting an 88-point win in Round 7.
And the Magpies would go on to lose their next match against both those teams as well, succumbing to the Saints by nearly five goals in Round 3 and then the Cats by six goals in Round 9.
But while their losing runs against both teams were not close to the streak Geelong currently boasts against Hawthorn, it was important for Collingwood to put an end to the defeats just the same.
And put an end to them they did beating both teams comfortably in the run home to September and then repeating the dose in the finals - albeit at the second attempt in the decider against St Kilda - to end their flag drought.
Fast forward a couple of years and the Hawks were fresh from a campaign that promised plenty but came up just short when they lost that epic preliminary final against the Magpies by a kick, two weeks after the Cats had also beaten them.
Having been stunned by Adelaide at AAMI Stadium in the opening round, Hawthorn went on to lose just five more games in 2011, three of them to Geelong and a couple to Collingwood.
But while they would seem to have cast aside any issues taking on the Magpies having seen them off twice this season, including by eight goals a couple of weeks ago, for their own confidence they now need to add the Cats' scalp.
Hawks midfielder Brad Sewell and Cats coach Chris Scott both talked down the significance of the previous eight matches to Friday's encounter but privately Sewell and his team-mates would be desperate to end the 'Kennett curse'.
And they won't get a better chance to do so than this week, even though they will almost certainly be without Lance Franklin, as they enter the match on the back of an eight-game winning streak and with just one defeat in their past 12 matches.
They have beaten up on teams inside and outside the eight along the way - their only loss that shock 10-goal defeat to the Tigers - but with the Cats a chance to be launching their own flag assault from outside the top four, the Hawks will want to go into any potential finals clash having beaten them.
If they were to surrender for a ninth time in a row this weekend, having several times snatched defeat from the jaws of victory against Geelong in the past four years, they would be left praying not to have to face them in the finals.
If things are close at three-quarter time or even early in the final quarter on Friday it will be interesting to watch how Hawthorn handle it.But if they do not extend their own winning streak to nine matches the thought of potentially having to play the Cats in September - or worse actually having to - will cause sleepless nights for Clarkson and his players.