Isaac Smith has last laugh against Hawks

·2-min read

Geelong coach Chris Scott has revealed Isaac Smith was ill and almost missed the AFL grudge match against his former Hawthorn teammates.

In another close finish between the fierce rivals, the Cats hung on by five points at the MCG on Monday after the Hawks charged home from four goals down at three-quarter time.

Smith, a three-time Hawthorn premiership player, took centre stage before and during the clash due to his off-season switch to Geelong.

The veteran speedster was booed every time he went near the ball, with Geelong supporters attempting to drown out the Hawthorn section by cheering for Smith.

Scott said Smith, who played 210 games for Hawthorn, stood up well during a tense situation.

"I don't normally divulge these things, and I certainly don't want anyone to feel sorry for (Smith), but he only just made it to the line," Scott said.

"He was ill in the last couple of days and that kind of added to the pressure a little bit for him.

"He couldn't come to training yesterday, he was still pretty crook and I had to stop asking (if he would play).

"Clearly he was affected but I thought he was good for us.

"He's a confident sort of guy and I thought our players really supported him.

"But it's naive to say don't worry about. It's like saying don't think about an apple, you just think about an apple - you need to address it.

"We had a few other issues as well, but we didn't treat it like another game, we treated it like Easter Monday - a big occasion.

"We feel privilege to play in it and this may not happen for the rest of our professional careers so we've got to make the most of them when they come."

Veteran midfielder Shaun Higgins looks set for a stint on the sidelines after failing to play the game out due to a hamstring strain.

Youngster Francis Evans went down in his second AFL game and looks to have suffered a serious ankle injury.

Superstar Patrick Dangerfield will serve a final game of his three-week suspension and will not be available to play Melbourne on Sunday.