Sam Mitchell explains Hawthorn's 'noodles' sign after AFL world left baffled

The Hawks coach has come clean about the meaning behind the picture of a bowl of noodles.

Sam Mitchell, pictured here alongside Hawthorn's noodles sign.

Hawthorn coach Sam Mitchell has spilled the beans on a bizarre sign depicting a bowl of noodles that was being displayed by the bench during their clash with Geelong on Monday. Hawthorn's woes went from bad to worse as Jeremy Cameron powered the Cats to an 82-point thrashing.

But one of the major talking points to come from the game was the sight of a Hawks assistant coach holding up a placard with a bowl of noodles on it in an apparent coded message to the players. AFL fans and commentators were left baffled about what the picture of the noodles was supposed to represent, with a number of theories doing the rounds on social media.

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Some suggested it represented the fact there were two minutes left in the half, but that was quickly shut down because there was actually six minutes remaining. Channel 7 commentator Brain Taylor said: “I’ve seen some signs this year, but chopsticks and noodles beats them all."

Co-commentator and Hawthorn champion Luke Hodge added: “I’ve got no idea." The AFL's official Twitter account was also befuddled, while the Channel 7 AFL account tweeted: “What could this sign mean?”

Speaking after the game, Hawks coach Mitchell revealed it was actually a request for his players to turn to wet weather-style footy. “Every club has got these signs that we use, and we’ve got a style of play that we go to," he told Fox Footy.

"We talked to the players and they gave that style of play a name, and they called it noodles, so we asked someone to put the noodles sign up. Johnny Cavarra, who puts that sign up, he’s always disappointed because he gets a bit of a ribbing from all his mates when they put it up. We might have to give it a change if you guys keep running it.

“We’ve got a radio sign and a noodles sign and they’re just different modes of play. It started raining around that time so it was just a wet weather style of footy sign. We could put up ‘wet weather’ but then everyone obviously knows what it is - though they’re gonna know it now I’ve just said it, so we’re gonna have to change it.”

Geelong on the board in brutal display against Hawks

The Hawks are now 1-3 on the season and sitting firmly at the foot of the ladder in 18th place. Hawthorn dominated clearances 24-10 in the first half and led by nine points at the main break, but they fell away dramatically against a far more experienced Cats outfit.

"We just couldn't find any answers in any way," Mitchell said. "We're trying to find solutions for a young group to deal with adversity like that when it comes."

Sam Mitchell, pictured here speaking to the players during Hawthorn's clash with Geelong.
Sam Mitchell speaks to the players during Hawthorn's clash with Geelong. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Geelong's dominant third quarter included a 22-0 advantage in forward entries as they piled on 10.5 (65) and kept the Hawks scoreless. The Cats kicked 15 goals to one after half-time, putting their early-season struggles to bed after an 0-3 start.

"We've got faith that our best footy's at a high level but we knew that we had to fight really hard to get this game on our terms and build a bit of momentum in our season," Cats coach Chris Scott said. "Our second half, especially the third quarter, was a good sign for us and hopefully we can carry that momentum (forward). But we fully understand that there are going to be challenges throughout the year because the competition is just so even."

with AAP

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