IN A NUTSHELL
GEELONG 5.2 6.8 6.15 11.16 (82)
HAWTHORN 2.4 3.8 4.11 10.12 (72)
GOALS Geelong: Murdoch 3, Caddy, Kelly, Podsiadly, Selwood, Stringer, Blicavs, Motlop, T. Hunt. Hawthorn: Hale 2, Roughead 2, Gunston, Simpkin, Breust, Franklin, Puopolo, Savage.
BEST Geelong: Selwood, Duncan, Lonergan, Murdoch, Kelly, Mackie. Hawthorn: Mitchell, Roughead, Hale, Gunston, Lewis, Stratton.
UMPIRES Schmitt, Stevic, McInerney
CROWD 85,197 at MCG.
"Just when Geelong thought it had left the MCG on Saturday night with a routine victory over Hawthorn, it was forced back into a dramatic final term. The Cats, like they have done many times this season, seemed to stop soon after a Jordan Murdoch goal extended their lead to 36 points early in the last term." - Roy Ward
Geelong was in control throughout a dour contest, until it built its lead to 36 points early in the final term. The uncharacteristically scrappy clash then became the usual thriller, as Hawthorn stormed back within three points, aided by a controversial interchange free kick against Geelong. The Cats then steadied through a Josh Caddy goal to maintain their 11-game winning streak over the Hawks. At the outset, it was their forward pressure that had dictated terms, but as a pointer to future clashes, this highly-pressured, low-scoring game was of little use.
Lower profile Cats Jordan Murdoch and Josh Caddy had a big impact in the final quarter of the round 15 Cats/Hawks clash.
In the 1963 grand final, Geelong booted 6.6 to 0.3 in the final quarter to turn a 10-point lead into a 49-point triumph.
Rnd 15, 2013: Geel by 10
Rnd 1, 2013: Geel by 7
Rnd 19, 2012: Geel by 2
Rnd 2, 2012: Geel by 2
QF, 2011: Geel by 31
Rnd 12, 2011: Geel by 5
Rnd 5, 2011: Geel by 19
Rnd 15, 2010: Geel by 2
Rnd 2, 2010: Geel by 9
Rnd 17, 2009: Geel by 1
Rnd 1, 2009: Geel by 8
In the absence of suspended superstar Gary Ablett, Geelong lost its 1991 semi-final to Hawthorn at Waverley by two points, having led by one point at the final change. Subsequent Melbourne coach Mark Neeld booted three goals.
THE RECENT FORMLINE
AGAINST 2013 TOP FIVE
Hawthorn v Geelong at MCG: 4-14
2011 QF: Geel by 31
2008 GF: Haw by 26
2000 EF: Haw by 9
1991 SF: Haw by 2
1989 GF: Haw by 6
1963 GF: Geel by 49
1963 SF: Geel by 19
The biggest margin in the past 11 matches between Hawthorn and Geelong came in the last final they played - the 2011 qualifying final. The Cats trailed at quarter time, but gradually pulled away to win by 31 points.
STAT A FACT?
Home and Away Season Averages
Disposals: 373.3 (4th)
Eff Disposals %: 73.5 (2nd)
Inside 50s: 55.9 (2nd)
% Scores Times I50: 53.1 (2nd)
Tackles (Diff): 0.6 (8th)
Clearance (Diff): -0.9 (13th)
Contested Poss (Diff): 3.5 (7th)
Uncontested Poss (Diff): 19.6 (3rd)
Eff Disposals %: 72.6 (=7th)
Inside 50s: 58.1 (1st)
% Scores Times I50: 50.4 (6th)
Tackles (Diff): 1.8 (6th)
Clearance (Diff): -4.4 (17th)
Contested Poss (Diff): 2.8 (9th)
Uncontested Poss (Diff): 14.5 (7th)
Hawthorn and Geelong are the most offensive sides in the competition this season, averaging 17 and 16 goals a game respectively. The Hawks rank second for scores generated per forward 50 entry, while the Cats rank sixth.
YOU CAN BET ON IT
HAWTHORN $1.44 (-13.5)
GEELONG $2.90 (+13.5)
Brenton Sanderson, later Adelaide coach, and Ben Dixon, now a Fox Footy commentator do battle in the 2000 First Elimination Final at Colonial Stadium. The biggest margin in the game was the final difference of nine points to the Hawks.
HAWKS WIN: Fit, rested, confident and more complete than at any time since 2008, Hawthorn are peaking at the right time, and they will be too organised and multifaceted for a tired Geelong relying on bursts and history and missing Chapman, Enright and a proven ruckman. The end of the curse might even be a blow-out if the Hawks withstand Geelong's initial resistance. Better in the ruck, with more genuine scoring threats and just as many rebounding options off half-back, the Hawks finally have all Geelong bases covered.
CATS WIN: The Cats still match up superbly on the Hawks, and they dominated them for most of their last meeting. If they exert maximum pressure out of defence, disrupting Hawthorn's silky delivery, their own rebounding brilliance will set up the easy scoring opportunities. Two bursts of such irresistible scoreboard pressure will be enough, given Geelong's marginal superiority in its bottom six, and how well its midfield combats Hawthorn's prime movers.
The 1989 Grand Final featured a heavy early hit on Hawthorn's Dermott Brereton. It failed to stop the blonde Hawks star.