In the build up to Geelong's Easter Monday blockbuster against arch rival Hawthorn, we take a look back at five great games between the Cats and Hawks.
Round 19, 2012, MCG: Geelong 18.10 (118) def Hawthorn 17.14 (116)
This was a breathtaking exhibition of our game. The Cats were on fire early, kicking nine goals to two in the first quarter. They extended their lead to 51 points by kicking the first goal of the second quarter, before the Hawks fought back strongly. Alastair Clarkson’s men hit the front late in the final term, and led by four points with less than a minute to go. But a Joel Selwood pass found Tom Hawkins within range, and the big forward calmly slotted the winning goal after the siren.
It was Hawkins’ sixth major, and it was the Cats’ ninth successive win over Hawthorn. As Jake Niall wrote in his match report in The Age, “Geelong and Hawthorn’s rivalry has been the game’s most compelling for some years, but this latest instalment has taken not only their competition, but AFL football to unprecedented heights.”
Round 17, 2009, MCG: Geelong 15.9 (99) def Hawthorn 14.14 (98)
This game was back near the start of the Cats’ winning streak over the Hawks. Mark Thompson’s Geelong side led by five points at the first change but had fallen 22 points behind by three-quarter time. The Cats then roared back into the contest, kicking five goals to one in the last quarter. Scores were tied, with only a couple of seconds left on the clock, when Jimmy Bartel took a mark in the forward pocket. Despite shooting from a tough angle, Bartel’s kick registered a behind, which was enough to hand his team a memorable one-point win.
Round 5, 2014, MCG: Geelong 15.16 (106) def Hawthorn 12.15 (87)
With more than 80,000 people in the stands, the Cats led by three points at quarter-time, six points at half-time and eight points at the final change. The Hawks threatened to steal a comeback win when they kicked the first two goals of the last quarter, but Tom Hawkins then took the game by the scruff of the neck, taking some huge marks and kicking three goals as Geelong prevailed by 19 points and remained unbeaten after five rounds of the season.
Grand Final, 1963, MCG: Geelong 15.19 (109) def Hawthorn 8.12 (60)
In front of a crowd of 101,209, the Cats, coached by Bob Davis and captained by Fred Wooller, had the better of the first three quarters but had only a 10-point lead to show for their effort. However, they ran riot in the final term, booting 6.6 to 0.3 and winning by 49 points. It was Geelong’s sixth VFL flag.
Grand Final, 1989, MCG: Hawthorn 21.18 (144) def Geelong 21.12 (138)
The Cats were playing in their first Grand Final since ’63, and their dream of winning a premiership in Malcolm Blight’s first season at the helm looked all over when the Hawks opened a 40-point quarter-time lead. But Geelong never gave in. With Norm Smith medallist Gary Ablett on fire up forward, the Cats stormed back into the contest. Ablett finished with nine goals, but his team fell an agonising six points short in one of the great premiership deciders ever played.