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Hawks atone but Freo set for return

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Hawks sink determined Dockers

Hawthorn too strong for Fremantle, winning the 2013 AFL grand final by 15 points despite a spirited late fightback from the Dockers.

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The ball was dribbling towards the AFL members' wing in a swirling wind at the moment Hawthorn atoned for 2012 and won its 11th premiership, a 15-point, blue-collar victory achieved by a star-studded side over the gallant grand final debutant Fremantle.

Buddy Franklin was the closest man to the football when the final siren sounded, perhaps for the last time in brown and gold, signifying perhaps just how unexpected has the script of Hawthorn's season proved as it powered towards the premiership expected of it.

On top of the world: Hawthorn's Luke Hodge, John Kennedy and coach Alastair Clarkson celebrate.

On top of the world: Hawthorn's Luke Hodge, John Kennedy and coach Alastair Clarkson celebrate.

Franklin managed a solitary goal but achieved enough heavy lifting while his sometimes brilliant team-mate Cyril Rioli was neither flashy from the flanks nor streaming across the MCG, rather workmanlike laying seven tackles in a dour, low-scoring but intriguing contest in front of a crowd that cracked 100,000 for just the third time since the AFL was formed.

One year ago, said new premiership captain Luke Hodge, his coach Alastair Clarkson assured his heartbroken team that not a lot of tweaking was required. ''Just a little,'' he said, ''and you'll be standing up there next year with medals.''

Few would have predicted in the immediate aftermath that the most effective tweak of all would prove a 30-something defender traded in from the Western Bulldogs in Brian Lake. Even fewer would have picked Lake as the 2013 Norm Smith medallist and in another twist the chairman of the coveted medallion's voting panel was Lake's old coach, Brendan McCartney.

Hawthorn players celebrate winning the 2013 AFL Premiership. Click for more photos

AFL Grand Final 2013 Hawthorn v Fremantle

Hawthorn won the AFL Grand Final at the MCG in front of 100,000 fans over Fremantle by 15 points. Photo: Pat Scala

Lake was a general in his first grand final, with Hodge directing traffic when the game was on the line early in the last quarter. The match had threatened to become a walkover before Fremantle's devastating post-half-time comeback after a stuttering one-goal opening half.

The game's best and most controversial tagger, Ryan Crowley, was devastating in figuratively strangling the Hawks' generally effective Sam Mitchell but later took little solace in his own game, capturing verbally just how dangerous the Dockers proved in a third quarter in which it quadrupled in 14 minutes its goal tally from the first half.

''It's hard not to think we were coming,'' said Crowley. ''It felt like we were coming, and we were trying to exude that we were coming so maybe they got under a bit of pressure. But it's a long time ago now.''

Crowley sat alongside his shattered teammates as skipper Matthew Pavlich tried to make some public sense of his first grand final in front of a bipartisan stadium studded with purple. ''It's a bitterly hard pill to swallow,'' said Pavlich, who kicked three goals in the second half. ''We'll dust ourselves off and lick our wounds and we'll be back.''

For either coach losing was going to prove all the more poignant. Clarkson had looked to be starting another Hawthorn dynasty when his young team snatched the 2008 premiership and yet it has taken him five years and with a team boasting just nine players from his first flag.

Among the first-time premiership players there was no luckier young man than 25-year-old former Cat Jonathan Simpkin - a VFL premiership player one week ago and called into the side as its substitute Brendan Whitecross was forced out after damaging his knee in the preliminary final. At three-quarter time Clarkson gave Simpkin a fatherly hug as he sent him out to battle, withdrawing ruckman Max Bailey.

For Ross Lyon who has coached Fremantle in two short years to a previously unknown credibility, it was his fourth grand final as a senior coach for no premiership. ''I think I read Malcolm Blight lost his first three and went on to win a back-to-back,'' said Lyon. ''So he had the fortitude to keep working, keep backing himself in. I certainly see that I'm not going to crumble … We are here to win premierships, we fell short, I thought they were a bit better on the day but I thought we were right in it. Who knows?''

While the Dockers sat and stood in football's most sadistic position, watching the Hawks' medal presentations, Lake carried his young son and daughter into the arena shortly before the presentations.

''I'd like to thank Hawthorn for taking me in 12 months ago,'' he said on the dais. ''To the family here and the Hawthorn supporters - bloody fantastic.''

The Lake masterstroke has been attributed to Hawthorn's retired champion turned quiet director Jason Dunstall, who at the end of 2004 overruled his multi-premiership teammate Dermott Brereton in selecting the little-fancied Clarkson, who is now a two-time premiership coach.

Hawthorn's father-figure John Kennedy, who would have presented the cup last year had the Hawks defeated Sydney, handed it to Clarkson one year late and his booming voice was just captured as he instructed the highly sought-after 45-year-old coach: ''That's all yours fella. Go on, get up there.''

Kevin Sheedy, presenting the Jock McHale Medal to Clarkson, embraced him after commenting: ''Well done you angry ant.'' But few vanquished coaches in AFL memory have been more gracious in defeat than the Hawthorn mentor was last year and 12 months later he perfectly captured the tone of the season. ''It's been a tough year for our code,'' said Clarkson. ''But it's when you have days like this and you have 100,000 crowd into the MCG to watch two great sides we still know that our code is thriving.''

Fremantle had never before been on the MCG on September's last Saturday and it showed in a nervous first half when the jittery Dockers became the first team in more than a decade to register a goalless first quarter.

Then after half-time Lyon implemented Plan B and the Dockers' midfield led by the brilliant Mundy executed it.

''At the moment it's pretty raw,'' said Ryan Crowley. ''I hate saying this but a lot of teams have said you've got to lose one to win one … I'm hoping that's the way.''

''We know exactly how you feel,'' Hodge assured the Fremantle camp before accepting his first premiership cup as captain, ''and we have absolutely no doubt you will be back here next year.''

The reality of the football market ensures that Monday could bring sweeping changes for the club, which stands to lose its marquee player and has even endured speculation that its senior coach was being headhunted.

But unholy celebration stands between the final siren and October business and the Hawks can also celebrate their sixth straight decade punctuated by premiership victory. No other team in the AFL can claim that.

36 comments

  • Can't help thinking how Geelong blew their chance to play in a GF. I thought the GF was an anticlimax compared to others gone by. Thee were no real highlights of heavy hits or run downs or spectacular marks and goals.

    Commenter
    Harry Calihan
    Date and time
    September 29, 2013, 7:28AM
    • I have to agree, Harry. So many times during the tedious first half of yesterday's game, I kept thinking: this would be such a better game if Geelong were playing Hawthorn - or Freo, for that matter! At least the Cats would have managed a goal during the first quarter!!!!

      Commenter
      Harry Taylor Appreciation Society
      Location
      FTG
      Date and time
      September 29, 2013, 9:21AM
    • First of all, congratulations to Hawthorn. Definitely deserved to win the Flag this year. However I do agree this was a disappointing game as a GF. No great or heroic moments that I can recall. No Dan Hannebery being crunched in a brave mark and setting the standard, no Jetta-Rioli race up the wing, no booming 70 meter goals form Buddy reigniting the Hawks, no Adam Goodes on one leg kicking a clutch goal. There was no Scarlett toe-poke, no horrible Steven Milne bounce or great smother a la Heath Shaw on Riewoldt. Great, solid game from Lake and a redemptive one from Gunston, while the Hawthorn pressure was impressive. But no Grand Final-remembering moments. I'm sure Hawks fans won't care, though!

      Commenter
      Dreuxy
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      September 29, 2013, 10:11AM
    • Ha, You'se guys sound more bitter than Caro.

      Commenter
      micko
      Date and time
      September 29, 2013, 11:06AM
    • You have to let it go and move on. Bitterness masked as analysis doesn't cut it. Envy is the real curse. The best team for the year has won the premiership and those waiting for us to choke have to eat humble pie.

      Commenter
      Steve k
      Date and time
      September 29, 2013, 11:53AM
    • Geelong didn't play in the Granny because Freo rolled them...case closed.
      Sour grapes boys.

      Commenter
      The_Truth_
      Date and time
      September 29, 2013, 4:26PM
  • Brain Lake, took so many game saving marks in the last qtr, but should get weeks for his very late elbow. Plus Riolis tackle on Barlow which earned him a free kick, he had him by the wrist and twisted his arm up and behind his back.

    But besides those silly acts, what a great game. Freo cane back and made a game of it, but hawks where to strong.

    Commenter
    Chris
    Date and time
    September 29, 2013, 8:09AM
    • And not forgetting the ugly clawing of Sam Mitchell's face

      Commenter
      adgy
      Date and time
      September 29, 2013, 8:54AM
    • He may not be Luke Hodge, but Lake still plays for MRP darlings Hawthorn.
      He'll get nothing for that crude elbow.

      Commenter
      Harry Taylor Appreciation Society
      Location
      FTG
      Date and time
      September 29, 2013, 9:19AM
    • I think when Bradley Hill kicked his goal that extended the lead to 30 points half way through the last quarter then the game was pretty much won. Brian Lake played very well in the last quarter but none of the marks he took could really be called game saving.

      Commenter
      One Chance
      Date and time
      September 29, 2013, 12:49PM

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AFL 2015

Round 1
Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
CAR 78 vs RIC 105 Report Stats
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
MEL 115 vs GCF 89 Stats
SYD 72 vs ESS 60 Stats
BRI 74 vs COL 86 Stats
WBU 97 vs WCE 87 Stats
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
STK 78 vs GWS 87 Stats
ADE 140 vs NTH 63 Stats
FRE 75 vs PTA 68 Stats
Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW 123 vs GEE 61 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
WCE 131 vs CAR 62 Stats
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
RIC 66 vs WBU 85 Report Stats
GWS 101 vs MEL 56 Stats
COL 63 vs ADE 90 Report Stats
GCF 76 vs STK 104 Stats
PTA 44 vs SYD 92 Stats
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
GEE 60 vs FRE 104 Stats
ESS 78 vs HAW 76 Stats
NTH 133 vs BRI 51 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
COL 140 vs STK 66 Stats
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
CAR 84 vs ESS 105 Stats
ADE 80 vs MEL 55 Stats
SYD 111 vs GWS 90 Report Stats
NTH 105 vs PTA 113 Stats
BRI 58 vs RIC 137 Stats
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW 127 vs WBU 57 Stats
GEE 105 vs GCF 96 Stats
WCE 81 vs FRE 111 Stats
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Round 4
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
RIC 51 vs MEL 83 Stats
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
STK 81 vs CAR 121 Report Report Stats
ESS 49 vs COL 69 Report Stats
GWS 119 vs GCF 53 Stats
PTA 99 vs HAW 91 Stats
FRE 74 vs SYD 60 Stats
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI 65 vs WCE 118 Stats
GEE 67 vs NTH 83 Stats
WBU 125 vs ADE 68 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR 45 vs COL 120 Stats
Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
RIC 76 vs GEE 85 Stats
SYD 73 vs WBU 77 Stats
GCF 118 vs BRI 54 Stats
NTH 70 vs HAW 130 Stats
WCE 120 vs GWS 33 Stats
Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
MEL 50 vs FRE 118 Stats
STK 80 vs ESS 82 Stats
ADE 91 vs PTA 115 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
COL 59 vs GEE 100 Stats
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
NTH 109 vs RIC 74 Stats
WBU 87 vs STK 94 Stats
GWS 108 vs HAW 98 Stats
GCF 78 vs ADE 119 Stats
MEL 50 vs SYD 88 Stats
FRE 80 vs ESS 52 Stats
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR 75 vs BRI 84 Report Stats
PTA 68 vs WCE 78 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS 82 vs NTH 93 Stats
Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
ADE 119 vs STK 73 Stats
HAW 155 vs MEL 50 Stats
CAR 57 vs GWS 135 Stats
SYD 120 vs GEE 77 Stats
WCE 135 vs GCF 43 Stats
Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
WBU 88 vs FRE 101 Stats
RIC 105 vs COL 100 Report Stats
BRI 102 vs PTA 65 Report Stats
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Round 8
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
GEE 140 vs CAR 63 Report Stats
Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
STK 78 vs WCE 131 Report Stats
GWS 108 vs ADE 84 Report Stats
GCF 63 vs COL 132 Report Stats
HAW 69 vs SYD 73 Report Stats
FRE 115 vs NTH 42 Report Stats
Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS 136 vs BRI 78 Report Stats
MEL 103 vs WBU 64 Report Stats
PTA 43 vs RIC 76 Report Stats
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Round 9
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
SYD vs CAR 19:50SCG
Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
HAW vs GCF 13:45AS
MEL vs PTA 14:10TIO Traeger Park
WBU vs GWS 16:35ES
RIC vs ESS 19:20MCG
ADE vs FRE 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI vs STK 13:10G
COL vs NTH 15:20MCG
WCE vs GEE 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 10
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
FRE vs RIC 20:10Domain Stadium
Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR vs ADE 13:40MCG
GCF vs SYD 16:35MS
ESS vs GEE 19:20ES
PTA vs WBU 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
GWS vs BRI 13:10Spotless Stadium
NTH vs WCE 15:20BA
STK vs HAW 16:40ES
Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
MEL vs COL 15:20MCG
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Round 11
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
PTA vs GEE 19:50Adelaide Oval
Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
GCF vs FRE 13:40MS
WCE vs ESS 16:35Domain Stadium
NTH vs SYD 19:20ES
Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
COL vs GWS 13:10MCG
STK vs MEL 16:40ES
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Round 12
Thu, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
ADE vs HAW 19:50Adelaide Oval
Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
RIC vs WCE 19:50MCG
Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR vs PTA 13:40MCG
GWS vs NTH 16:35Spotless Stadium
WBU vs BRI 19:20ES
Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
GEE vs MEL 15:20SS
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Round 13
Thu, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
FRE vs COL 20:10Domain Stadium
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs RIC 19:50SCG
Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
HAW vs ESS 13:40MCG
BRI vs ADE 16:35G
STK vs WBU 19:20ES
Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR vs GCF 15:20ES
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Round 14
Thu, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs PTA 19:20SCG
Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
COL vs HAW 19:50MCG
Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC vs GWS 13:40MCG
GCF vs NTH 16:35MS
WBU vs CAR 19:20ES
MEL vs WCE 19:40TIO
Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
ESS vs STK 13:10ES
ADE vs GEE 15:20Adelaide Oval
FRE vs BRI 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 15
Thu, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
PTA vs COL 19:50Adelaide Oval
Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC vs CAR 19:50MCG
Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
ESS vs MEL 13:40MCG
WBU vs GCF 16:35CAZ
NTH vs GEE 19:20ES
WCE vs ADE 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS vs STK 13:10Spotless Stadium
HAW vs FRE 15:20AS
BRI vs SYD 16:40G
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Round 16
Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
NTH vs ESS 19:50ES
Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
GEE vs WBU 13:45SS
GCF vs GWS 14:10MS
COL vs WCE 16:35ES
SYD vs HAW 19:20ANZ
FRE vs CAR 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
MEL vs BRI 13:10MCG
PTA vs ADE 15:20Adelaide Oval
STK vs RIC 16:40ES
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Round 17
Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
CAR vs HAW 19:50ES
Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS vs GEE 13:45SO
ADE vs GCF 14:10Adelaide Oval
RIC vs FRE 16:35MCG
ESS vs PTA 19:20ES
BRI vs NTH 19:20G
Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
WBU vs COL 13:10ES
MEL vs STK 15:20MCG
WCE vs SYD 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 18
Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
HAW vs RIC 19:50MCG
Sat, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE vs BRI 13:45SS
COL vs MEL 14:10MCG
SYD vs ADE 16:35SCG
CAR vs NTH 19:20ES
GCF vs WCE 19:20MS
Sun, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
PTA vs STK 13:10Adelaide Oval
ESS vs WBU 15:20ES
FRE vs GWS 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
ADE vs RIC 19:50Adelaide Oval
Sat, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
COL vs CAR 13:45MCG
WBU vs PTA 14:10ES
BRI vs GCF 16:35G
GEE vs SYD 19:20SS
WCE vs HAW 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
MEL vs NTH 13:10MCG
GWS vs ESS 15:20Spotless Stadium
STK vs FRE 16:40ES
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Round 20
Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
SYD vs COL 19:50SCG
Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
ESS vs ADE 13:45ES
NTH vs STK 14:10BA
PTA vs GWS 16:35Adelaide Oval
GEE vs HAW 19:20MCG
BRI vs CAR 19:20G
Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
RIC vs GCF 13:10MCG
WBU vs MEL 15:20ES
FRE vs WCE 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 21
Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
HAW vs PTA 19:50ES
Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
COL vs RIC 13:45MCG
GWS vs SYD 14:10Spotless Stadium
GCF vs ESS 16:35MS
STK vs GEE 19:20ES
ADE vs BRI 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
NTH vs FRE 13:10ES
CAR vs MEL 15:20MCG
WCE vs WBU 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 22
Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE vs COL 19:50MCG
Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
GWS vs CAR 13:45Spotless Stadium
HAW vs BRI 14:10AS
NTH vs WBU 16:35ES
ESS vs RIC 19:20MCG
GCF vs PTA 19:20MS
Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
ADE vs WCE 13:10Adelaide Oval
STK vs SYD 15:20ES
FRE vs MEL 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 23
Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
COL vs ESS 00:00MCG
RIC vs NTH 00:00ES
HAW vs CAR 00:00MCG
GEE vs ADE 00:00SS
SYD vs GCF 00:00SCG
MEL vs GWS 00:00ES
BRI vs WBU 00:00G
PTA vs FRE 00:30Adelaide Oval
WCE vs STK 02:00Domain Stadium
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AFL 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D % Pts
Fremantle 8 8 0 0 155.29 32
West Coast Eagles 8 6 2 0 158.17 24
Sydney Swans 8 6 2 0 127.36 24
GWS Giants 8 6 2 0 118.87 24
Collingwood 8 5 3 0 129.90 20
Adelaide Crows 8 5 3 0 116.32 20
Hawthorn 8 4 4 0 145.81 16
Richmond 8 4 4 0 107.64 16
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