Match Preview | Geelong vs Hawthorn


Geelong will play Hawthorn on Easter Monday in what is set to be another blockbuster clash at the MCG.

This match will also serve as the annual Dare to Hope match, raising much needed awareness and funds for the Dare to Hope. Find out more HERE.

The Hawks will be looking for their first win after a loss to Essendon in Round 1, and defeat last week to the Demons by 55 points.

The Cats will head into Round 3 looking to make it 3-0, and position they haven’t been in since 2019.

Geelong, who last week lost two key players (Mitch Duncan and Tom Atkins) just moments before last Friday’s game, were able to galvanise and pick up a huge away win in Adelaide. 

Geelong will see the return of Duncan, Atkins, and Tanner Bruhn, as well as seeing Jack Bowes and Toby Conway for the first time in 2024.

Henry Hustwaite, Harry Morrison and Lloyd Meek are the new additions to Hawthorn’s team this week.

Hawkins 350

Tom Hawkins will run out for Geelong this weekend in what will be his 350th game of AFL football. A feat that has only been achieved by 23 other players. 

He will become just the third player from Geelong to do so and will join Joel Selwood as the only two to have accomplished this number playing all 350 games for the Cats.

Of those who are on the prestigious 350 games played list, Hawkins is third for total career goals, behind Lance Franklin (1066) and Bernie Quinlan (817).

Going by his career average of 2.25 goals per game, Hawkins will overtake Quinlan in game 364.

If Hawkins is able to kick two goals in Round 3, he will move into 13th position on the most career goals list, ahead of Jack Riewoldt (787).    

The numbers three, five, and zero are fitting for Tom Hawkins career to date.

Three – The Number of Premierships Won
2009 – eight disposals and two goals.
2011 – 19 disposals, three goals and received five votes for the Norm Smith Medal
2022 – 14 disposals, three goals and broke the game open early kicking the first two majors of the game

Five – The Number of All Australian Honours
2012 – 22 games and 62 goals
2019 – 24 games and 56 goals 
2020 – 21 games, 49 goals and winner of the Coleman Medal 
2021 – 25 games and 62 goals 
2022 – 25 games and 67 goals in a premiership winning side 

Zero – The amount of goals he was on for two quarters of his career
With 3:55 minutes remaining in third quarter of the Round 2 clash between the Geelong Cats and the Carlton Blues, first gamer Tom Hawkins took a mark 49 metres out from goal. Without hesitation, Hawkins turned and lined up for goal. Teammate Travis Varcoe pointed straight towards goal, confident in Hawkins’ ability from 50 out. In what would be known in true Tom Hawkins fashion, a beautiful left to right drop punt sailed through the big sticks, and Cats forward got his career goal tally started.

The Rivalry

Arguable one of the biggest rivalries in the AFL, Hawthorn and Geelong have played each other 170 times with 93 wins to the Cats, 76 wins to the Hawks and a single draw between the two teams.

The 1989 Grand Final between Hawthorn and Geelong is wildly regarded as the greatest Grand Final of all time. Big names, big scores, and a close winning margin.

Running around on that day were players like Gary Ablett Snr, Dermott Brereton, Billy Brownless, Robert DiPierdomenico and Jason Dunstall. The physicality was fierce and despite a last quarter surge from Ablett Snr and the Cats, it was Hawthorn who won the premiership by just six points. Ablett Snr was awarded the Norm Smith Medal for his nine-goal performance.                

19 years later, the two teams would again battle it out in the 2008 Grand Final. Hawthorn would beat the reigning premiers by 26 points. Geelong would end the game with 23 behinds, 11 coming from rushed behinds from Hawthorn, changing the rule around rushed behind for future seasons.

Following the Grand Final loss, the rivalry was sparked into over drive when then Hawthorn President Jeff Kennett made the following remarks. 

“What they don’t have, I think, is the quality of some of our players; they don’t have the psychological drive we have. We’ve beaten Geelong when it matters,” Kennett said.

Geelong would go on to beat Hawthorn in their next 11 meetings, with two of those results coming from kicks after the siren, Jimmy Bartel in 2009 (Behind to win 99-98) and Tom Hawkins (Goal to win 118-116). This birthed the term of the ‘Kennett Curse’

A curse survived from the 2009 to the 2013 Preliminary Final where Hawthorn would beat Geelong by five points.

Of the 13 games played on Easter Monday, Geelong have been victorious on 10 of those occasions. With the closest margin of one point being won by Hawthorn in 2018 and the largest margin of 86 points being won by Geelong in 2017.

The last time these two teams met, it was the Cats who were victors, taking out the Easter Monday special by 82 points.

Geelong will take on Hawthorn at the MCG on Monday 1 April with the first bounce at 3.20pm.



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