Long after the grudge matches in the late 80s, a modern rivalry between the Hawks and Cats began in 2008 when the highly-fancied Geelong were shocked by an up and coming Hawthorn side in the last day of September. The AFL community were in awe after the Hawks’ 18-point win, which turned out to be Geelong’s second loss of the entire season. After this, midfielder, Paul Chapman pledged that this Geelong team would never lose to Hawthorn again. And so, the Chappy Pact and the Kennett Curse was born.
Between the years 2009 and 2013 the Hawks and the Cats faced off 11 times, with only one game decided by more than 10 points. Geelong stayed true to their promise and won ten straight games against their arch rivals until… well we’ll get to that later. Here are our top 3 moments of the epic rollercoaster that is Hawthorn v Geelong.
Round 17, 2009
Geelong (15.9.99) defeated Hawthorn (14.14.98)
After a nail-biting 8 point victory in their Round 1 clash, the Cats hoping for another win on their quest for a redemption premiership, whilst the Hawks were trying to stay in the finals race. Enter Jimmy Bartel, who was on hand to break brown and gold hearts after the final siren. Marking deep in the pocket with scores level, all Jimmy had to do was score… the shot that drifted left was all the Cats needed to secure victory in dramatic fashion.
Round 19, 2012
Geelong (18.10.118) defeated Hawthorn (17.14.116)
When the Cats shot out to a massive 50 point plus lead by the second quarter, this game had no makings of a classic. But with true grit and determination, the Hawks clawed their way back to hit the front late in the last quarter and the fairytale comeback seemed complete. But as Chappy promised, they were not lose ever again.. so with seconds to go the ball made it’s way through the MCG corridor and eventually onto the chest of Tom Hawkins with seconds remaining on the clock. Having to kick from on the 50 meter line, Hawkins was an outside chance to put his team back in front, but somehow he hit the sweet spot of the Sherrin and the ball sailed through the goals as the siren went – cue the celebrations.
THE CURSE IS LIFTED
PRELIMINARY FINAL, 2013
Hawthorn (14.18.102) defeated Geelong (15.7.97)
The night the curse was broken. After 10 straight Geelong victories it looked like number 11 was about to be chalked on the board as the Cats held a 20 point lead at three quarter time of the 2013 Preliminary Final. Not to be denied, the Hawks fought back with Shaun Burgoyne running into open goal to seal one of the most famous victories in the Hawthorn Football Club’s history. The Hawks went on to win the flag the next week and dominate the league for a further two years, performing the premiership three-peat.
Since these epic encounters, the Hawks and the Cats have shared more dramatic moments, with Easter Monday football now a marquee day on the AFL football calendar.
Don’t miss your chance to witness another classic match and secure your spot now with premium match day hospitality still available.
Entertain your guests at match-day’s most prestigious and renowned President’s Function.
Join Hawthorn Football Club President Jeff Kennett in the MCG’s Olympic Room. Located on centre wing, it is here that business meets sport with professional networking opportunities, first-class dining, compelling entertainment and premium reserved seating to watch some of the most exciting style of football in the competition.
Enhance your President’s Function experience even further a match day Inner Sanctum Experience.
Before the function, witness the players in the change rooms going through their final warm up and preparations for the big match ahead, walk up the players race and onto the hallowed MCG turf, take this moment to take some photos before you will be part of the guard of honour as the players run out through the banner for the first bounce.