Rugby League

Hawthorn win AFL Grand Final

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Jordan Lewis celebrates lifting league trophy  (©GettyImages)
Jordan Lewis celebrates lifting league trophy (©GettyImages).

Hawthorn prevailed over Fremantle by 15 points in the 2013 AFL Grand Final, taking home it’s 11th Premiership title after a 77-62 victory.

A sea of purple interspersed with patches of brown greeted the players as they entered the MCG, much to the credit of the thousands of enthusiastic Fremantle supporters who travelled across the country to Melbourne to outnumber Hawks supporters in their home city.

The Hawks shot out of the gates, racing to an almost insurmountable first quarter score, whilst the Dockers looked as though they had succumbed to Grand Final nerves as they failed to record a goal all quarter.

As expected, the AFL’s leading tagger, Ryan Crowley, moved to Brownlow contender Sam Mitchell, limiting him to only 12 disposals.

Hawthorn held an intensity regularly seen in the likes of Sydney and Fremantle as Jack Gunston and Cyril Rioli led the Hawks to a 23-point lead at half time.

The third quarter saw a resurgent Fremantle battle their way back into the game, matching and eclipsing the 2008 premiers for intensity and scoreboard pressure, as they wormed their way back into the game.

Captain Matthew Pavlich and David Mundy led the way for the Dockers as the indefatigable purple outfit reduced Hawthorn’s solid lead to as little as three points at one point.

At this point, the idea of free footy had completely diminished, as the game quickly became a man-marking contest, with no players allowed to roam freely across vast expanses of the MCG.

However, Freo were left to rue an appalling day in front of the sticks accuracy-wise, whilst the Hawks were not to be outdone, as Brian Lake’s defensive heroics prevented a Fremantle comeback and delivered him a Norm Smith Medal (best afield).

Hayden Ballantyne suffered an atrocious day at the office as he sprayed two easy shots at goal wide, with one set piece resulting in Ballantyne completely missing the face of the goals to the far side. Fumbles and slips took the place of  otherwise routine marks, ensuring that this was one day the diminutive goal-sneak would love to permanently erase from memory.

It was an emotional ending to the game for everyone as the defeat marks the third time Ross Lyon has coached a finalist without avail, with his 2013 Fremantle side joining his St. Kilda sides from 2009 and 2010 as losing finalists.

Contrarily, Brian Lake finally attained a Premiership (and a Norm Smith to boot) after three preliminary final defeats with the Western Bulldogs, and Hawthorn overcame their heartbreak of last season following the Grand Final loss to the Swans.

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