A Rivalry Reborn
In 2008, reigning premier Geelong had lost just one match for the season, with an average winning margin of 52 points. The Hawks — off the back of an extraordinary elimination final performance in 2007; were chock full of youthful exuberance combined with experienced heads in Shane Crawford and Stuart Dew — an inspired mature-aged import that would set the standard for free agency player movement in the years to follow.
The two faced off in the 2008 Grand Final in what many saw as a forgone conlusion; back-to-back Geelong flags.
Hawthorn 'pinched' the cup from the Cats' clutches on a glorious Spring day, running out 26 point winners at the MCG. Geelong Coach Mark Thompson would later rue Geelong's near blemish-free season and the opportunity to experience close encounters as a primer for the challenge that finals football brings.
Little did we know that the outcome of the 2008 Grand Final and subsequent Kennett curse would spur an already great rivalry into another stratosphere that would live on some 8 years later.
Here are some of the standout moments between these great rivals in recent memory.
Download the Geelong v Hawthorn infographic.