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Finals Week 4

Team Score SC
West Coast 61
Hawthorn 107SC

Premiership Season 2015 - Finals Week 4 Review

Total Crowd 98,633 (Avg 98,633)

It's a Hawk trick!

The debate has already begun. Hawthorn has demolished West Coast in the 2015 Grand Final (full match report here) to make it three premierships on end and stamp itself as one of the great teams of footballing history. Just how great will be the subject of much dialogue, discussion and debate in the days, weeks, months and years to come and one person's "greatest of all time" will be challenged by another's. "not as good as Brisbane of 2001-03", or "not until they match Collingwood's four in a row of 1927-30". All arguments will have their merits but, for now, the Hawks well and truly reign supreme. 

West Coast scored the first goal of the match on Saturday, and the Eagles had many chances in the first and second quarters to exert influence on the match but squandered several opportunities to put some scoreboard pressure on the Hawks. Instead, they put pressure on themselves with some basic skill errors before succumbing to Hawthorn's own pressure and precision football.

The star of the first half (and eventual Norm Smith Medallist) was Cyril Rioli. 'Junior' was everywhere in the crucial early stages and had a hand in many of Hawthorn's first-half goals. If he wasn't kicking them himself, he was passing off to teammates to kick them or chasing down players and forcing turnovers that ended in Hawk majors. 

The Eagles gave themselves a chance to get back into the match with three goals in a row on either side of the half-time break. Those majors cut the difference back to 25 points and West Coast had golden chances to make further inroads in that deficit but a missed Jack Darling 'sitter' of a mark and a very poor attempt at a pass by Luke Shuey saw those opportunities missed.

A run of three Hawthorn goals in five minutes not long after ending the Eagle resistance, and the Hawks more or less turned the last quarter and a half of the match into a premiership party. The margin blew out to 62 points before West Coast registered the last three majors of the match to cut the final difference to a more respectable looking 46, but that final margin in no way diminished the dominance of Hawthorn's display.

Hawthorn joins Carlton (1906-08), Collingwood (1927-30), Melbourne (1939-41 and 1955-57) and Brisbane (2001-03) as teams to have recorded three premierships in a row. The way the Hawks played on Saturday, it would seem foolhardy to suggest that they couldn't match Collingwood's 1920s effort of four in a row, On the other hand, the Hawthorn team that won the flag on Saturday was the oldest in history. 

With Brian Lake and David Hale announcing their retirements in the days after the Grand Final, younger players will get there chance to fill the void. Or, indeed, Hawthorn may well continue it's 'top-up' practice, recruiting experienced players from other clubs to keep it at or near the head of the table. It did just that with Lake and Hale, and also with Ben McEvoy and this year James Frawley.

For now we can but marvel at what Alastair Clarkson and his Hawks have achieved since he took over the coaching reins in 2005, and prognostic about which team - if any - might be able to bring down the might of Hawthorn in 2016. 


80 - Josh Kennedy (WCo)
63 - Jeremy Cameron (GWS), Eddie Betts (Adel)
59 - Taylor Walker (Adel)
57 - Jack Gunston (Haw)
56 - Jake Stringer (WB)
54 - Jack Riewoldt (Rich)
53 - Chad Wingard (Port)
52 - Luke Breust (Haw)
50 - Josh Bruce (StK), Tory Dickson (WB), Jarryd Roughead (Haw)


Video sourced from YouTube, courtesy of the AFL.

R-23, Ladder

Team GP PTS %
FREO 22 68 118.73
WCE 22 66 148.22
HAW 22 64 158.40
SYD 22 64 127.12
RICH 22 60 123.09
WBULL 22 56 115.12
ADEL 21 54 115.71
NTH 22 52 106.45
PORT 22 48 106.83
GEEL 21 48 101.09
GWS 22 44 99.00
COLL 22 40 106.25
MELB 22 28 76.96
STK 22 26 78.40
ESS 22 24 74.04
SUNS 22 18 72.90
BRIS 22 16 67.52
CARL 22 16 64.78


* Behinds calculated from the 1965 season on.
+ Score at the end of extra time.