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Hawks v Lions: The rare classics

Last Time We Met: Brisbane R8, 2017 We met in a far cooler region last time we met, but the Hawks got the job done against their old GM of Footy's side.

There haven’t been many close finishes between Hawthorn and the Brisbane Lions over their 30 meetings.

Despite the record being relatively evenly split over the 22-year rivalry, with the Hawks winning 17 games and the Lions 13, the match-ups have consistently seen blow-outs.

In fact, the average winning margin throughout these 30 matches is 43.2 points.

Furthermore, over their last 10 encounters, of which the Hawks have won nine, the average margin has been 55.7 points.

As rare as they might have been, we have dug up the records and found the five games in which the margin has been within two goals.

Read: Hawthorn's 'stat' leaders 

Round 3, 1997

Hawthorn 12.15 87 defeated Brisbane 11.9 75

The Hawks put on six goals to two in the second quarter to take a 13-point lead into half-time. This margin would be essentially maintained between the two sides for the remainder of the match, with the Hawks finishing 12-point victors at Waverley Park. Star forward Jason Dunstall kicked five goals for the Hawks, while Daniel Harford and Angelo Lekkas were amongst the Hawks’ best with 29 and 28 disposals respectively. For the Lions, Jarrad Molloy lead the way with three goals while Adrian Fletcher and Craig Lambert also had plenty of the ball.


Round 3, 2000

Hawthorn 16.14 110 defeated Brisbane 15.13 103

Despite a six-goal opening term, the Hawks had to come from two goals down at three-quarter time to record a narrow seven-point win over the Lions. Key forwards John Barker (four goals), Nathan Thompson (three) and Ben Dixon (three) did the damage at the MCG, with Shane Crawford and Daniel Harford impressive through the middle of the ground. Meanwhile Lion Alastair Lynch provided the focal point at the other end of the ground with four goals of his own.


Round 15, 2003

Brisbane 14.9 93 defeated Hawthorn 11.15 81

The Lions had the fast start in this 2003 clash. Their early superiority saw them take an 11-point lead into the first break. But the Hawks fought back in the second term, kicking five goals to the Lions’ two. The Hawks held an eight-point lead at the main break and extended that margin to 13 points at the final change as they looked primed for an upset win. But the Lions piled on four goals to one in the final term to run over the top of the Hawks. Full-forward Alastair Lynch and the crafty Craig McCrae each snagged four goals for the Lions as Michael Voss put in an inspired performance. Shane Crawford was the Hawks’ best with two goals and 30 disposals.


Round 16, 2006

Brisbane 11.18 84 defeated Hawthorn 11.8 74

Facing off against each other in the AFL’s Heritage Round, the Hawks burst out of the blocks against the Lions at the Gabba to take a 23-point lead at quarter time. But the Lions answered with six of the next eight goals to turn the game around in the third term. When Buddy Franklin snapped his third goal midway through the final term to bring the Hawks to within six points, it looked as though the Hawks might overcome the Lions. But it wasn’t enough as the Lions were able to hold on through the work of Luke Power (38 disposals) and Justin Sherman (33), claiming a tight 12-point win. Defender Campbell Brown was a stand-out for the Hawks gathering 23 disposals along with 12 marks.


Round 5, 2008

Hawthorn 19.16 130 defeated Brisbane 17.16 118

Undefeated after four rounds, the Hawks lead narrowly at every change in what was a high-scoring shoot-out. Captain Sam Mitchell and fellow midfielder Brad Sewell were amongst Hawthorn’s best. The Hawks opened the final term with three majors to push the margin out. Daniel Bradshaw’s seven goals kept the Lions it, but Lance Franklin had his measure and a little more with eight goals of his own. At the finish, the Hawks held on to escape with a 12-point win.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs