In recent seasons, Hawthorn has had alternating Round 4 results with victories in 2014, 2016 and 2018, but defeats in 2015, 2017 and 2019. All Hawthorn supporters will be hoping the pattern continues for another year.
Hawthorn’s first match at Docklands was a home game played just over 20 years ago, on 29 May 2000, in which the Hawks beat Fremantle by 59 points.
This Sunday’s game will be Hawthorn’s 14th home game at Docklands. Hawthorn’s previous 13 home games at Docklands have produced six wins and seven losses, with the defeats including the two previous home games against the Kangaroos in 2003 and 2005. North will be the first team Hawthorn has played in three home games at Docklands, with other dual opponents being Fremantle, Geelong, West Coast and Western Bulldogs, while there have been single matches versus Collingwood, Gold Coast and Port Adelaide.
Hawthorn has fared better in away games at Docklands winning 37, losing 25 and drawing one. Most importantly, Hawthorn has won its three Finals there, against Geelong (2000), Sydney (2001) and Adelaide (2007).
Hawthorn’s most recent Docklands win versus North Melbourne was in front of a crowd of 37,073 on a Friday night in Round 13 2016. The Hawks overcame a slow start to win 14.9.93 to 11.18.84. The stars were James Sicily with five goals and Jordan Lewis with 31 disposals and an equal career-high 11 clearances.
Hawthorn has played North 13 times at Docklands, winning seven and losing six. This Sunday’s game will make North the Hawks’ equal most regular opponent at the venue, joining Western Bulldogs on 14, and ahead of Carlton (11), St Kilda (11) and Essendon (10).
Last week’s outstanding win against Richmond continued Hawthorn’s recent trend of good performances against reigning Premiers. Hawthorn beat Sydney three times in 2013, the Western Bulldogs in the sole meeting in 2017 and West Coast in one of the two clashes last season. Of course, in three recent seasons, Hawthorn did not have the opportunity to beat the reigning Premiers due to being the reigning Premiers.
Several current Hawthorn players are about to join some of the greats of the past on the club’s career games list. This week, Shaun Burgoyne will join Alan Martello and Mark Graham on 223 games; Luke Breust will join David Parkin and Darrin Pritchard on 211 games; and captain Ben Stratton will join Roy Simmonds on 192 games.
Hawthorn has played North Melbourne more than any other opponent, with the 176 meetings between the clubs being comfortably ahead of the 167 games the Hawks have played against their next most common rivals, Carlton, Geelong and Sydney. Hawthorn has won 97 times against the Kangaroos, lost 77 and drawn two. Hawthorn’s best winning sequence against North Melbourne was 14 from 1985 to 1993.
Hawthorn’s Round 4 record is 41 wins, 51 defeats, two draws (1939 and 1996) and one bye (1991). The Hawks’ best Round 4 sequence was eight consecutive wins from 1974 to 1981.
30 years ago, in Round 4 1990, Hawthorn continued its extraordinary record in its early home games against the Brisbane Bears. In 1988, at Princes Park the Hawks had won 10.20 to 2.5 and then at Waverley in 1989 won 15.16 to 4.11. In 1990, the fixture was back at Princes Park and Hawthorn won by 82 points – 18.12.120 to 5.8.38. Jason Dunstall kicked eight goals but did not receive a Brownlow vote, nor did Dean Anderson or Darrin Pritchard who both had 32 disposals. The votes went to three other outstanding performers – Andy Collins, Gary Ayres and Peter Schwab.
40 years ago, in Round 4 1980, Hawthorn made it three wins in a row, despite failing to kick a goal in the last quarter against Fitzroy at Waverley. The Hawks won 11.19.85 to 12.10.82 with John Hendrie, Leigh Matthews, Norm Goss and Michael Tuck among the best players.
Hawthorn played on 28 June five times from 1980 to 1992, but this Sunday will only be the second game on the date since then. The Hawks have won their last four matches on 28 June with wins against Gold Coast (2014), Brisbane (1992), North Melbourne (1991) and Richmond (1986). The margins in these games varied dramatically, from a four-point win, courtesy of a late Tony Hall goal, against the Bears at Carrara, to a 101-point mauling of the Tigers at the MCG.
Lance Franklin’s 13 goals in 2012 set a new club record against North Melbourne, breaking the previous high of 10 kicked jointly by Alec Albiston (1940) and Jason Dunstall (1988).
Michael Moncrieff has the best tally in Round 4, kicking nine goals at Waverley against South Melbourne in 1979.