2008 Premiers: The Hawks

The Hawthorn Hawks won the 2008 Australian Football League Grand Final in front of a packed Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The Grand Final week was full of action, with Adam Cooney winning the Brownlow Medal, and Geelong having to stand David Wojcinski down from their team, to make way for Paul Chapman.

The game commenced with push and shove in the center square, resulting in a ball up and, eventually, a free kick to Geelong. Tom Lonegan kicked the opening goal. Hawthorn then kicked three goals in quick succession before Gary Ablett kicked a goal, thanks to two 50m penalties. At quarter time Geelong lead by one point.

The players were described by 3AW commentators as “out on their feet” due to the heat. Hawthorn was far more accurate and by the long break had a slender 3 point lead.

After half time the Cats continued to be inaccurate having 16 scoring shots for only 6 majors. Meantime the Hawks were the exact opposite having 14 shots for 10 goals. They ran out easy winners by 24 points.

Hawthorn’s Luke Hodge was the winner of the Norm Smith Medal for best afield, just edging out Geelong’s Gary Ablett. Playing as a loose defender, Hodge was instrumental in generating and directing the rebounds which Hawthorn dominated throughout the game, and in applying the defensive pressure which helped keep the Hawks in the game when the Cats’ midfield was dominating the second quarter.

2008 was seen as the one that got away. Geelong had a record home and away season with 21 wins for only 1 loss.

Australia Post released a medallion cover on the 17 November 2008.

The postmark for the medallion cover was the second of the seasonal issues. Coversplease produced a team cover along with covers for each player. The Norm Smith Medalist was Luke Hodge. Buddy Franklin was the Coleman Medalist. He kicked 102 goals. This is the last occassion that anyone has kicked the ton. Only Fraser Gehrig previously had kicked 103 in 2004 since the days of Lockett, Dunstall and Ablett when 100 goals per season was the norm.