Melbourne Cricket Ground - Hawthorn Football Club
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Hawthorn Football Club

Hawthorn's Lance Franklin and Essendon's Cale Hooker lock horns at the MCG.Although Hawthorn has only called the MCG its home ground for a short time, the club has a wonderful history at the home of football.

From a handicap game against Melbourne in 1877 in front of 2000 people, to the four magnificent premierships in the 1980's, Hawthorn was thrilling MCG crowds long before the 'G' become its home ground in 2000.

Hawthorn's overall record at the MCG is quite remarkable considering it has been an away ground for them for so many years.

As at the start of the 2012 season the Hawks had played a total of 268 games at the 'G, with 145 victories, 122 losses and one draw since their inclusion in the competition in 1925.

Having waited 36 years for their first ever premiership, the MCG was a scene of great jubilation for Hawks fans in 1961.

Coached by the legendary John Kennedy, the Hawks faced the fearsome Bulldogs led by the imposing figure of none other then Mr Football, Ted Whitten. But the boys from Glenferrie were not intimidated and after taking the lead early in the second half, ran away to a 45-point victory.

The patience of the Hawks' fans during the early years was repaid in full in the 1970's and 80's. The Premierships of '71, '76 and '78 set up a spirit of success at the club that would take them into a golden era.

The seven straight grand final appearances of the Hawks from 1983-1989 have become MCG legend as the team tasted four Grand Final victories.

Firstly there were the Grand Final battles against Essendon, of which the Hawks took the first, but subsequently lost the next two. Then came another Premiership against Carlton, followed by the Blues' 1987 September revenge. The Hawks then trounced Melbourne by a record margin to win the 1988 flag.

Despite their considerable MCG success, the Hawks had never won back-to-back premierships up to this point. As they made yet another Grand Final in 1989, only Geelong stood in the way of a history-making performance.

The two teams had shared bad blood, on account of a highly physical encounter a few years earlier, and a rivalry that had built up during the year where Geelong had blown a 56-point lead to be overrun by the reigning premiers in a home-and-away match.

What ensued was a Grand Final that only a great ground like the MCG was fit to stage. From the opening bounce where Hawk forward Dermott Brereton was felled, the Cats were intent on belting their way to their first Premiership since 1963. One by one the Hawks went down, but they still managed to post a 37-point half-time lead. As the Cats finally started to play the ball the game began to light up.

Led by nine goals from former Hawk Gary Ablett, the Cats were storming home as the Hawks began to feel the bumps they had received earlier in the match. In the end the Hawks held on to a six-point Grand Final victory that will long be remembered as one of the best MCG games of all time.

In 1991 Hawthorn went on to become the first post-war team to win a Grand Final not played at the MCG, as they beat the West Coast Eagles at Waverley while the 'G was undergoing Great Southern Stand renovations.

Hawthorn's great MCG heritage continued in 2008, capping off a sensation season winning its 10th premiership against Geelong by 26 points in front of a massive crowd of 100,012.
 
While the heorics of 2008 haven't quite been mirrored since, Hawthorn look set to come back bigger and better than ever in the 2012 season with 13 home and away games scheduled at the MCG.


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