Hawthorn look the best side going into September, but there is still a roadblock to encounter – Geelong.
Since the 2008 Grand Final, Geelong has defeated the Hawks the past nine times by an average of eight points. Unsurprisingly, this shows that the margins between the two sides have been incredibly close, with the largest being a 32-point win in last year’s Qualifying Final.
Hawthorn and Geelong’s two clashes this year have been decided by just two points, despite Hawthorn being in seemingly better form at the time. This brings up what many footy fans refer to as “Kennett’s curse”, who argued that after the 2008 Grand Final, the Hawks would have a mental edge over their feline counterparts.
Nine losses later, and the Hawks are the ones who can’t seem to find a way to defeat the Cats.
With Geelong likely to be facing elimination in the first week, it would not be surprising for Hawks fans to be donning the blue and white in a bid to eliminate the Cats from the premiership race.
Since its capitulation at the hands of Richmond in Round 9, Hawthorn has won eleven of the past twelve matches. Despite this unbelievable good form, the Hawks still couldn’t knock over the Cats, who had been belted by Collingwood three weeks prior, who in turn lost to the Hawks the following week.
If Geelong were to be eliminated, it is hard to see the Hawks faltering. While other sides such as Sydney and Adelaide have shown good form, Hawthorn seem to have the home final stitched up and as such, will have no need to travel interstate for the remainder of the season.
On the other hand, a home Preliminary Final against the Cats would leave Alistair Clarkson with a few sleepless nights, so many Hawks fans will be hoping the sooner the Cats are out, the better.
On form, it would be surprising for the Hawks not to be saluting in September, with only an out-of-sorts Collingwood likely to mount a challenge on the MCG, and even then the Magpies don’t look likely to make it that far.
Hawthorn should win the premiership, but it will either have to break “Kennett’s curse” or hope the Cats aren’t around when it comes to the pointy end of the finals series.