IT was billed as the coldest AFL game of the season and the forecast delivered with snow falling as Hawthorn thrashed GWS by 56 points in Canberra on Friday night.
The crowd roared as the snow began to fall at the end of the first quarter in remarkable scenes at Manuka Oval as the ‘feels-like’ temperature dipped to -7degC.
It is understood to be the first AFL game played in snow conditions but that wasn’t the only piece of history on display as the Giants slumped to their lowest score in club history.
Hawthorn won 13.7 (85) to 4.5. (29) and are now responsible for the Giants’ two lowest scores this season, and their two lowest in history.
They kept GWS to 38 points in round eight and 31 points in the club’s inaugural year in 2012.
The Giants only kicked one goal in the second half and had a single inside 50 all night as the Hawks sizzled in freezing conditions.
There were 11,741 fans who braved the cold and witnessed the historic storm, which didn’t catch the locals off guard as some in the stands sported ski goggles.
“I’ve never been to the snow, so that was my first time, it was pretty bloody cold,” Hawthorn midfielder James Sicily told Fox Footy.
Snow never blanketed the ground like the famous NRL game in Canberra between the Raiders and Wests Tigers in 2000, but there were sizeable flakes falling.
Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson famously doesn’t allow his players to wear long-sleeve jumpers and didn’t lift the ban in Canberra.
Clarkson was comically wearing shorts at the first-quarter hurdle and then a t-shirt at fulltime.
“The snow-ball – not sure it’s happened in AFL footy,” Clarkson said.
“You’ve got to play in tough conditions and we’d never played here before, so it was a super effort.
“The conditions were really tough early and the crowd were excited, they cheered when the snow was coming down.
“We prepared well for the conditions and the boys executed the game really well. Really pleased, it was a four-quarter effort.
The Hawks dominated the opening exchanges of each quarter and kicked the first three goals in every term to dent the Giants top-four aspirations.
Hawthorn shared the goals with Tim O’Brien, Luke Breust, Mitchell Lewis and Paul Paupolo all bagging doubles, while Sicily led their disposals with 33.
Coleman Medal leader Jeremy Cameron was quiet on return and booted one goal, but Toby Greene managed a game-high 38 disposals.
© AAP 2019
HAWTHORN 3.1 6.2 10.5 13.7 (85)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 2.1 4.1 4.2 4.5 (29)
Goals: Hawthorn: L Breust 2 M Lewis 2 P Puopolo 2 T O’Brien 2 C Nash C Wingard I Smith R Henderson T Scully. Greater Western Sydney: A Kennedy B Deledio J Cameron J Hately.
Umpires: Jacob Mollison, Nicholas Foot, Nathan Williamson.
Official Crowd: 11,741 at Manuka Oval.