Remembered for Isaac Smith’s after-the-siren miss, this game had it all and the ramifications that came as a result of the game were huge.
Leading into the game, the two sides finished the season with a 17-5 win-loss record, with the Cats finishing ahead in second place only on percentage.
These two sides had been the dominant sides of the 18-club era; with Hawthorn in the more dominant form given they had won the previous three grand finals and were gunning for a historic fourth successive flag.
The game also penned another chapter into the ‘Kennett curse’ era, where the Hawks would often beat the Cats in the more important games – in particular in finals games – yet it would be Geelong who would get the wins during the home and away season.
The Hawks had won four of their past five games heading into the clash, whilst it was Geelong who won their only clash during the season way back in round one by 30 points.
But Geelong did head into this final as favourites, given their far smoother lead-in to the finals and the backing of their round one win over their opponents.
Moving on to the game itself, it more than lived to the hype and expectation.
The game was filled with momentum swings, as the margin fluctuated between both sides yet didn’t go over three goals, so it was tight throughout.
The Hawks certainly had more of the flashier moments, with big marks to Paul Puopolo and Cyril Rioli inspiring their sides, while the Cats had their fair share themselves with critical goals from Lincoln McCarthy and Josh Caddy.
But the moment that will forever be remembered from this game was Isaac Smith’s shot on goal after the final siren.
With Hawthorn’s hopes of a four-peat lying on the kick, Smith went into his run-up with an infamous laugh and grin on his face.
The ball looked good off the boot initially, but it faded right, ultimately sending the Cats into the preliminary final and inadvertently ending Hawthorn’s premiership-winning era.
The Hawks would go on to play the eventual premiers of that season in the semi-final – the Western Bulldogs – and that loss would officially end their quest at what would have been a historic fourth premiership in a row.
The Cats, on the other hand, suffered a similar fate to the Hawks as they fell to Sydney in the preliminary final in a disappointing performance.
But Isaac Smith’s kick after-the-siren will forever be etched in footy-lovers’ minds after one of the most memorable qualifying finals in the modern era.