x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Crowds will swarm the MCG to see the Hawks and the Cats

More than 100,000 fans are expected to fill the Melbourne Cricket Ground tomorrow for the biggest Australian Rules match of the year.

More than 100,000 fans are expected to fill the Melbourne Cricket Ground tomorrow for the biggest Australian Rules match of the year. The Hawthorn Hawks play the Geelong Cats in the Australian Football League's Premiership Cup in a repeat of the 1989 match which Australians still regard as the best Grand Final of all time - where, despite nine goals from Geelong's Garry Ablett, Hawthorn won by one goal.

The Hawks' Dermott Brereton left unconscious with internal bleeding, a bruised kidney and broken ribs, but he came back on the field to kick a crucial goal. Hawks had further problems that day when John Platten suffered concussion and Robert Dipierdemenico broke his ribs and punctured a lung. Dipierdemenico bravely played on and was rewarded by lifting the Premiership Cup. He was, however, one of a number of players who spent the night in hospital.

Geelong will start tomorrow's eagerly-awaited replay as favourites. They are last year's premiers and this year's leading side. The one player they will have to keep a wary eye on though will be Hawks' Lance Franklin. Franklin, 21, has been in top form - and has been compared to the man believed by many to be the game's best-ever player, Gary Ablett senior, whose son, also Gary, will play for the Cats tomorrow. Franklin has kicked 111 goals this year - the first player to pass 100 goals in a season since Tony Lockett 10 years ago.

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