HAWTHORN and Greater Western Sydney have played out a thrilling draw in Launceston, with a late goal from the Hawks' Will Langford giving the Giants their second stalemate in a row.
GWS trailed by 15 points heading into the final term and looked to be on track for a comeback win with a six-goal fourth quarter at University of Tasmania Stadium on Saturday.
But the Hawks had other ideas, rallying late to steal a 14.13 (97) to 15.7 (97) at the death.
Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson was in good spirits after the match, no doubt pleased by the resilience his side had shown to bounce back so strongly after looking like being overrun by the Giants in a frantic final term.
"(It’s) the old Maxwell Smart, isn’t it? Missed it by that much," he said.
"To be two goals down late in the game and for us to keep fighting it out and find a way to draw the game at that point in time, as I said, if the game goes for a second longer, we win."
There were moments of confusion at full time as Hawthorn players appealed for a rushed behind only to be denied, with the umpires ruling the siren had sounded before the ball crossed the line.
GWS Leon Cameron was clearly finding the result difficult to swallow immediately after the game.
"We obviously had a pretty good second quarter, a good last quarter, they dominated the third, it ebbed and flowed," he said.
"To be 13 points up with six minutes to go, with all the momentum, and then come home with a draw is disappointing.
"It is what it is."
It's the second two-point result in a row for the Giants, who drew with Geelong in round 15.
The last time a VFL/AFL team had consecutive draws was in 1921 when Carlton had two-straight stalemates in rounds four and five. The Blues went on to lose the Grand Final that year.
Collingwood and St Kilda are the last teams to have two draws in a season, which included the 2010 Grand Final.
It's the Hawks' 11th draw in their history and the first at University of Tasmania Stadium.
Langford's final major was one of three for the day and fellow Hawks Luke Breust, Taylor Duryea and Ricky Henderson kicked two each.
Giants big man Jonathon Patton booted five goals, including the score that gave his side a one-point lead in the final quarter.
He was backed up by Tom Scully and Devon Smith, who kicked two apiece.
At their home away from home, Hawthorn trailed 51-42 at half-time but fought back in a stirring third quarter.
Ball magnet Tom Mitchell finished with a game-high 39 disposals for Hawthorn ahead of Giants trio Josh Kelly (34), Callan Ward (32), Dylan Shiel (31).
The result means GWS stay second on the ladder.
Adelaide hangs on to top spot after their demolition of the Western Bulldogs.
Hawthorn: The Hawks fly home to Melbourne with a clean bill of health.
Greater Western Sydney: Star midfielder Josh Kelly appeared to damage his ankle during the final term, spending time with the trainers on the bench, but given he returned to boot a vital goal late in the piece the damage doesn’t appear to be too serious.
Hawthorn take on Geelong in the early match at the MCG on Saturday afternoon and will go in with plenty of confidence given their form and resilience in recent weeks.
The Giants have a stern test in the shape of hometown rivals Sydney who will travel across town to Spotless Stadium looking to get one over the misfiring Giants on Saturday night.
HAWTHORN 5.2 6.6 11.12 14.13 (97)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 5.1 8.3 10.3 15.7 (97)
Hawthorn: Langford 3, Breust 2, Henderson 2, Duryea 2, Mitchell, O’Brien, Roughead, Stewart, Burgoyne
Greater Western Sydney: Patton 5, Smith 2, Scully 2, Whitfield, Lobb, Mzungu, Cameron, Ward, Kelly
Hawthorn: Mitchell, Sicily, McEvoy, Hartung, Burgoyne, Burton
Greater Western Sydney: Patton, Ward, Kelly, Shiel, Tomlinson, Scully
Greater Western Sydney: Josh Kelly (ankle)
Umpires: Stevic, Stephens, Mitchell
Official crowd: 12,156 at University of Tasmania Stadium