The 2013 AFL Grand Final was an Australian rules football game contested between Hawthorn Football Club and Fremantle Football Club at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on 28 September 2013. It was the 117th annual Grand Final of the Australian Football League (formerly the Victorian Football League), staged to determine the premiers for the 2013 AFL season. The match, attended by 100,007 spectators, was won by Hawthorn by a margin of 15 points, marking the club's eleventh VFL/AFL premiership victory. Hawthorn's Brian Lake was awarded the Norm Smith Medal as the best player on the ground.
Hawthorn entered the 2013 season having lost the 2012 Grand Final to Sydney, and for most of the season was seen as the favourites for the premiership. After losing to Geelong in Round 1, Hawthorn compiled a 12-match winning streak, until this streak was ended with another loss to Geelong in Round 15. The club's only other loss came against Richmond in Round 19, and it finished with a record of 19–3 to win the minor premiership for the second consecutive year. They defeated Sydney in the qualifying final by 54 points and earned a week off. They ended an 11-match losing streak against Geelong (dating back to 2008) to win by five points in the preliminary final. The match was Hawthorn's third Grand Final appearance in six years.
Fremantle entered the 2013 season having come off a semi-final loss to Adelaide in the previous year's finals series. After winning their first two matches of the season by 28 points, the Dockers lost back-to-back matches against Essendon and Hawthorn to be 2–2 after Round 4 – this was the only time they lost consecutive matches during the season. Fremantle recorded its largest ever victory when they defeated Greater Western Sydney in Round 20, then, with a finals berth guaranteed, Ross Lyon rested half of his regular side ahead of its final regular season match against St Kilda; the result was a 71-point defeat, which marked the worst defeat in Lyon's coaching career. The team finished third at the end of the home-and-away season, and compiled a club-best record of 16–5–1. They defeated Geelong by 15 points in the first week of the finals, earning a week off and a home preliminary final. Fremantle defeated the reigning premiers, Sydney, by 25 points in the preliminary final. The match was Fremantle's first Grand Final in its history.
The two teams met once during the regular season, in Round 4 at Aurora Stadium; Hawthorn won by 42 points.
The match was televised by the Seven Network. The primary match commentary was provided by Bruce McAvaney and Dennis Cometti.
Two Australian bands, Birds of Tokyo and Hunters & Collectors performed before the game and at half time, respectively. The Australian national anthem was sung by Tina Arena.
Fremantle won the coin toss and chose to kick towards the City End of the MCG in the first quarter. However, it was Hawthorn who got off to a good start, with Jack Gunston kicking the first goal before Lance Franklin kicked the Hawks' second after Luke McPharlin gave away a 50-metre penalty. Meanwhile, Fremantle were held goalless in the opening quarter with Nathan Fyfe missing two set shots at goal.
Hawthorn kicked another two goals before Tendai Mzungu kicked the Dockers' first goal midway through the second quarter. Another goal to the Hawks saw them enter half-time 23 points ahead; Fremantle's first half score of 1.6 (12) was the lowest in a Grand Final since 1960.
After failing to capitalise on their chances in the first half, Fremantle kicked five goals in the third quarter, to twice get to within three points of the Hawks. Jarryd Roughead kicked two goals for the quarter and Jack Gunston his fourth, as Hawthorn entered the three-quarter-time break ten points ahead.
Hawthorn led by ten points at the start of the quarter and did most of the attacking. Isaac Smith, Luke Breust and Bradley Hill all kicked goals for Hawthorn as they stretched their lead to 31 points, before two late goals to Fremantle reduced the final margin to 15 points.
Hawthorn led the match from start to finish, applying pressure on the Dockers when it mattered the most. Fremantle were unable to capitalise on any of the chances they had in the first half, especially with Nathan Fyfe putting two set shots out on the full, another certain goal being touched on the line and Matthew Pavlich spraying a shot at goal nearing half-time.
Brian Lake took ten marks of which seven were intercept marks to repel the Dockers attack. He took two crucial marks in the final quarter which sealed his Norm Smith Medal win.Umpires
The umpiring panel for the Grand Final comprised nine match day umpires and three emergencies. Among the umpires were four grand final debutants: field umpire Mathew Nicholls, boundary umpires Michael Marantelli and Michael Saunders, and goal umpire Adam Wojcik.
Numbers in brackets represent the number of Grand Finals umpired; this number includes 2013 and does not include times selected as an emergency umpire.
The following Monday, the Match Review Panel adjudicated on two offences incurred by Hawthorn's Brian Lake and Cyril Rioli, both of which carried the double points loading of due to being incurred during a Grand Final. The third offence of misconduct against Fremantle's Nick Suban was referred directly to the Tribunal for assessment, which determined the incident was improper but not grievous. Suban pleaded guilty to the incident and apologized for what he felt to be an accident.