1986 VFL Grand Final
Home TeamHawthorn
Away TeamCarlton
Date27 September 1986
StadiumMelbourne Cricket Ground
TV in Australia
NetworkSeven Network
 < 1985  AFL Grand Final  1987 > 

The 1986 VFL Grand Final was an Australian rules football game contested between the Hawthorn Football Club and Carlton Football Club, held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne on 27 September 1986. It was the the 90th annual Grand Final of the Victorian Football League, staged to determine the premiers for the 1986 VFL season. The match, attended by 101,861 spectators, was won by Hawthorn by a margin of 42 points, marking that club's 6th premiership win.


Hawthorn was playing it fourth successive Grand Final and had lost the last two, while Carlton was appearing in its first premiership decider since winning the 1982 VFL Grand Final. At the conclusion of the home and away season, Hawthorn had finished first on the VFL ladder with 18 wins and 4 losses. Carlton had finished third with 15 wins and 7 losses.

In the finals series in the lead-up to the game, Carlton defeated Sydney in the Qualifying Final before meeting the Hawks in the Second Semi-Final, which the Blues convincingly won by 38 points to advance to the Grand Final. Hawthorn, after this loss, defeated Fitzroy in the Preliminary Final to advance to the Grand Final. Carlton entered the game as slight favourites after their defeat of the the Hawks in the Second Semi-Final.

Hawks player Robert DiPierdomenico won the Brownlow medal in the week leading up to the game. Meanwhile, the Blues were looking to give Bruce Doull, who was retiring after the game, a winning finish to his eighteen season career.

Match summary

Team 1 2 3 Final
Hawthorn 5.6 8.8 15.9 16.14 (110)
Carlton 1.5 4.11 6.13 9.14 (68)

The Hawks jumped out of the blocks early, and by early in the second term they led by 31 points. A seven goal burst by the Hawks in the third quarter sealed their win. Hawthorn's Jason Dunstall, who was in just his second VFL season, kicked six goals to help the Hawks to victory, while Gary Buckenara kicked 4 goals for the Hawks, all in the first half of the game.

The Norm Smith Medal was awarded to Hawthorn defender Gary Ayres for being judged the best player afield. Ayres was playing on dangerous Carlton wingman David Rhys-Jones, who had been a match-winner against Hawthorn in the Second Semi-Final. Ayres, playing on the wing for the first time in five years, nullified Rhys-Jones and set up many attacking moves for the Hawks.


B: Gary Ayres Chris Langford Russell Greene
HB: Russell Morris Chris Mew Peter Schwab
C: Robert DiPierdomenico Terry Wallace Rodney Eade
HF: Gary Buckenara Dermott Brereton John Kennedy
F: Peter Curran Jason Dunstall John Platten
Foll: Greg Dear Michael Tuck (c) Richard Loveridge
Int: Paul Abbott Peter Russo
Coach: Allan Jeans
B: Wayne Harmes Bruce Doull Peter Dean
HB: Des English Jon Dorotich Peter Motley
C: David Rhys-Jones Craig Bradley Wayne Blackwell
HF: Wayne Johnston Stephen Kernahan Paul Meldrum
F: Bernie Evans Ken Hunter Mark Maclure (c)
Foll: Justin Madden Tom Alvin David Glascott
Int: Warren McKenzie Shane Robertson
Coach: Robert Walls



  • Dunstall 6
  • Buckenara 4
  • Brereton 3
  • Ayres 1
  • Curran 1
  • Russo 1


  • Meldrum 3
  • Kernahan 2
  • Evans 1
  • Glascott 1
  • McKenzie 1
  • Rhys-Jones 1


See also