This Rising Star award is among the most hotly debated AFL honours, but the eventual winner has, for all intents and purposes, already been decided.
Hawthorn lead a wasteful Fremantle Dockers by 5.5.35 to 1.6.12 at half time of the 2013 AFL Grand Final, with forward Jack Gunston kicking three for the Hawks in the opening term.
Gunston gave Hawthorn the lead inside four minutes after marking directly in front and from the edge of the 50 he kicked truly for the first major of the afternoon.
At the other end Fremantle were showing signs of nerves. Nat Fyfe took two smart marks early before spraying both set shots and Hayden Ballantyne rushed a kick on the run that was well off target.
Lance Franklin also appeared to be wasteful when he sliced a set shot from outside 50m but was given a second crack when it was adjudged Fremantle defender Luke McParlin had moved over the mark.
Franklin had no problems with the second effort from the goalsquare, kicking the Hawks out to an 11-point lead.
Dockers midfielder Michael Barlow also had a chance in the final two minutes of the first quarter, but he too couldn’t hit and Fremantle went into the first change trailing Hawthorn 2.3.15 to 0.3.
Gunston extended Hawthorn’s lead at the beginning of the second quarter and when Lee Spurr was swarmed and caught holding the ball, Cyril Rioli made the margin an even four goals.
Ballantyne continued his poor start when he marked off a Fremantle break and overlooked an unmarked Michael Walters in a vacant goalsquare, electing to take the set show from 40m and spraying his kick out to the right.
Fremantle were finally on the board when Tendai Mzungu kicked truly from a 45-degree angle but Gunston quickly replied with his third of the half to restore Hawthorn’s 24-point lead.
Pavlich continued what was a poor half in front of goal from Ross Lyon’s side with two extremely poor efforts late in the half, giving Hawthorn a 5.5.35 to 1.6.12 lead at the main break.