History was made in Canberra on Friday night as snow fell for the first time at an AFL game, and the GIANTS were held to its lowest ever score by an impressive Hawthorn that kept its own slim finals hopes alive with a superb 56-point victory in the nation's capital.
There was snow, sleet, rain, strong winds and it was slippery underfoot as the Hawks stayed in touch with eighth-placed Adelaide, putting a huge dent in the GIANTS' top four hopes with a 13.7 (85) to 4.5 (29) triumph in front of 11,741 brave fans at a freezing UNSW Canberra Oval.
The Hawks relished the conditions afoot to kick the first three goals of the contest and open up an early advantage that they were to never surrender, booting a further seven unanswered goals after half-time to add valuable percentage that could come in handy in their quest to play finals this season.
While the GIANTS are all but certain to feature in September, this loss puts a big question mark on their premiership credentials and leaves them with plenty of work to do to claim a valuable top-four position.
It was young midfielder James Worpel (31 disposals) and returning ruckman Jon Ceglar (16 possessions and 35 hitouts) that set the standard early for the Hawks, while James Sicily (33 touches), Liam Shiels (31), Issac Smith (28) and Chad Wingard (27) put the polish on the performance as the Hawks jumped to 10th with the confidence-boosting victory.
The Hawks had nine individual goalkickers in the rout, with Paul Puopolo, Mitchell Lewis, Luke Breust and Tim O'Brien all booting two against a disappointing GIANTS side that registered their lowest ever score since joining the competition in 2012.
Toby Greene (38 disposals and eight marks) tried hard all night for the hosts, but the absence of gun midfielder Stephen Coniglio (knee) and the late withdrawal of youngster Jacob Hopper (hamstring) seemed to hit Leon Cameron's side hard as the GIANTS' top four hopes suffered a massive blow and their impressive percentage took a big hit.
The Hawks lost experienced forward Jack Gunston to hamstring tightness during the warmup, but that did nothing to dampen their spirits as they booted the opening three goals of the contest - before the snow hit - to take control of the match.
Worpel was doing as he pleased in the middle of the ground and Ceglar was on top of Dawson Simpson and Shane Mumford in the ruck as the visitors led by a goal at the first change.
The snow was pouring down during the quarter-time break and the Hawks adjusted quickly to the conditions to slam on three unanswered majors to open up a four-goal break midway through the second term.
Coleman Medal leader Jeremy Cameron kicked his only goal of the night late in the stanza to ensure the GIANTS were within 13 points at the main break, but that was as good as it got for the premiership hopefuls.
Ricky Henderson slotted on the run from outside 50 to give the Hawks the perfect start to the third quarter and, with goals at a premium, the GIANTS couldn't do enough to penetrate the visitors' steely defence as the margin grew to 39 at the final break.
The final quarter was a mere procession, with Bruest and Lewis finding the big sticks again as the Hawks cruised home to keep their September dream alive.
GIANTS: Veteran Brett Deledio left the field late in the third term and didn't return to the field with the game out of reach.
Hawthorn: Mitch Lewis limped off early in the second quarter with a hip issue, but returned to the field shortly after and played out the match. The young key forward also seemed to pick up a shoulder issue during the third term.
The GIANTS hosts the Western Bulldogs at GIANTS Stadium in a Sunday afternoon contest during the penultimate round of the season, while Hawthorn returns to Melbourne to host Gold Coast at Marvel Stadium on the same day.
GIANTS 2.1 4.1 4.2 4.5 (29)
HAWTHORN 3.1 6.2 10.5 13.7 (85)
GIANTS: Kennedy, Hately, Cameron, Deledio
Hawthorn: O'Brien 2, Puopolo 2, Bruest 2, Lewis 2, Scully, Nash, Smith, Wingard, Henderson
GIANTS: Greene, Whitfield, Williams, Perryman, Taranto
Hawthorn: Worpel, Shiels, Sicily, Wingard, Smith, Ceglar
GIANTS: Jacob Hopper (hamstring) replaced in selected side by Jye Caldwell, Brett Deledio (TBC)
Hawthorn: Jack Gunston (hamstring) replaced in selected side by Conor Nash, Mitch Lewis (shoulder)
Umpires: Foot, Williamson, Mollison
Official crowd: 11,741 at UNSW Canberra Oval