1. Howe did Duryea do that?
Spring-heeled Magpie defender Jeremy Howe has been in fantastic form and the Hawks rated him so highly that they assigned him a defensive forward in the form of usual backman Taylor Duryea. It worked a treat in the first half, with Duryea snapping two goals and limiting Howe's renowned marking and kicking skills. Though Howe improved as the game wore on, Duryea's second major summed up Howe's afternoon, with Howe flying for a big mark and Duryea staying down and collecting the crumbs. The left-footer could have snapped another in the third term.
2. Mitchell loves playing the Pies
When the teams met in round nine, Tom Mitchell amassed a club-record 50 possessions and when he'd racked up 13 touches by quarter-time – conspicuously without a negating opponent – he was on track to surpass his own benchmark. Although he didn't keep up with record pace, the prolific left-footer remained a constant thorn in the Pies' side with a game-high 35 possessions, seven clearances and two last quarter goals, one of which was from the 50-metre line. He was one of the reasons the Hawks got 10 goals from stoppages to the Pies' two.
3. Milestone men – Pendlebury and Burgoyne
Two of the game's smoothest movers achieved significant games milestones, and neither performed up to their usual high standards. Pies skipper Scott Pendlebury reached his 250th game and was tagged by young Hawk Daniel Howe who largely nullified the five-time Copeland Trophy winner, restricting him to 21 possessions, two clearances and three goal assists. Meanwhile, Hawks veteran Burgoyne, in his 333rd game, entered the all-time top 20 for games played, and the 34-year-old champ they call 'Silk' was relatively quiet for three quarters before doing as he does by producing a big last quarter to help Hawthorn home.
4. Cox upstages Elliott
The return of Collingwood's best forward, the lively Jamie Elliott, instantly made the Pies' attack infinitely more potent but few expected big man Mason Cox to be the go-to Pie. Elliott, sporting a distinctive bottle-blond hairstyle, enjoyed a dream start with an easy goal in the opening minute but had just eight more touches and no more goals. Cox, in his first AFL game since round seven, kicked three goals by the early stages of the third term, each major coming from a contested mark. At one point the American Pie was opposed to Kiwi Kurt Heatherley – an AFL dream. Another Pie to perform well after a longer layoff was Josh Thomas (21 possessions and a goal), playing his first AFL game since 2014 after serving a two-year doping ban. When Thomas slotted an early goal, he was mobbed by his teammates.
5. McEvoy's mark that wasn't results in Pies goal
The Hawks had every right to feel aggrieved midway through the second quarter when their ruckman Ben McEvoy wasn't paid a pack mark deep in defence. McEvoy went back to contest an aerial dual and seemingly juggled the ball several times before bringing it to ground. However, there was no whistle and the ball squirted out to Collingwood star Steele Sidebottom, who caressed home a snap from 25 metres, to booing from Hawks fans. It slashed the margin to just five points after Hawthorn had earlier opened up a 24-point lead.