What's worked: The Hawks changed Cyril Rioli's training regimen over summer, to build up the strength in his legs and increase his endurance and so far, so good. He missed 12 of 25 games last year but hasn't skipped a beat in 2015. He is still explosive and creates general mayhem, but he is running out games in impressive fashion. Fingers crossed it continues.

What hasn't: A feature of the 2013 and 2014 premiership campaigns was Hawthorn's clinical ability to close out close games, but this has deserted the club this year, with four defeats this year by a combined 24 points. The losses to Essendon and the Sydney Swans were particularly un-Hawthorn like and will likely haunt the team come the end of the home and away season.

Story of the season: The minute the Hawks show a bit of physicality then as sure as night follows day, 'unsociable Hawks' becomes a trending topic on Twitter and an easy headline for the footy commentariat. But it is true the Hawks are at their best when they play with an edge as long as they don't do anything as plainly stupid as did Luke Hodge and Jordan Lewis against North Melbourne earlier this year.

Best win: Last week against the Crows at Adelaide Oval. Big occasion, hostile crowd, forwards Jarryd Roughead and Jack Gunston kept scoreless, yet the Hawks controlled the game virtually throughout for a 29-point win. Seventeen goals, 13 goalkickers was the most impressive stat of the night.

Best individual performance: Forty-four possessions and two goals from skipper Hodge in the win over the Western Bulldogs in round three was good, as was James Frawley keeping Lance Franklin to seven touches and scoreless in round seven.

Brownlow leader: Hodge has probably polled the most votes of any Hawk, although he is ineligible to win it due to his brain fade against the Kangas. Sam Mitchell would be polling well once again.

The revelation: SpeedsterBilly Hartung has stepped up nicely in this, his second season to add another cog to the Hawthorn midfield. 

The missing: It has been a great year so far for the Hawks on the injury front, particularly after the carnage suffered last year. The only concern of note is an ankle injury to defender Grant Birchall that is taking its time to come right. Kaiden Brand (shoulder) is the only long-term injured player on the senior list.

Worst performance: Dreadful conversion (9.15) cost the Hawks a win against the Swans in round eight, but spotting Port Adelaide a 58-point lead in round four was really poor. The inevitable comeback came but was left too late.

Mark of the year Paul Puopolo, R1 v Geelong  

Goal of the year: Billy Hartung, R6 v GWS

Three games that shape the season
R15, Fremantle, Aurora Stadium
R16, Sydney Swans, ANZ Stadium
R20, West Coast Domain Stadium 

Fantasy Pig Jordan Lewis, average 118.1 points

Disposals Sam Mitchell (291)
Marks Josh Gibson (84) 
Contested marks Brian Lake (15) 
Goals Luke Breust (26) 
Inside 50s Luke Breust (27) 
Clearances Sam Mitchell (56)
Contested possessions Will Langford (107)

Score 7/10

- Ashley Browne

Luke Breust remains one of the Hawks' most potent forward weapons. Picture: AFL Media


What's worked: Melbourne's best is better, averaging 14 points more a game and playing attractive football at times. Against their own class they have been more than competitive and their recruiting in recent seasons has been excellent. Jesse Hogan hasn't disappointed while Jeff Garlett has made their attack dangerous. The best sign, however, has been the Demons' ability to learn from their mistakes as they experience inevitable growing pains along the way.

What hasn't? Lapses still occur and the occasional disconnect between coaches and players proved costly against Collingwood and St Kilda. When those lapses do occur the standard can drop away alarmingly, but the team has done well to maintain faith in what they are working towards. The ruck spot looked an ongoing issue until Max Gawn stepped up against Geelong and he should cement the number one spot.

Story of the season You need to be exceptional to play early on in your first season under Paul Roos and Angus Brayshaw has been just that. He shapes as a midfield star of the future and already has a good defensive game.

Best win As Geelong celebrated Corey Enright's 300th game, the Demons plotted to rain on their parade. The Cats threw challenges but Melbourne responded,  breaking the Cats' back late in the third quarter for a famous win, their first at Geelong since 2005.

Best individual performance Bernie Vince's blanketing job on former teammate Patrick Dangerfield in round three was a statement of intent. He revealed his desire to do whatever was required within the rules to win and demonstrated to teammates the mindset needed to bounce back from a poor performance.

Brownlow leader Nathan Jones earns Brownlow votes and performs well under any circumstances but his efforts in the Demons' wins this season have been particularly meritorious. Should be an All Australian contender and lead the Demons in the Brownlow after 12 rounds.

The revelation Melbourne looked at Jeff Garlett's numbers and saw a player who had not kicked fewer than 39 goals in in three of the past five seasons. The speedster has delivered, kicking 25 goals and chasing down defenders with a renewed zeal.

The missing Christian Petracca's absence has been felt merely because the prospect of adding his talent into a line-up that is starting to chug along well is enticing.

Worst performance Belted at centre bounces and in time on of each quarter against Port Adelaide in round nine, the Demons gave up a four-goal lead to lose by 61 points, moving into self-preservation as the game went on.

Mark of the year Jeremy Howe, R8 v Western Bulldogs

Goal of the year Tom McDonald, R11 v St Kilda

Three games that shape the season
R15, Essendon, MCG
R18, Collingwood, MCG
R20, Western Bulldogs, Etihad Stadium

Fantasy Pig Bernie Vince, average 93.2 points

Disposals Nathan Jones (303)
Marks Tom McDonald (82) 
Contested marks Jesse Hogan (24) 
Goals Jeff Garlett (25) 
Inside 50s Nathan Jones (57) 
Clearances Bernie Vince (60) 
Contested possessions Nathan Jones (122) 

Score 6/10

- Peter Ryan

North Melbourne

What’s worked North has played all seven of 2014's other finalists, so 6-6 is a reasonable return. The Roos also impressed in their wins over legitimate finals contenders such as Geelong, Richmond, West Coast and Greater Western Sydney. Todd Goldstein has taken his game to a new level, former Western Bulldog Shaun Higgins has proved an inspired recruit and Jack Ziebell is starting to become the on-field leader North have long thought he could be.

What hasn’t The Roos were widely touted as possible premiership contenders in the pre-season, but comprehensive losses to Hawthorn and Fremantle showed they remain a long way off the pace. North's inability to stop opposition momentum runs – highlighted most damningly in its losses to Adelaide and Collingwood – remains a concern. Long-term injuries to Nick Dal Santo and Daniel Wells have also hurt, while coach Brad Scott has been sidelined since round nine after back surgery.

Story of the season When North recruited Higgins as a free agent last year it hoped he would add class and flexibility to its best 22. The former Western Bulldog has delivered in spades this year, quickly establishing himself as a key member of the team. After playing in defence last year, Higgins has returned to his more customary forward/midfield role in 2015, where his elite foot skills have stood out. Shares the lead in North's goalkicking.

Best win North looked set to suffer its third straight loss in round 10 at Blundstone Arena when West Coast led by 12 points late in the third quarter. But the Roos won after kicking seven of the last 10 goals, the last four into a howling gale.

Best individual performance Goldstein made Brisbane Lions duo Stefan Martin and Matthew Leuenberger look second rate in North's 82-point round-two win. As well as controlling the ruck contests, Goldstein had 23 possessions, eight tackles and took seven marks (three contested).

Brownlow leader Goldstein's ruck work has been as effective as ever, but his ability to impose himself around the ground has made him the game's premier ruckman.

The revelation Robbie Tarrant's move to defence has been a success. Has held his own against star spearheads such as Tom Hawkins, Jarryd Roughead and Travis Cloke.

The missing Long-term injuries to Dal Santo (hamstring) and Wells (Achilles tendon) have hit North hard. The Roos regained Dal Santo in round 12, but Wells remains sidelined indefinitely. Key defender Nathan Grima has yet to return from pre-season back surgery and Leigh Adams' future remains clouded as he battles the side-effects of repeated concussions. The development of 2012 first-round draftee Taylor Garner has been hindered by his slow rehabilitation from hamstring-hip injuries and a recent broken thumb.

Worst performance North could scarcely have started 2015 more limply than it did against Adelaide in round one. Widely seen as a possible 2015 premiership contender, the Roos' credibility took a massive hit as the Crows romped to an embarrassingly easy 77-point win. 

Mark of the year Lindsay Thomas, R7 v Essendon

Goal of the year Lindsay Thomas, R6 v Richmond

Three games that shape the season
R15, Geelong, Etihad Stadium
R22, Western Bulldogs, Etihad Stadium
R23, Richmond, Etihad Stadium.

Fantasy Pig Todd Goldstein, average 106.1 points

Disposals: Brent Harvey (288)
Marks: Drew Petrie (88)
Contested marks: Todd Goldstein (17)
Goals: Shaun Higgins, Lindsay Thomas (22)
Inside 50s: Jack Ziebell (46)
Clearances: Ben Cunnington (92)
Contested possessions: Ben Cunnington (173)

Score 5.5/10

- Nick Bowen

North's twin towers of Drew Petrie and Todd Goldstein have impressive this season. Picture: AFL Media

Port Adelaide

What's worked The club's tackling has been sensational and is ranked second in the competition behind the Western Bulldogs, averaging 73 a game. The Power has also been a genuine force at stoppages, with only Fremantle winning more clearances around the ground. The recruitment of Nathan Krakouer appears to have been a success and with another pre-season behind him Port would hope to see the best of the smooth mover next year.  

What hasn't The running game that left opposition teams in their wake last year hasn't been produced in 2015, with Hinkley continually driving the need to be bolder when in possession. Players have been criticised internally for complacency after a stellar 2014 campaign and pre-season talk of 'going one further' has shifted under the weight of failed expectation. Port's speed of ball movement has slowed significantly and as a result their scoring opportunities have dried up.

Story of the season Having walked out on the Power to join Gold Coast in 2010, it took serious guts for Krakouer to return to Alberton at the start of 2014. He spent a year in the SANFL and was then re-drafted by the club as a rookie. A strong summer proved he was ready for another chance at the top, which he received in round three.

Best win Desperately needing four points, the Power looked in for another tough day when Melbourne kicked out to a four-goal lead in round nine. But Port responded with six unanswered goals before putting the Demons to the sword in a 61-point thrashing.

Best individual performance Brad Ebert started the year in outrageous fashion, amassing 34 disposals, 14 marks and seven tackles against Fremantle in round one. He also kicked a goal and assisted two others. Port lost, but Ebert's was an amazing individual show.

Brownlow leader Ebert has had no worries finding possession this season and is ranked second at the club for marks.

The revelation Jack Hombsch has been superb this year, shouldering significant responsibility down back. Would be high on the best and fairest leaderboard.

The missing A stress fracture in the navicular bone of Jared Polec's foot has proven particularly damaging. Port has severely missed his run and carry since round five, as well as his delivery into the forward line. The absence of Ollie Wines (wrist) for a month also hurt, as did that of Jackson Trengove (ankle) and Patrick Ryder (Achilles). Matthew Lobbe had a delayed start to the year and Kane Cornes retired as the club's best tagger.

Worst performance After a disappointing loss to West Coast at home in round six, Port was hot favourites against the bottom-placed Brisbane Lions. But to their fans' horror the Power barely fired a shot, failing by 37 points.

Mark of the year Chad Wingard, R11 v Geelong

Goal of the year Hamish Hartlett, R4 v Hawthorn

Three games that shape the season
R14 v Sydney Swans, SCG
R15 v Collingwood, Adelaide Oval
R16 v Adelaide; Adelaide Oval.

Fantasy Pig Brad Ebert, average 110.33

Disposals Travis Boak (310)
Marks Justin Westhoff (86)
Contested marks Justin Westhoff (15) 
Goals Chad Wingard (26)
Inside 50s Travis Boak/Robbie Gray (44)
Clearances Robbie Gray (94)
Contested possessions Robbie Gray (159)

Score 4/10

- Harry Thring


What’s worked Slowing down and using the ball in a more considered way has worked wonders for the Tigers this season. Previously out of their depth when playing tempo footy, it's been the thing that has got their season back on track, controlling the ball and playing with patience. This style has been aided by three tall forwards, including Jack Riewoldt further up the ground. Giving Shaun Grigg an expanded ball-winning role has helped the midfield depth.

What hasn’t Playing a ballistic style early in the season that was typified by playing on and kicking to dangerous areas with high risk and reward. As a result the Tigers leaked goals from turnovers, most notably against North Melbourne in round six. It looked good when it worked late last year, but it rarely did this year. The jury is still out on Steve Morris' move to the forward line, sacrificing his effectiveness as a small defender.

Story of the season There has been a weekly focus on key defender Alex Rance after it emerged the All Australian was considering walking away from the game at the end of his current contract to pursue other interests. The story started with Fremantle looming as a new home for the potential free agent, but walking away from the game became a real option in April. He re-signed this week, prompting a mass sigh of relief at Punt Road Oval.

Best win The Tigers travelled to Perth in round 10 and beat the ladder leading Fremantle by 27 points in a staggering upset. It was their fourth straight win, getting their season back on track after a 2-4 start.

Best individual performance Trent Cotchin's leadership was questioned early this season, but he silenced his doubters with a great fourth quarter in round five that got his team over the line against Collingwood by five points. He was at every contest willing the ball forward. 

Brownlow leader Dustin Martin (27.6 possessions a game) has been building well this season, highlighted by his certain vote-getting performance against West Coast on Friday night.

The revelation Third-year Tiger Kamdyn McIntosh made a superb debut in round one against Carlton (23 possessions and nine marks) and has played every game since. 

The Missing Vice-captain Brett Deledio has missed four games, Richmond losing three of those. The star Tiger's value was obvious from the moment he returned to top form against Collingwood, prompting his team's recovery. Midfielder Reece Conca has struggled to get back from a hamstring injury, with speedster Nathan Foley sidelined indefinitely with a knee injury. The Tigers would love to have a fit Chris Knights up and running, but another hamstring injury has restricted him.  

Worst performance In round six the Tigers travelled to Tasmania to face North Melbourne already under pressure. They conceded 92 points from turnovers and lost by 35 points, heaping pressure on coach Damien Hardwick and prompting public backings of the coach by CEO Brendon Gale.

Mark of the year Ben Griffiths, R4 v Melbourne

Goal of the year Dustin Martin, R12 v West Coast

Three games that shape the season
R19, Adelaide, Adelaide Oval
R21, Collingwood, MCG
R23, North Melbourne, Etihad Stadium

Fantasy Pig Brandon Ellis (107)

Disposals Brandon Ellis (305)
Marks Jack Riewoldt (75)
Contested Marks Jack Riewoldt (18)
Goals Jack Riewoldt (28)
Inside 50s Dustin Martin (48)
Clearances Trent Cotchin (62)
Contested possessions Trent Cotchin (143)
Score 5.5/10

– Nathan Schmook

St Kilda

What's worked In Alan Richardson's second year, the players have embraced his game-plan and are able to apply pressure for longer. Billy Longer as No.1 ruckman has worked while increased responsibility to David Armitage and Jack Steven in the midfield has paid off. Trust in young players Jack Lonie, Jack Sinclair and Daniel McKenzie has unearthed talent capable of standing up at senior level while Dylan Roberton's strong pre-season has improved his form in defensive roles.

What hasn't Unveiling No.1 draft pick Paddy McCartin in round three appeared too soon as the forward struggled for a touch. He was better the following week against Carlton, but hasn't been seen at senior level since and has been learning his craft in the VFL. Having Adam Schneider and Sinclair as rookies has become an inconvenience, with both playing good football early on but being forced back to the rookie list with players returning from long-term injuries.

Story of the season Four wins from 11 is a great effort given many commentators tipped that the Saints would battle to win just one. Their membership has improved, with the club surpassing last year's tally in April, they've picked up three new sponsors and signed up a host of young players plus Steven, and they finally look to be headed back to Moorabbin. All are positive outcomes despite an expected year of gloom.

Best win  After falling 55 points behind the Western Bulldogs in the third quarter in round six, a remarkable performance from Armitage and four second-half goals from Jack Billings saw the Saints storm home to an unlikely seven-point victory. 

Best individual performance Armitage was devastating against the Dogs. He racked up a career-high 45 disposals, 16 contested, and won eight clearances. It prompted Richardson to praise his commitment to shed weight and become "the man" after Lenny Hayes' retirement.

Brownlow leader Armitage. Trailed off slightly before the bye but led the Saints' midfield before that with a string of commanding performances.

The revelation Josh Bruce. Drafted to the Saints as a defender, he leads their goal-kicking and has stood up as a new forward line target.

The missing While Bruce has been good, Nick Riewoldt's absence has been felt in some games. He's played seven – including the four wins – and wasn't there when they suffered big losses to Collingwood, Carlton, Adelaide (concussed early on) and West Coast. They've been able to plug other holes made by injuries and enter the second half of the season with an almost full list to pick from, with Sam Gilbert finally back from a long-term foot issue.

Worst performance They've twice snared wins in Queensland only to lose the following week. In round three it was to Collingwood by 74 points and then to Hawthorn by 63 in round 10, and in both they were disappointing in contested ball.

Mark of the year Josh Bruce, R1 v Greater Western Sydney

Goal of the year Nick Riewoldt, R10 v Hawthorn

Three games that shape the season
R13, Western Bulldogs, Etihad Stadium
R14, Essendon, Etihad Stadium
R19, Fremantle, Etihad Stadium

Fantasy Pig Jack Steven, average 116.55 points

Disposals David Armitage (339)
Marks Sean Dempster (73) 
Contested marks Josh Bruce (22) 
Goals Josh Bruce (29) 
Inside 50s Jack Steven (64) 
Clearances David Armitage (74) 
Contested possessions David Armitage (143) 

Score 7/10

- Jennifer Phelan

Sydney Swans

What's worked Two big forwards. Kurt Tippett hasn't set the world on fire in 2015, but he's formed a good relationship with Lance Franklin inside the Swans' forward 50. Having a fit Tippett has also allowed the Swans to use him as the team's second ruckman, making them more mobile and dangerous. Tippett has kicked 21 goals for the year, while Buddy has scored 34, and the pair have caused plenty of spillage for small forwards like Isaac Heeney and Ben McGlynn.

What hasn't Lewis Jetta's move to defence. He was tipped to be Nick Malceski's successor and has all the tools to be a devastating defender, with electrifying pace and a penetrating kick. The West Australian spent time in the backline pre-season, but the Swans haven't pulled the trigger on a permanent move since, with co-captain Jarrad McVeigh, Nick Smith and Rhyce Shaw preferred as the club's small defenders.

Story of the season Adam Goodes. He was the sub, then dropped himself, played NEAFL then resurrected his career, but it was an indigenous war dance in round nine that sent the footy world into a frenzy. Lost in all of this is the fact that the dual Brownlow medallist is in cracking form.

Best win In round eight the Swans did what they failed to do in the 2014 decider against the Hawks. They were hard and tough and showed they'd be in contention again with a gritty four-point win over the premiers.

Best individual performance Luke Parker's 31 touches, five goals, 11 marks and five tackles against Geelong in round seven. It was a monster performance from the Swans' young leader.

Brownlow leader Dan Hannebery. The 2013 All Australian has been a consistent star, week after week for the Swans. Averaging 30 disposals and five tackles per game.

The revelation Dane Rampe. With Nick Malceski gone, the left footer has established himself as the Swans' best rebounding defender. Has racked up 58 touches and 26 marks in his past two games.

The missing Isaac Heeney. Missed the past five games with a knee after starting the season on fire as the AFL's most talked about first-year player. The academy product had formed an important combination with Lance Franklin before going down, and the Swans will want him back in as soon as he gets some touch in the NEAFL. Speedy midfielder Ben McGlynn has played just six games this season thanks to a couple of hamstring strains.

Worst performance Heavy rain at the SCG against the Western Bulldogs in round four should have suited the home side, but they were outworked and lost by four points in a massive upset.

Mark of the year Sam Reid, R8 v Hawthorn

Goal of the year Luke Parker, R3 v GWS

Three games that shape the season
R16, Hawthorn, ANZ Stadium
R17, West Coast, Domain Stadium
R20, Collingwood, SCG

Fantasy Pig Dan Hannebery, average 108.1 points

Disposals Dan Hannebery (335)
Marks Dane Rampe (63)
Contested marks Heath Grundy (13)
Goals Lance Franklin (34)
Inside 50s Dan Hannebery (58)
Clearances Josh Kennedy (77)
Contested possessions Josh Kennedy (163)

Score 8.5/10

- Adam Curley

Dan Hannebery has been hit hard and hit often this year but has always bounced back. Picture: AFL Media

West Coast

What's worked Nearly everything has gone right for West Coast since a humiliating round three loss to Fremantle. The Eagles have won eight of nine since then. The midfield has been outstanding after many questions surrounded the Eagles' depth in that area at the start of the season. Nic Naitanui has starred in the ruck and the forward line has kicked big scores without Jack Darling, while the defence has held firm minus Eric Mackenzie and Mitch Brown.

What hasn't Very little hasn't worked for the Eagles, but one disappointment is that Scott Lycett hasn't had the season the Eagles were hoping for after he signed a four-year deal at the end of last season. The upside is that Callum Sinclair has stepped up in his place and Lycett will be made to earn a recall.

Story of the season The Eagles' ability to overcome the loss of their two best key defenders has been extraordinary. Many wrote their season off after Mackenzie, the reigning best and fairest winner, and Brown both suffered ACL injuries prior to round two. But the defence has been outstanding in their absence, led by Will Schofield and youngster Jeremy McGovern.

Best win Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval in round six announced the Eagles' arrival, but beating Richmond at the MCG off two consecutive six-day breaks confirmed their legitimacy.

Best individual performance There have been some great performances but it's hard to go past Josh Kennedy's 10 goals against Carlton in round two.

Brownlow leader Matt Priddis will be hard-pressed to win back-to-back Brownlows given Nat Fyfe's form, but he will poll strongly again.

The revelation Elliot Yeo has been one of the finds of the year moving into the midfield after playing most of his career to date in defence.

The missing Mackenzie and Brown seemed huge losses at the time of their injuries but they have scarcely been missed. Hardly anyone has remembered that Beau Waters retired at the start of the year. Darling and Xavier Ellis were also absent for the first 10 rounds, but the Eagles were on a winning roll without them and they have both slotted back in seamlessly.

Worst performance The Eagles were exposed badly in their round-three loss to Fremantle, where they were blown away in the first half. But Fremantle did the same thing to the Sydney Swans a week later.  

Mark of the year Nic Naitanui, R9 v Geelong

Goal of the year Elliot Yeo, R6, Port Adelaide

Three games that shape the season
R17, Sydney Swans, Domain Stadium
R19, Hawthorn, Domain Stadium
R20, Fremantle, Domain Stadium

Fantasy Pig Andrew Gaff, average 103.8 points

Disposals Matt Priddis (363)
Marks Josh Kennedy (85) 
Contested marks Jeremy McGovern (19)
Goals Josh Kennedy (46) 
Inside 50s Andrew Gaff (52) 
Clearances Matt Priddis (90)
Contested possessions Matt Priddis (183) 

Score 8.5/10

- Alex Malcolm

Andrew Gaff has had the ball seemingly on a string during the Eagles' resurgence. Picture: AFL Media

Western Bulldogs

What's worked Luke Beveridge's 'fast footy' game plan has been embraced by the players and seen the Dogs' performances improve dramatically. The rookie coach has seen his team find the right balance between defence and attack. Robert Murphy's appointment as skipper was an inspired choice, with the 32-year-old's love of the game and club spreading quickly throughout his young team. Jordan Roughead's move from the backline to ruck and Liam Picken's transformation from dour tagger to attacking midfielder have also been telling. Big-money recruit Tom Boyd and 2014 draftees Lukas Webb, Bailey Dale and Toby McLean have all impressed.

What hasn't Coming from such a low base in 2014, the Dogs haven't had too many things go wrong. Ayce Cordy was preferred to Will Minson in the ruck for six weeks, but failed to take his chances. The only thing that would frustrate supporters has been the Dogs' inability beat sides below them (St Kilda and Melbourne) while knocking off most of the top eight sides.

Story of the season With many pundits predicting another bottom four finish, the Bulldogs' early season resurgence captured the imagination of the competition. While they've tapered off a touch in the past month, the young Dogs (the AFL's third youngest list) are playing a much better balanced and far more attractive brand of footy than they did under Brendan McCartney.

Best win Pitted against a hardened and in-form Swans outfit on a soggy SCG in round five, the Dogs pulled off the upset of the season. The young pups found themselves behind on the scoreboard numerous times, but fought back to record a memorable four-point win.

Best individual performance It's hard to go past Liam Picken's 33 possessions (17 contested) and 11 tackles in the win over the Swans.

Brownlow leader Hard to split Robert Murphy and Easton Wood, both of whom have been nearly impenetrable across half-back.

The revelation Injuries have stymied his progress in recent years, but Wood is now one of the league's best rebounding defenders. He's second in the competition for intercept marks and third for intercept possessions.

The missing A season-ending knee injury to reigning best and fairest Tom Liberatore in the NAB Challenge was a savage blow to a side looking to regenerate after a tumultuous off-season. And in one of the most heartbreaking stories of 2015, youngster Clay Smith tore his ACL in right knee for third time in two years in round six.

Worst performance The round eight capitulation to Melbourne  was a day of disgrace for the Dogs. Listless for most of the match, the Bulldogs never really got going and the Demons ran out 39-point winners.

Mark of the year Easton Wood, R10 v Port Adelaide

Goal of the year Jake Stringer, R12 v Brisbane Lions 

Three games that shape the season
R13, St Kilda, Etihad Stadium
R14, Carlton, Etihad Stadium
R15, Gold Coast, Cazaly Stadium

Fantasy Pig Luke Dahlhaus, average 101.5 points

Disposals Luke Dahlhaus (271)
Marks Easton Wood (68) 
Contested marks Easton Wood (17) 
Goals Jake Stringer (25) 
Inside 50s Marcus Bontempelli (49) 
Clearances Mitch Wallis (47) 
Contested possessions Luke Dahlhaus (130) 

Score 7.5/10

- Ryan Davidson