Saturday night's loss to North Melbourne could well have been James Frawley's last foray in the red and blue. A cloud of speculation has followed Melbourne defender James Frawley since he announced he would delay contract negotiations earlier this year. There have been reports suggesting the versatile Demon has demanded an asking price of $700,000 a year with Geelong, Hawthorn and Gold Coast the clubs in the hunt for his services. However the Cats appear to be the front runners to secure the 25-year-old free agent with reports in the last 24 hours that Geelong is willing to offer him a five-year deal worth around $500,000 a season. In potentially his final game for the Dees, Frawley was one of their best, restricting Kangaroos spearhead Drew Petrie to 13 disposals and one goal.
Click here for full match coverage
2. Hot competition for spots
Kangaroo Lachie Hansen's finals campaign could be in doubt after he was subbed out at half time with hip soreness. He had missed the past three weeks with a groin injury. To make matters worse, Leigh Adams was taken off the field with a concussion in the third term and didn’t appear for the rest of the game, while defender Nathan Grima hobbled through the game with a left quad complaint. With five changes to the North Melbourne side on Saturday night, there were several players fighting to prove their worth for September. In and out of the side in the second half of the year, defender Aaron Mullett isn't assured a place in finals, and the 22-year-old didn't help his cause making several howlers in defence that cost his side goals. School boy, Kayne Turner in his third AFL game is on his way to earning a finals berth after a magnificent game in which he booted four goals. While debutant Mason Wood was impressive, kicking three goals in his first game, and looks like a real talent for the future.
Finals: read the week one fixture
3. Etihad Curse
It's been a long time since the Demons tasted success at Etihad Stadium, seven years to be exact. They've now lost their past 20 games at the venue, having last won there in round 19, 2007 against the Western Bulldogs. Melbourne's record against the Kangaroos isn't that crash hot either, the loss on Saturday was their 13th consecutive defeat. Despite the 30-point loss, it was the Demons highest score in 2014, previously 91 points was their best tally coming against Richmond in round nine. All in all, it has been a fairly woeful season for the Demons. There have been glimpses of hope for the red and blue faithful in 2014, their best wins coming in round seven against the Crows at Adelaide Oval and round 13 against the Bombers. But since beating Essendon they haven't been able to get over the line, losing their final 10 games for the season.
4. Knee Gawn?
Unlucky Demons ruckman Max Gawn was subbed out of the game in the second term after sustaining yet another knee (right) injury. He spent the rest of the game looking on from the bench with a pair of crutches by his side. While the extent of the injury isn't yet known, it doesn't bode well for Gawn who has already had his right knee reconstructed twice. The first time was in his draft year in 2009 and then again in the 2012 pre-season.
5. Dawes under fire
Melbourne key forward Chris Dawes could be looking at an extended break after a high bump on Andrew Swallow. Just before three-quarter time, Dawes opted to bump late, his shoulder connecting with the head of the North Melbourne skipper. Dazed briefly, Swallow was able to play out the rest of the game but Dawes is sure to come under the scrutiny of the Match Review Panel on Monday and could very well miss the first few games of season 2015. It didn't get better for the fiery forward in the final term, who was involved in a melee after pushing over Jack Ziebell and continued to have words with Roos' defender Scott Thompson.