Geelong's Tom Hawkins during the R7 clash with Collingwood. Picture: Getty Images

In this week's Nine things we learned, brought to you by Haier, the world's No.1 appliance maker, we find that Tom Hawkins just can't help himself, look at the numbers behind Port's gradual slide, and discover a new cult-hero Bomber. 

BARRETT D-Day looms for Hawthorn's control freaks


1. Another Hawkins brain fade could cost Cats

Not again, Tom. Ahead of a crucial clash with West Coast on Saturday night, the last thing Geelong needed was to sweat over Tom Hawkins' availability at the hands of the Match Review Officer. In a game where he kicked three of his side's six goals, Hawkins will come under scrutiny for an elbow to the head of Luke Ryan. It was a moment of frustration, but it was a moment that follows nine charges, six matches worth of suspensions and $8000 worth of fines in just four years for Hawkins. The blow will be enough to constitute low impact, the question is whether it will be graded by Michael Christian as careless or intentional conduct. Careless would warrant a fine, intentional would warrant a one-match ban. Having cost his side dearly through suspension during last year's finals series, Hawkins could be spending another crucial clash watching from the sidelines this weekend. - Riley Beveridge


2. The numbers say Ken's got something to worry about

The Power were rightfully praised for their surge into top spot but the past month must give coach Ken Hinkley some pause for thought. Both losses, including Saturday's defeat against St Kilda, came in that period, while it took a post-siren Robbie Gray special to avoid defeat against Carlton last week. Port's off-the-chart numbers from the first four rounds have mostly come back to earth. Points for (86.2 to 54.8) and against (36.5 to 66.2) went in the wrong direction, while the differentials slumped in disposals (+51.8 to -5), inside 50s (+22.8 to +2.2), contested possession (+13.2 to -5.5) and time in forward half (+13:28 to +1:46). However, the biggest concern might be scores from clearances. They were outscoring opponents from that source by 27.5 points in the opening four rounds (ranked first) but conceded 11.8 points in the past month (ranked last). Opponents are denying the Power's kick-and-catch game and their kick-to-handball ratio has subsequently plummeted. - Marc McGowan


3. Toby is the most important Giant

The Giants have a lot of A-graders. Josh Kelly, Stephen Coniglio, Lachie Whitfield, Jeremy Cameron, Tim Taranto, Nick Haynes … do we need to continue? But Toby Greene is the most important of them all. Greene is the match-winner who can do things that no one else in the competition can – and he pulled out virtually every trick in the book in a courageous 12-point victory over Richmond on Friday night. A club best and fairest winner and an All-Australian back in 2016, Greene is bettering the numbers he posted in that season. His five goals, to go with 18 disposals and eight marks against the Tigers, was another scintillating display in a season that is quietly going under the radar. He also kicked four goals from 16 disposals in a win against a fellow premiership contender in Geelong, as well as having three goals from 19 disposals in a win against another flag fancy in Collingwood. It's a pretty good CV that Greene is compiling this year. Let's hope the All-Australian judges have taken note. - Riley Beveridge


4. Carlton's Giant injection is having an influence

For a little while it was almost comical how many GWS players headed to Carlton as Stephen Silvagni raided his former club's list. But now the joke might be on the rest of the competition for missing out. Will Setterfield added to an excellent season on Saturday with 20 disposals and two goal assists and is becoming an important part of the Blues' midfield. Following a patchy first two seasons at the club, Matt Kennedy was also influential against the Kangaroos, kicking two goals amongst his 20 disposals, while Lachie Plowman added to his growing reputation with another excellent defensive display. - Michael Whiting


5. Caleb Daniel is the Bulldogs' architect

He has bigger name teammates, but Caleb Daniel is the source of so much that's good about the Western Bulldogs. Stationed at half-back, he was the cleanest player on the field at Metricon Stadium on Thursday night and a huge reason for his team's narrow win. In rainy conditions, Daniel made the ball look bone-dry. He was not only willing to take difficult kicks into the corridor to open up his team's attack, but made lightning quick decisions in congestion. It might be time opposition coaches started putting more time in the 168cm architect. - Michael Whiting 


6. There's a new cult hero at Bomberland

Essendon small forward Ned Cahill looked a bit more like his ex-Socceroos namesake Tim Cahill in just his second game. After a quiet debut against the Bulldogs, Cahill was fired up against the Crows. His first career goal came with a brilliant soccer finish off the ground and he coolly followed it up from a set shot, Essendon's only goal in a tense last quarter. Cahill's dancing celebration with Mason Redman after his first goal might have won him just as many fans as his on-field performance. - Jourdan Canil 


7. Florent ready to lead as well as flourish

He might have only turned 22 years old this week, but Oliver Florent is suddenly one of the elder statesman of an injury-hit Swans midfield that battled some renowned onballers at the SCG on Saturday. With the Hawks on the charge late in the game, the pressure was on and the surface was slippery, but Florent was one of the key Swans to step up, win hard balls and use it well. Florent had nine touches in the final quarter, six of them contested, as he played a crucial role in his young side getting over the line by seven points against a much more experienced outfit. - Martin Pegan


8. West Coast has solved its biggest selection dilemma

Oscar Allen's magnet won't be moving off Adam Simpson's whiteboard again this year. In a season in which the Eagles were searching for their best back-up to Nic Naitanui, Allen's past month has delivered them their answer. Missing in round one due to an ankle injury and dropped after round three, Allen was in the top handful of players in the Eagles' mauling of Collingwood on Sunday. The 21-year-old had 14 disposals, kicked three goals and produced an equal game-high 10 score involvements while giving Naitanui (58 per cent game time) assistance at stoppages when required. Allen's rise means Tom Hickey, Nathan Vardy and the untried Bailey Williams – all genuine ruckmen – will likely need to wait for Naitanui to be given a rest in the Eagles' fixture squeeze after round 12 before being considered for selection. - Mitch Cleary


9. Brisbane should be fine without Stefan Martin

The Lions would be better with their No.1 ruckman – who is missing for eight weeks with a stress fracture in his back – but against Melbourne showed they should be just fine without him. Although Max Gawn dominated the hitouts, and had plenty to advantage, Oscar McInerney and Archie Smith more than held their own. Brisbane's midfield got ascendancy around the stoppages in the second quarter and its ruck combination was a big reason, racking up plenty of clearances and nullifying Gawn's influence. McInerney became more prominent as the match wore on, allaying concerns Martin's omission could be tough to overcome. - Michael Whiting