1. The cavalry is coming for the Hawks
They mightn't be anywhere near their scintillating best as they hit the bye, and they might have only just recorded successive victories for the first time this season (and that being against lowly pair Gold Coast and St Kilda), but the Hawks appear to have more upside than most, and that's downright scary. Wait until they start finishing with their usual precision, both in general play with their kicking and of course on the scoreboard. And wait until they get a full complement of players back – they expect to regain Grant Birchall and Paul Puopolo after the bye and the likes of Will Langford, Matt Spangher and Ben McEvoy will also be pushing up. - Ben Collins

2. A quarter is a long time in football
Minutes before three-quarter time at Blundstone Arena and it looked for all the world like North Melbourne was set to sparkle and fade for the second week in a row. With a howling gale making the northern end almost impossible to score to and the clock ticking down on North's time with the breeze at their backs, the Eagles' 12-point lead looked telling. But then along came a three-goal burst as unlikely as a Ray Chamberlain shirt-front.

The Roos had hit the lead and they wouldn't be headed again.

In fact, by going on to kick four goals into the wind they outscored the Eagles in the final term. Winning by 10 points in such fashion allows the Kangas to believe that at 5-5 the worst of 2015 might just be behind them. - Stu Warren

3. The Bombers have gone backwards
Essendon arguably should have won an elimination final last year, but it's difficult to see the Bombers even featuring in September after their dismal display against Geelong. Certainly, it hurt not having Jobe Watson, Dustin Fletcher or David Zaharakis, but the goalless first half against the Cats was inept, and something more akin to what Carlton dished up under sacked coach Mick Malthouse. The Bombers are having huge issues kicking a winning score and if they can't upset West Coast or Hawthorn either side of the bye, it could be season over. – Travis King

4. When Travis Cloke kicks straight, Collingwood is a contender
The key forward equalled his best single-game tally with seven goals against the Demons. But he also proved he can kick accurately on the big stage, bagging seven goals straight and kicking set-shot goals from everywhere.

His dominance set up the Magpies and underlined his standing as one of the game's best forwards. If he can continue to kick at between 60 and 70 per cent accuracy the Magpies have a chance to contend for a top-four spot this season. They haven't yet beaten anyone of note except North Melbourne, but with the big forward firing they will worry any opposition.- Peter Ryan

• Big Freeze at the 'G: Stars take the plunge

5. There's life after Chris Judd for Carlton 
Carlton got a look at what life after Chris Judd holds in its loss to Adelaide and would have been heartened by what it saw. Judd was taken from the ground on a stretcher with a ruptured left anterior cruciate ligament late in the first term on Saturday and will almost certainly announce his retirement soon.

In the final three quarters, Carlton skipper Marc Murphy stepped up to fill the slack, playing his most influential game for some time to finish a clear best on ground with 36 possessions, six clearances, five tackles and four inside 50s. But the Blues would have been just as happy with the performances of youngsters Patrick Cripps and Nick Graham. Cripps again underlined that he's ready to take over the inside midfield load shouldered so manfully for so long by Judd. The 193cm midfielder had 25 possessions and a team-high eight clearances against the Crows before leaving the ground late in the game with hamstring soreness. Graham is not as advanced in his development but showed enough at the MCG on Saturday (17 disposals, four clearances and five tackles) to suggest he'll also be an important part of Carlton's midfield future. - Nick Bowen 

• After the siren: There's opportunity in Judd's exit, but the Blues must trade

6. Shane Mumford does not like being beaten
The Giants' big man has been a standout this season but lowered his colours to Bulldog Will Minson last week, but boy did he respond against the Lions. Mumford had a great battle with Stefan Martin but gave his side the advantage with 15 possessions, 10 of those contested, and had 51 hit-outs and eight tackles.

His bruising tackles and second efforts around stoppages continually inspire his teammates and Mumford should be leading the race for this year's All Australian ruck spot. - Adam Curley

7. There's fight in Port Adelaide
Full credit to the Western Bulldogs on Saturday night – they took it right up to Port Adelaide for three quarters. The game was hardly played on the Power's terms either; even taking into account Port's six-goal final term the Bulldogs still won contested possession and inside 50s.

But that only strengthens Port's showing. To coach Ken Hinkley's delight, his side managed to stick with a side whose attack on the ball was fierce – and then put them to the sword in the last quarter. There are still obvious kinks in the Power's game, but the fight's there and those kinks are gradually being ironed out. - Harry Thring

8. There's plenty of life left in Adam Goodes
With all the controversy surrounding his 'war dance' against Carlton and the booing he's copped in almost every match, it's been easy to overlook the form of Adam Goodes. It wasn't that long ago he was playing in the NEAFL with his career in limbo. But against the Suns on Saturday night, the dual Brownlow medallist showed he still had plenty to offer a fully fit Swans. His forward 50 stoppage goal in the first quarter was vintage Goodes.

The 35-year-old finished with 17 disposals, six marks and two goal assists to go along with the goal, but most of all, he showed he still had the zip around the packs and composure in space to be a solid contributor at the top level. - Michael Whiting

9. Sandi's record-breaking ruck feats don't translate to the scoreboard
Aaron Sandilands set another ruck record on Friday night against Richmond. A week after setting a new all-time hit-out record against the Crows, the Docker giant delivered a new 'hit-outs to advantage record' against Richmond. He palmed 23 balls down the throats of Docker teammates on Friday night to help establish a 51-36 clearance differential. But Freo was beaten comfortably by 27 points at home. Sandilands also had 50 hit-outs against the Western Bulldogs and the Dockers just edged home by 13 points after the Bulldogs drew level in the last quarter in round seven. - Alex Malcolm

• Who fired or flopped for your club in this weekend's state leagues? 
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