1. Tom Mitchell is too good to be ignored
Surely we're past the point of questioning Tom Mitchell's impact. Within six minutes, the Brownlow medal fancy had four disposals – all clean centre clearances – while Bailey Banfield minded Jaeger O'Meara. Banfield was shifted to Mitchell early in the first term but it made little difference. The 25-year-old went about his business tallying 42 possessions (17 contested), nine marks, seven clearances, five centre clearances, eight inside 50s, five tackles and two goals on his way to what could – and should – be another three votes. It's the 10th time Mitchell has topped 40 touches this season and he's increased his goal-kicking output as well. O'Meara and Isaac Smith are damaging but Mitchell is something else. He's worth the attention.
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2. Can Breust grab a Coleman?
Ben Brown remains a fair way in front, but don't write Luke Breust out of your Coleman Medal calculations. Breust notched another four goals on Sunday and sits just eight majors behind Brown with 45 for the year. The 27-year old connects with his midfielders as well as anyone in the League and knows where to run before his teammates even have the ball. Breust comfortably outpointed many of his multiple opponents in space and converted his opportunities the way few can. It's not as if we haven't seen it before – since making his debut in 2011, the Temora product has kicked more than 30 goals in every season he's played. A second All Australian jumper beckons.
3. Hawthorn is in the mix
If they play like they did against Fremantle, the seventh-placed Hawks are a genuine chance to state their case in September. Alastair Clarkson's men were clinical in space and monopolised the ball the way they did during their golden run between 2013-2015. Even after Dockers coach Ross Lyon flagged the prospect of restricting Hawthorn's space, the likes of Mitchell and Isaac Smith were consistently able to find room to move before cleanly dishing the ball off. They've got a bit of work to do yet, with challenging fixtures against Essendon (MCG), Geelong (MCG) and Sydney (SCG) to come. But they're riding high on confidence and boast a fit list that's been to the big dance before. Watch this space.
4. Freo is its own worst enemy
It would be unfair to question the Dockers' work-rate, while it's easy to forget how young their list is. There are a raft of promising players emerging and at times Lyon's men look lethal on the rebound. But these factors count for nothing if Fremantle can't hit its targets. On too many occasions, the Dockers looked to have Hawthorn's backline on a plate before butchering the ball and allowing their opponents back in the contest. And teams as good as Hawthorn don't need a second invitation. There is no shortage of contributing factors – the Hawks' pressure as a starting point – but whichever way you dice it, Freo's ball use needs to drastically improve before it contends again.
5. Hawks break their travelling duck
Before Sunday, Hawthorn had won just three of six games interstate – all at home-away-from-home Launceston. Their 59-point win against Fremantle will be welcomed before finals, given the chance they'll have to travel interstate should they qualify. The Hawks have now claimed victory in 11 of their past 12 matches against the Dockers with margins greater than 50 points on six occasions. Ouch.