If the unsociable Hawks weren’t back on the agenda during the first four rounds, they certainly were after Round 5.
Luke Hodge and Jordan Lewis landed big hits that would have looked right at home in the ’70’s. Meanwhile, North Melbourne’s 1975 premiership team – which was celebrating the 40th anniversary of its Grand Final victory over Hawthorn – could only watch on as the Hawks stormed over the top of the Kangaroos by 10 goals.
Though the Hawks were clearly happy with the result, we’re unlikely to see similar actions in coming weeks.
“They let everyone down,” Sam Mitchell said after the match.
“They were the first ones to put their hands up and say, ‘sorry boys, it won’t happen again’.”
The ferocious Bulldogs have featured in this column in previous weeks, but are playing the sort of footy that’s just impossible to ignore. After dismantling the Crows with silky, lightning-quick ball movement at Etihad Stadium last week, the young Dogs showed incredible grit and character in their victory over the Sydney Swans on Saturday.
You’re unlikely to see a more desperate last few minutes of a home and away match.
In the next nine weeks, the Bulldogs are likely to go into matches against St Kilda (twice), Melbourne, Greater Western Sydney, Brisbane, Carlton and Gold Coast as favourites. Who would have thought the Doggies would have emerged as a new finals contender?
The Brisbane Lions are the only side yet to register a win for 2015, and there’s no doubt supporters would be frustrated watching the performances of the five players who left the club at the end of 2013.
Sam Docherty’s form has been solid even as the Blues have performed poorly, Jared Polec’s run and carry is becoming a vital part of Port Adelaide’s arsenal and Elliot Yeo was best afield in the West Coast Eagles’ 87-point romp over Greater Western Sydney.
— West Coast Eagles (@WestCoastEagles) May 3, 2015
Elsewhere, Patrick Karneszis has played in two wins since making his Collingwood debut in Round 3, and St Kilda’s Billy Longer sits behind only Todd Goldstein and Sam Jacobs in hitouts for 2015.
It feels like a long time ago that Mick Malthouse broke Jock McHale’s coaching record. Unfortunately, the Carlton narrative took a turn away from the coach’s monumental achievement almost as soon as his side took to the field on Friday night.
Though the Blues – with just one win for the season – haven’t started the season the way they would’ve liked, there’s plenty of time to turn it around. Just ask the Tigers of 2014. There’s no doubt Malthouse has found himself in tougher situations throughout his 30-year coaching career.