Word of the Hawthorn Hawks demise may, it appears, have been premature, particularly after the Hawks lost in Round 9 to flag contenders the Sydney Swans.
A Round 13 win against North, followed by a Round 14 win over Gold Coast, a narrow one at 12.14 (86) to 8.12 (60), has the Hawthorn side perched on top of the ladder, one victory and four points clear of the Swans, the Cats, Greater Western Sydney and the Kangaroos.
An inexplicable loss by the Cats to the St. Kilda Saints 14.9 (93) to 13.12 (90), an unexpected upset witnessed by only 10,000 Aurora Stadium spectators, worked to the Hawks benefit, as did the Crows getting the Round 14 action started with an impressive 12.28 (100) to 10.7 (67) win over the early season darlings Kangaroos that was the party scene for the entire city of Adelaide, with the Oval as the epicenter.
The other factor working in the Hawks’ favour was the Sydney Swans taking the week off, but that will disappear when the Hawks have their bye in Round 15.
It is all business from that point on, with all 18 teams playing every week as the home run to the finals gets underway in earnest.
The Hawks do have both tough and easy games on their remaining fixture, but if the Saints can ambush the Cats, the Hawks had best remain vigilant.