So North Melbourne is continuing their stretch of playing teams toward the top of the table. They battled hard but fell against a Hawthorn team that seems to be rounding into form a little bit.
Something I can't shake when watching the Hawks is that they just keep coming and coming. They are very steady and very cool when other sides are bringing their best, such as the Kangaroos did in round 13. It reminds me of watching Hawthorn early in season 2016 vs. Western Bulldogs, who are an up and coming side with aspirations. They brought their best, but the Hawks got it done. They're very professional and know what to do and how to do it when it matters most. It was a fun match to watch, but... Hawthorn just keeps doing what they do winning by nine points, taking advantage of North's inability to kick straight.
Fremantle is probably already playing for 2017, as they are trying to fit some new pieces into place. Ruckman Aaron Sandilands has been out for a while and reigning Brownlow Medalist Nat Fyfe is out for the season with a broken leg. These are two key players for the Dockers, along with forward Matthew Pavlich, who is nearing retirement. Freo started 2016 by losing their first 10 games. Port was trying to hold on to stay within shouting distance of the eight.
You would have trouble knowing which side was at the bottom of the ladder and which was battling for a playoff spot-- Fremantle won their third in a row, defeating the 2004 Premiers by 17 points.
Round 14 sees the start of bye weeks, not to be underestimated by players who have been punishing their bodies for the last three months. I get three matches, well two and a half as I didn't get the DVR set in time. Coming up this week: Adelaide/North, Geelong meets St. Kilda and I get my first chance to see Gold Coast as they face Hawthorn.