Lance Franklin’s 13 goals in 2012 set a new club record against North Melbourne, breaking the previous high of 10 kicked jointly by Alec Albiston (1940) and Jason Dunstall (1988).

Franklin shares the Hawthorn individual goals record for Round 6 with Jason Dunstall. Dunstall kicked nine goals in both 1992 and 1993, versus Collingwood and Adelaide respectively, a tally equalled by Franklin against Essendon in 2007.

This Sunday, Hawthorn will be attempting to record a fifth consecutive win against North Melbourne for the first time in over 30 years.

Hawthorn’s current sequence of four wins comes from beating the Kangaroos by 20 and 46 points in 2022; and by margins of 19 and 48 last season. Interestingly, all four of those games were at different venues, the MCG, Bellerive, University of Tasmania Stadium and Docklands.

Previous sequences of four wins against North this century came in 2011-13 and 2015-17, but Hawthorn has not won more than four in a row against North since a run of 14 consecutive victories from 1985 to 1993.

Overall, Hawthorn has recorded 102 wins against North Melbourne, its highest number against any opponent, with 78 defeats and two draws. The two clubs have met 15 times at Docklands with the Hawks holding a 9-6 advantage.

This Sunday, Hawthorn plays in its third bottom two encounter in the past two seasons. After a defeat by Geelong in a surprising bottom two match-up early in 2023, Hawthorn won its most recent bottom two encounter in Round 10 last season, defeating West Coast by 116 points in Launceston.

On the most recent occasion when Hawthorn had a 0-5 start to a season, back in 1970, the Hawks also played in a bottom two encounter in Round 6. What was remarkable about that game is that it was between the 1969 Premier Richmond and the 1971 Premier Hawthorn, proving that poor form can be temporary.

In Round 6 1970, the winless Hawks faced the Tigers who had a 1-4 record, in a game which also had the major historic significance of being the first for the club at VFL Park Waverley. In a high-scoring match, Richmond won by seven points – 21.11.137 to 20.10.130. Peter Hudson kicked eight goals and Peter Crimmins five.

From that game onwards, Hawthorn had 27 years without playing in a bottom two clash from 1971 to 1997. In fact, in the 23 seasons from 1971 to 1993, Hawthorn was only in the bottom two on the ladder after one round (Round 2 1979), so the chances of playing in a bottom-two game were certainly remote. The Hawks also had a 13-season period without a bottom two game from 2008 to 2020.

Overall, Hawthorn has played 49 bottom two encounters, with the record perfectly divided with 24 wins, 24 defeats and one draw. Six of those 49 have been against North Melbourne for three wins, two defeats (most recently in 2021) and one draw.

Last Saturday night, Hawthorn selected an unchanged team after losing the previous game for the second time in 2024, after already doing so in Round 2. It is quite remarkable that this has happened twice in 2024, having not previously occurred even once in a season for the previous 40 years.

Prior to 2024, the most recent unchanged losing team was in Round 14 1984 when, after a defeat by Melbourne in Round 13, the same twenty players were selected in the brown and golds for what proved to be a win against St Kilda. In total, the phenomenon of an unchanged losing team has only happened seven times in Hawthorn’s VFL-AFL history, with just two victories (in 1952 and 1984) to reward the selectors for their faith in the beaten brigade.

Hawthorn is playing in Victoria in Round 6 for the first time since 2014. In the past nine seasons the Hawks have played their Round 6 games at University of Tasmania Stadium six times and at the Sydney Showground three times (one of which was against Collingwood in the Covid-affected 2020 season).

Hawthorn’s most recent Round 6 game in Victoria, in Round 6 2014, saw a stunning Cyril Rioli third quarter burst of four goals in the term to propel Hawthorn to a 66-point victory – 18.10.118 to 7.10.52. Luke Hodge and Sam Mitchell were both outstanding for the Hawks.

Overall in Round 6, Hawthorn has played 95 times (having had four byes) and won 42 and lost 53.

70 years ago, in Round 6 1954, Hawthorn recorded just its fourth ever away win against Richmond defeating the Tigers at Punt Road by six points – 11.12.78 to 10.12.72. First-year player Noel Voigt kicked three goals, with Graham Peck, Ted Fletcher and John O’Mahony leading the best players’ list.

90 years ago, in Round 6 1934, Hawthorn also had six-point victory, this time against Footscray at Glenferrie, a much-needed win after a 0-5 start to the season.

The game that looked to be heading for a draw until a late goal from crack full-forward, Jack Green, clinched the win for the Mayblooms – 11.11.77 to 10.11.71. It was Green’s only goal for the game and has added significance because he kicked at least one goal in all 40 matches he played for the club. Green had crossed from Carlton at the start of the 1934 season and in three seasons in brown and gold he kicked a total of 167 goals at the impressive average of 4.18 goals per game, the third highest average in the club’s history behind Peter Hudson (5.64) and Jason Dunstall (4.66).