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Nine things we learned from round 19

The 10: round 19's best moments Another thrilling weekend of footy with some brilliant highlights

1. Pies must make the most of Wells while he's there
Daniel Wells is a star. On Sunday he equalled his career best of 34 disposals, kicked three goals and nearly tore the game out of the Crows' reach. He has now played in six wins, two losses and one draw in nine games for the Magpies. But at 32, his future is limited so the Magpies need to make the most of his presence while they can. That might mean an aggressive approach at the trade table to become a contender while he is performing at such a high level. But it would mean doubling down on the risk. Such are the huge conundrums facing the Magpies, making them an interesting watch in the off-season. - Peter Ryan


2. It's time for GWS to rip the lid off and unleash its star recruit
The Giants have struggled to find any momentum in the second half of this year, and with a huge month of footy ahead of them, Brett Deledio is the perfect man to inject some life into their season. The former Tiger has had a large chunk of solid training and two NEAFL appearances to blow off the cobwebs, and his experience, speed and foot skills are exactly what Leon Cameron's team needs. Deledio is the player that can help clean up the Giants' issues going forward because in Jeremy Cameron, Jonathon Patton and Rory Lobb, they have three tall targets all capable of kicking bags of goals, if their teammates can stop butchering and hopelessly bombing the footy when they head inside 50. Selecting Deledio now gives him four senior games to find his feet before the finals and while he can't be expected to be a match-winner in that time, he might be when September arrives. Pull the trigger. - Adam Curley

3. Scott Selwood is Cameron Ling reincarnated
The former Eagle has clearly established himself as the No.2 Selwood, ahead of Adam and Troy, but behind Joel. Scott's unfortunate habit of getting injured means we don't see him enough, but what we do see is very good. The youngest Selwood, who won West Coast's best and fairest award in 2012, joined Joel at the Cattery ahead of last season. His ability to negate the best midfielders and win plenty of the ball himself makes him a valuable commodity, just like Geelong's former resident tagger, Cameron Ling. Carlton star Bryce Gibbs was Scott's latest victim, as he won more disposals (25 to 24) and contested possessions (nine to five), had just one fewer clearance (three to four) and out-tackled the Blue nine to four. Scott's lack of matches this year means he is well down the order in overall tackles, but he entered round 19 averaging an impressive 11.1 per game – three more than any other player. The trademark family courage and effort is part of Scott, and he will be a key cog in Geelong's September assault, so long as he remains fit.Marc McGowan

The run home: Your club's road to September

4. Young Hawks defenders are taking flight
If we pictured a Hawthorn backline without Josh Gibson, James Frawley, Grant Birchall and Ben Stratton a few months ago, a dam wall with its flood gates wide open would have come to mind. Birchall has played just five games this season because of jaw and knee injuries, while the Hawks have been without Frawley (toe) and Stratton (knee) since round eight and Gibson (groin) since round 12. But in their past six matches the Hawks have lost just one game, by three points to Geelong in round 17. Hawthorn has not conceded a triple-figure score in that time and the contributions of Ryan Burton, James Sicily and Kaiden Brand have been important. Against Sydney on Friday night, the three young defenders helped restrict Sydney to nine goals for the match. Brand (18 possessions and three inside 50s) spent most of the night on Swans superstar Lance Franklin and held him to 1.1 and no contested marks. The fiery Sicily (26 possessions, 14 marks and four inside 50s) gave the Hawks a good mix of defence and counter-attack, while Burton (21 disposals and three inside 50s) again showed the composure and class that has him ranked among this year's leading NAB AFL Rising Star contenders. In a season that's becoming more and more encouraging for Hawthorn, the emergence of its next generation defenders might prove the biggest positive. - Nick Bowen

5. The Tigers can kick goals without Jack
It's not the way Damien Hardwick would like to find out, but Jack Riewoldt's freakish eye injury gave the Tigers coach a rare chance to see how his forward line would function without the star marksman. The last time Richmond lined up without Riewoldt was round 23, 2013 and the 28-year-old has missed just one match since 2010. Minus Steven May, Rory Thompson and Kade Kolodjashnij, the Suns' defence might not have been the stiffest opposition, but Richmond showed some variation that might open a few more doors come September – and make them a little less predictable. From 45 inside 50s they took 17 marks and generated 28 scoring shots – good efficiency in anyone's language. Toby Nankervis provided a decent target in Riewoldt's absence, while Jason Castagna, Josh Caddy and silky Daniel Rioli (three goals each) were all marking threats in the forward 50. Riewoldt is expected back next week, but the Tigers now have a host of mobile targets their midfield can hit up. - Michael Whiting


6. Demons must find their appetite
Simon Goodwin appeared to question his players' hunger for the contest in admitting they failed to match the Kangaroos at the tough stuff in the final quarter at Blundstone Arena. On a day he said called for "meat-and-three-veg football", Goodwin's Demons were beaten for clearances and contested possessions in the run home and looked to be off their tucker as North gutsed it out for the win. While the loss may have harpooned the club's chance of a top-four finish, the Demons should still return to the finals in 2017 and can prove they're truly up for the fight against high-flying opposition when they meet the Giants in Canberra on Saturday. - Stu Warren

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7. Young Eagle looks the 'Part'
The calls for West Coast to reward ball magnet Luke Partington with a debut have grown louder and louder as he racked up touches at East Perth and that chorus became a deafening roar after last round's capitulation against Collingwood. There were some obvious reservations within the club whether the 20-year-old South Australian was ready – and fears from coach Adam Simpson he was being built up to fail – but after averaging 27 touches and booting 14 goals in 13 games at WAFL level this year, Partington deserved a chance. He became just the second debutant for ageing West Coast this year, and showed his ability to find the footy translates to the elite level. The diminutive 181cm onballer picked up 16 touches, won three clearances, delivered three inside 50s and snapped a popular goal during the third quarter. He was careful with his disposal and caught out a couple of times with his decision-making, however there was enough there to show that the Norwood product, taken with pick 28 in 2015, has a future. - Travis King

Around the state leagues: Who starred in your club's twos?

8. Robbie Gray and Patrick Ryder can take the Power deep into September
Gray is one of the most damaging players in the competition at stoppages. Ryder's ruck work is elite. When you put the two together, you get one of the most remarkable finishes to a game we've seen this season. Ryder's tap over his shoulder from a boundary throw in that led to Gray sprinting away and kicking the match-winning goal from just inside 50 led the Power to stealing a two-point victory over St Kilda at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night. Gray has played mostly in attack this season, but spent more time in the midfield with Chad Wingard out of the side, racking up 27 possessions. Although he's a two-time All Australian and has won the Power's last three best and fairest awards, Gray is still somehow under-rated by supporters outside of South Australia. He is a genuine star, while Ryder is undoubtedly the best ruckman in the League. Working in tandem, they form a one-two punch that should have every midfield unit in the competition on edge heading into the finals. - Lee Gaskin

After the siren: Paddy and Robbie's masterpiece

9. Parish needs to play in the midfield
Parish has been tasked with some different roles this season compared to his excellent debut year in 2016, when he spent most of his time in Essendon's engine room. This year, with many of the Bombers' first-choice midfielders back from their suspensions, Parish has moved into a half-forward role and played more on the wing than in a true midfield position. He started Sunday's clash with the Western Bulldogs in attack and cleverly crumbed the first goal of the game, but went on to have most impact in the midfield, where his clean and quick hands saw him start plenty of things at the stoppages. With Jobe Watson nearing the end of his career, Parish should be given more time as part of that midfield rotation because he adds plenty to their mix with his dynamic run and dash. He picked up a career-high 29 disposals in the Bombers' loss to the Western Bulldogs, and showed that's where he's best suited. - Callum Twomey


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The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs