1. The Tigers were stiff, but you make your own luck
Yes they were unlucky to lose another heartbreaker, but for the second week running, the Richmond players only have themselves to blame. The visitors dominated every aspect of the match against the Giants, but failed their biggest test when the pressure lifted in the final term. Jason Castagna, from 40m out, then the experienced Dustin Martin, from even closer, missed simple set shots in the first two minutes of the last quarter that would have put the Tigers up by more than five goals. Their structures then failed them again in the dying stages after the Giants had stormed back into the game when, after a Shai Bolton goal was overturned by a score review, Richmond failed to have anyone on the mark for Nathan Wilson's kick in. It allowed the GWS defender – one of the league's best kicks – to play on and launch a 70m bomb to the centre square, where an intelligent punch from Phil Davis saw the footy end up with Jeremy Cameron, who slotted the winner. Heath Shaw then set up the home side perfectly to defend for the remaining 59 seconds – something the Tigers didn't do last week – and the result was another four points gone begging for the yellow and black. - Adam Curley

2. The Bulldogs are still trying to find their mojo
Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge compared his side's form fluctuations to a mystery out of science fiction TV show The X Files. At 5-4, the Bulldogs are still right in the thick of the finals race, but are not close to playing the football that saw them win last year's flag. One of the main areas of concern is the ruck department. Cats ruckman Zac Smith was a major contributor to his side's win, outsizing Tom Boyd, Travis Cloke and Lin Jong in a few contests. Luckily, Jordan Roughead got through his VFL comeback from a hamstring injury unscathed and should push for selection against the Saints next week. The Bulldogs need a big man with presence and Roughead should be able to provide that. - Ben Guthrie

3. Sydney can make September
The Swans won their last two games in convincing fashion against the Brisbane Lions and North Melbourne, but their 50-point win against St Kilda was different. Alan Richardson's side had won three straight, proven their bona fides against Greater Western Sydney a fortnight ago and looked like a side that will either make finals or push hard for September action. Despite that, Sydney made the Saints look second rate. John Longmire was thrilled with his team's pressure around the ball and with star midfielders Josh Kennedy, Dan Hannebery and Luke Parker firing, the Swans look to be back to their best. They ended up with 12 goalkickers, a spread that will cause headaches for every other club in the competition. - Dinny Navaratnam

4. Rory Sloane can work through a tag
After two weeks being blanketed by opposition taggers, Rory Sloane was always going to have company against the Lions. It was no surprise to see young Nick Robertson line up on the star midfielder at the first bounce, but unlike previous weeks against Sam Gibson and Bernie Vince, this time Sloane would finish triumphant. Robertson, although younger and less accomplished than the Kangaroo and Demon, is strong-bodied, a superb runner, and had shut down Isaac Smith the previous week. But when Crows coach Don Pyke said Sloane had learnt from his previous outings, he wasn't lying. If he couldn't win ball on the outside, Sloane got it at the coalface, with 19 of his 31 disposals contested, including eight clearances. Sloane will likely get plenty more practise against taggers in coming weeks, but this was a big step forward. - Michael Whiting

5. Collingwood has not given up
The response from the Magpies determined the tenor of the night. If they had not comeback hard questions would have been asked of the Collingwood coach and the club all week. While those questions may still be asked down the track, one that can't be is the investment this group have in the coach and their teammates. The Magpies outscored Hawthorn by 10 goals after the first break, which given the weight on their collective shoulders at quarter-time was an extraordinary effort. Scott Pendlebury led the charge in a match-winning manner more often ascribed to Geelong stars Joel Selwood and Patrick Dangerfield these days. It's been a tough year but the Magpies are hanging in there.Peter Ryan

6. Michael Hurley is Essendon's most important player
After struggling at times earlier this season, the star defender is in brilliant form and has been central to his team's improved performances in the past two weeks. Hurley was sensational against West Coast on Sunday, finding 26 disposals across half-back and patrolling and controlling the Essendon defence. His presence in the air, quick and correct decision making, and top-notch foot skills make him a weapon for John Worsfold's side in the back half. His ability to make his teammates better should also be acknowledged, with his courageous intercept efforts and selfless approach often producing team-lifting acts. He is Essendon's most important player and, in this type of form, he has a very good case to suggest he is also its best. - Callum Twomey

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

7. 'Son Son' is back to his gamebreaking best in attack
Ross Lyon had a combination for reasons for throwing his star small forward into the midfield two weeks ago – his desire to get Walters back into form and the need for engine room drive and class in Stephen Hill's absence. But with Hill returning from his hamstring strain, Walters was stationed back in attack for longer periods against Carlton on Sunday and broke the undermanned Blues' resistance in a scintillating third quarter. The 26-year-old put Freo ahead for the first time at the four-minute mark, extended the margin with a near carbon copy goal playing on and wheeling onto his left boot late in the term, before rolling through an instinctive major minutes later to guide the Dockers towards a match-defining 22-point lead at the final change. Walters, the club's leading goalkicker the past two seasons, broke his four-game goal drought in fine style as a reborn Freo surged into the top eight. – Travis King

8. Brown ready to become main Roo forward
Although Jarrad Waite remains North Melbourne's most potent key forward, Ben Brown again underlined that he will be ready to assume the No.1 mantle when the former Blue eventually hangs up his boots. After a relatively quiet day against Sydney last round, Brown rebounded strongly against Melbourne. Starting deep inside North's forward 50 while Waite worked up the ground, Brown made short work of Demon defender Oscar McDonald early in the game, prompting Melbourne to send Sam Frost to him. The Roo was up to the challenge, kicking three of his five goals in the four-goal-to-one third term that set up North's win. Brown finished with six marks (including a game-high five inside 50 and an equal team-high two contested) in a performance that suggests the Roos' forward line will be in good hands for years to come. - Nick Bowen