In this week's Nine things we learned, we discover that the Lions have a new midfield beast, the Blues have found a wingman and the Cats' ruck plan is working.

And catch AFL Daily in the podcast below as Nat and Damo discuss all the fallout from another dramatic round of football.

1. The Beast might be Brisbane's barometer

After playing just one game in 2020, Rhys Mathieson is not leaving anything to chance this season. Brought into Brisbane's midfield following Lachie Neale's ankle surgery a month ago, 'The Beast' has grown week by week and brought out his best in the Friday night showdown against Richmond. Meshing nicely with Jarryd Lyons and Dayne Zorko, Mathieson had 20 disposals, five tackles, four clearances and a 50m goal as the Lions got on top. The 24-year-old brings an edge opponents hate, but his teammates love – an edge that makes Brisbane an even more formidable opponent. - Michael Whiting

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Fiery Mathieson lets Baker know all about it

Fireworks spark after Rhys Mathieson celebrates his goal right in the face of Liam Baker

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2. The Saints could learn some things from the Bulldogs’ selection mantra

Brett Ratten put it on the agenda. The St Kilda coach said there would be players who would be dropped from the senior side after the Saints’ humiliating 111-point loss to the Western Bulldogs on Saturday night. But their attention can’t just be focused on some younger players who were outplayed by a fierce Bulldogs line-up. Nobody can be spared, with a shake-up needed at St Kilda after four thrashings from 10 games so far this season. The Saints have stuck by Bradley Hill and moved him to half-back to regain some confidence but he has struggled to make an impact and needs to find his mojo. A circuit-breaker could be good for all. Dan Butler had five disposals and a goal against the Dogs and is far from the scintillating form of the first half of last season. Luke Beveridge is renowned for keeping his players on their toes with team selection every week, with vice-captain Mitch Wallis omitted earlier this year and Norm Smith medallist Jason Johannisen dropped to the VFL to regain his touch as well. It is an approach that should be considered at Moorabbin. - Callum Twomey

3. Blicavs in the ruck is working … for now

Mark Blicavs put on a dominant display in the ruck against the Suns, vindicating Chris Scott’s decision to persevere with the Cats’ unconventional ruck plans. Blicavs was clearly Geelong’s preferred ruck option on the day, attending 60 ruck contests compared to Esava Ratugolea’s 42. With 34 hitouts and six clearances, Blicavs also well and truly got the better of the Suns’ ruckman Zac Smith, who only managed 22 hitouts from 78 ruck contests. Chris Scott said during the week that he’s still trying to figure out where Blicavs is best played, but that the short-term plan is to rotate Blicavs and Ratugolea through the ruck. The question will be what the Cats do in the longer term, with Rhys Stanley relegated to the VFL after being a late out in round eight. For Blicavs, the real challenge will come against Collingwood next week, with former All-Australian ruck Brodie Grundy a tall order for a pinch-hitter. - Sophie Welsh

4. Buddy and Fyfe still have the magic touch

For all the focus coaches put on system and playing your role, Lance Franklin and Nat Fyfe proved on Saturday night that superstars shape matches. In a shootout between the WA guns, Fyfe controlled the midfield with 13 clearances and led the third-quarter charge that got the Dockers back in front. Franklin, meanwhile, was at his unstoppable best, bombing goals on the run from 60m, and giving his team a chance to win with three of his six goals in the final quarter. Without 'Buddy', the Swans would not have got so close. Without Fyfe, who kicked the match-winner with a snap out of a stoppage, the Dockers would not have been in a position to grab a thrilling win. It was an engrossing battle between the Dockers and Swans, but their respective superstars decided how this match would be played, and ultimately won. - Nathan Schmook  

5. The Blues have a handy new wingman

Carlton's decision to move Zac Williams back to a defensive post could give co-captain Sam Docherty a new lease on life. Given the freedom to play on a wing on Saturday, Docherty was among the club's best in his new role against the Hawks. He claimed 26 disposals, took six marks, had five tackles, five score involvements, five intercepts, won four clearances and had 533m gained in a well-rounded display. Trialled through the midfield late in 2017 before missing successive seasons through knee injuries, a role higher up the ground hasn't been floated for Docherty since his long-awaited return last year. But with the speedy duo of Williams and Adam Saad providing plenty of run from half-back, perhaps it will provide the Blues with a secondary bonus of Docherty transforming into an effective and influential wingman. - Riley Beveridge

6. The Eagles need a cure for their travel sickness

It’s a familiar story but West Coast’s record on the road (1-4) sits in stark contrast to its efforts at Optus Stadium (5-0), and the latest loss away further dents the Eagles’ hopes of a top-four finish. The Eagles’ only away win this season came against lowly Hawthorn at the MCG, but before the loss to an undermanned Giants they’ve also failed to beat a struggling St Kilda, as well as more competitive opposition in Western Bulldogs and Geelong. It’s hard to see the Eagles earning a double chance and a crucial home final unless they can quickly find a fix for their away blues. - Martin Pegan

7. Melbourne's rock-solid defence can be breached

A key reason for Melbourne’s resurgence this season has been its rock-solid defence, with the Demons failing to concede more than 73 points in any game heading into this round. But on Saturday, the Crows were able to score 96 points in their thrilling one-point win over the Demons at Adelaide Oval. Post-game, Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks said it was a deliberate tactic for his players to lower their eyes and not bomb the ball long to Melbourne’s strong defensive interceptors Jake Lever and Steven May. This tactic – along with Adelaide’s willingness to move the ball boldly through the corridor – put Melbourne’s defence under immense pressure and was pivotal to the Crows' victory. It’s an approach that other sides may well look towards when they come up against Simon Goodwin’s side. - Luke Michael    

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Last two mins: It's Tex time as Crows stun unbeaten Dees

A thrilling finish between the Crows and the Dees in round 10 at the Adelaide Oval

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8. Essendon the big winners of the Nick Hind trade

The Bombers recruit was at his very best against North Melbourne, dictating play off the half-back flank and making smart choices when sending the ball inside 50. He found plenty of the footy, finishing with 21 disposals at 85 per cent efficiency. Hind had been drafted from Essendon's VFL list by the Saints in the 2018 NAB AFL Draft. Despite having made his name as a dashing half-back at VFL level, he was used as a forward at St Kilda, but is full of confidence back in familiar territory at the Bombers. He was a bargain price too with Essendon trading picks 67 and 74 for Hind and pick No.77. – Sarah Black

9. Veterans need help at Port

Midfield bull Sam Powell-Pepper doesn't know how important he is in Port Adelaide's premiership push as Ken Hinkley can't keep relying on his veterans to get them over the line. Powell-Pepper loves to get his hands dirty and his eight tackles against the Pies went a long way in turning the match Port Adelaide's way. When the going gets tough later in the season and in finals, the tough midfielder shapes as a crucial cog alongside Ollie Wines and Travis Boak. - Jonathan Healy