IN THIS week's Nine Things We Learned, we discover that Paddy Ryder is a long way from winding down, a young Magpie has one hand on the NAB AFL Rising Star trophy and Dusty's already caught a whiff of September. 

Check out what else our team discovered in round 16 below. 

1. Paddy Ryder is still a game-shaper

Even at 34 years of age, there aren't many more important players in the Saints line-up than Paddy Ryder, who again was at his brilliant best against the Blues. After being rested the week prior, Ryder took over with a vintage performance in both the ruck and up forward – booting two first-half goals to help set the tempo along with shouldering most of the ruck load and helping give the Saints' midfielders first use. His 10 hitouts to advantage, from a game-high 31 hitouts, went a long way to St Kilda gaining the ascendancy against Carlton's blue-chip midfield as it went on to win the clearances (36-31). Incredibly, Ryder also laid five tackles along with six score involvements to cap off a stellar evening. - Nick D'Urbano

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Ryder wows with incredible individual finish

Paddy Ryder intercepts an errant Blues kick and makes them pay full price as he dribbles it home to extend his side's lead

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2. Fremantle needs to find a way to keep Rory

Rory Lobb is contracted for 2023, so there is an easy way for Freo to make him stay. But if the Dockers are preparing to make a pitch for Melbourne premiership ruckman Luke Jackson, then he is the obvious player that moves, given the position he plays and the possibility he will again request a trade. The challenge for the Dockers' list team after Lobb's five-goal performance against Port Adelaide on Sunday is to find a way to fit both. Lobb's output in 2022 (27.13 and 8.8 hit-outs as a second ruckman) is superior to Jackson, but the latter has obvious superstar potential. It's hard to see how both could fit on the Dockers' list next season, but Lobb's performance on Sunday might leave Freo looking for a way. - Nathan Schmook   

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Lobb lifts Fremantle past Port with career-best haul

A career-best five goals for Rory Lobb saw Fremantle secure an important victory

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3. Nick Daicos has one hand on the Rising Star award

Among an incredible crop of NAB AFL Rising Star aspirants, Nick Daicos took another huge step towards winning the award against Gold Coast on Saturday night. In slippery conditions and a high-intensity game, the 19-year-old was wonderful in his sure-handedness, quick decision-making and exquisite kicking. He had 22 disposals by the half and finished with a career-high 37 for the game. Jai Newcombe, Sam De Koning, Nic Martin and Daicos' teammate Jack Ginnivan, among others, have claims, but the father-son product is going to be hard to run down. - Michael Whiting

Nick Daicos handballs during Collingwood's clash against Gold Coast in round 16, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

4. Misfiring Petracca has got his radar back in tune

After a season plagued with inaccuracy, Christian Petracca found his goalkicking touch in Saturday's win over Adelaide with three goals. Dees coach Simon Goodwin used Petracca in a mix of midfield and half-forward on Saturday, attending 16 of 27 centre bounces, with the Norm Smith medallist relishing the role with his scoring impact. Petracca had kicked only nine goals from 40 attempts prior to the game, booting 9.21 with 10 failing to score. He straightened that up with 3.1, snapping a close-range shot early to settle any nerves before nailing a 35m set shot where his relief was visible in his celebration. - Ben Somerford

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Petracca gives the Dees an instant reply

Christian Petracca responded swiftly with this classy running goal to give his side the lead heading into the second half

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5. A glimpse of 'September Dusty' is better than nothing

Most football fans probably can't quite smell spring just yet, but it looks like a whiff of September hit Dustin Martin's nostrils on Sunday. In a personally challenging season that has seen Dusty's on-field returns at a career low, the finals specialist returned to his best against the Eagles before being subbed out of the second half with 'hamstring awareness'. Martin had 17 disposals and eight score involvements to half-time and was looking ready to return to the form that has delivered three Norm Smith Medals. The club said it was taking a 'conservative approach' in deciding to bench its superstar, something 100,000 or so Tiger members will hope is an understatement. - Howard Kimber

BARRETT Four flags? Don't count it out. The 'oldies' aren't done yet

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Powerful Dusty puts Tigers in front

Dustin Martin's strength is on show as he breaks free from the pack to nail this ripping snap goal

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6. Brisbane has a new backline architect

Keidean Coleman put himself on the radar of opposition fans in last year's finals series, and the 22-year-old Lion has now announced himself as a bona fide star of the future. Coleman played arguably the best of his 32 games for the Lions against the Western Bulldogs on Thursday night, stepping up in the absence of backline general Daniel Rich after he left early with a hamstring strain. 'Kiddy' finished with a polished 24 disposals at 83 per cent efficiency, gaining 551m and driving Brisbane's attack from its defensive 50 time after time. - Michael Whiting

Keidean Coleman kicks the ball during Brisbane's clash against St Kilda in round 13, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

7. The light at the end of North's tunnel is hard to see

The pressure continues to build for under-siege Kangaroos coach David Noble, whose last-placed side suffered a 112-point demolition at the hands of Geelong – the Roos' biggest loss this season. It comes in the same week long-time North administrator Geoff Walsh returned to Arden St in an advisory role to review the club's football operations. The Roos finish the round sitting on the bottom of the ladder after 13 losses on the trot – they have lost by an average margin of 63 points in those 13 games and conceded an average of 116 points to their opposition, and they have lost their last 11 games by 47 points or more (an AFL record). North isn't the first club to go through a rebuild and they certainly won't be the last, but you have to wonder – when will it start to get better? - Alison O'Connor

North Melbourne coach David Noble looks on as his side takes on Geelong in round 16 at GMHBA Stadium on July 2, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

8. The Chad's ceiling is a long way off

Chad Warner keeps getting better and better. On a day where most of John Longmire's side was out of sorts, the 21-year-old enhanced his reputation at the MCG against Essendon. The West Australian collected 25 disposals, 13 inside 50s – the fourth most in a game this season – 10 score involvements, seven clearances, three goals and 727 metres gained. It wasn't just the numbers. Warner was devastating by foot in the attacking half, creating plenty of scoring chances on a day where Sydney didn't take its their chances. The Swans have some of the most exciting young talent in the game right now, and Warner is one of their best. - Josh Gabelich

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Warner wows with outrageous finish

Chad Warner continues the Swans' fast start to the game with this ripping finish making it two unanswered goals

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9. 'Cogs' is well and truly back to his best

Stephen Coniglio turned in another excellent game against Hawthorn on Sunday (he had 31 disposals, seven tackles, five clearances and four centre clearances), continuing his impressive return to form. While it must be said that Coniglio was playing some good footy in 2022 when Leon Cameron was at the helm, the 28-year-old - one of the Giants’ captains - has gone up a gear since Mark McVeigh has taken the reins. Now playing solely as a midfielder, Coniglio has failed to notch 30 or more possessions just once with McVeigh in charge. He has also kicked seven goals during that period and is leading from the front. - Trent Masenhelder

Stephen Coniglio in action during GWS' win over Hawthorn in round 16, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos