Jamarra Ugle-Hagan celebrates a goal in the Western Bulldogs' win over Melbourne in round 19, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

IN THIS week's Nine Things We Learned, we discover that those comparing Jamarra Ugle-Hagan to Buddy Franklin were on the money, a no-fuss Cat is flying under the radar and tagging is back in vogue.  

Check out these lessons and more as our team runs their eyes over round 19. 

1. So that's why 'Marra was compared to Buddy

There's no higher praise for a potential draftee in their final year of junior football – comparisons with the legendary Lance Franklin. But with that praise comes an almost unbearable weight of expectation, and it's been a difficult few years for young developing players across the competition, with interrupted opportunities for second-tier footy. But against reigning premier Melbourne on Saturday night, Jamarra Ugle-Hagan soared, kicking five goals, including three in the nail-biting last quarter. His final goal in the dying seconds was Buddy-esque – an effortless bomb from the boundary, just outside 50 – but the celebration with the Bulldog faithful was all Jamarra. – Sarah Black


2. The MCG might not be big enough in round 23

The final-round clash between old foes Carlton and Collingwood has the potential to be one of the biggest home and away games in history. Both teams have performed incredibly well this season, exceeding the expectations of many pundits and fans, and look certain to return to finals action. The Pies are rampaging, having won 13 games, including nine on the trot, to sit fourth (they finished 17th with six wins in 2021), while the Blues have posted 12 wins and are seventh (they finished 13th with eight wins in 2021). Collingwood and Carlton both have a tough month ahead, but if the stars align, a double chance could be on the line when they square off in round 23. More than 80,000 packed the MCG for the two clubs' clash in round 11 and there will be plenty more than that in a month's time.- Trent Masenhelder


3. Finn Maginness has finally found his niche

Highly touted father-son recruit Finn Maginness had a tough start to life at Hawthorn, managing just three games over his first two seasons. Now under the tutelage of Sam Mitchell, Maginness is starting to come into his own as a key cog in a young and improving midfield. After blanketing Melbourne runner Ed Langdon in round seven and keeping West Coast's Tim Kelly and Adelaide star Jordan Dawson quiet over the past few weeks, the 21-year-old put in another tagging masterclass on Saturday against North Melbourne to shut out influential midfielder Jy Simpkin. The Kangaroo, who had 34 touches the previous week and has averaged 26 disposals this season, was limited to just 14 possessions for the game, his lowest tally since 2020. Maginness only had nine disposals himself, but booted a late goal and is fast becoming the go-to man to restrict the opposition's key midfielder. - Brandon Cohen


4. Tom Atkins is one of the most underrated players in the AFL

Tom Atkins has always been a tough in-and-under player but the 2018 NAB AFL Rookie Draft selection has elevated his game to a new level in 2022, quietly emerging as a key player for the ladder-leading Cats. Atkins has been exposed to more midfield time this year in the absences of Patrick Dangerfield, Brandan Parfitt and Joel Selwood and he's rarely let Geelong down. With the game up for grabs on Saturday after the Power stormed into the lead with eight third-quarter goals, it was Atkins who had a whopping 12 disposals in the last term – adding to his team-high 14 contested possessions – to help the Cats over the line. - Ben Somerford

Tom Atkins under pressure from Connor Rozee in Geelong's clash against Port Adelaide in round 19, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

5. Unheralded Swan is Longmire's wildcard

Ryan Clarke has quickly become the wildcard up John Longmire's sleeve heading towards September. The Swans are stacked full of attacking threats, but in Clarke, they have someone who can put the clamps on a star and disrupt the opposition's plans. After stifling St Kilda's Jack Sinclair, the Western Bulldogs' Bailey Dale and Fremantle's Jordan Clark in the past month, Clarke was sent to former teammate Jordan Dawson in Saturday's win over Adelaide, but only for a quarter. Matthew Nicks was forced to move the star to half-forward after that, changing the Crows' plans. Stop or disrupt, Clarke is adding value at the SCG right now. - Josh Gabelich

Ryan Clarke celebrates a goal during the R19 clash between Sydney and Adelaide at the SCG on July 23, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

6. Hayden Young is growing before our very eyes

If it wasn't obvious enough already, Hayden Young is going to be a star of the competition for many years to come. Throughout Fremantle's pulsating draw against Richmond, Young was an immovable object in the back half, particularly in the final term when the pressure went up tenfold, while his sensational ball use also stood out. Young shone the brightest under the Friday night lights, racking up a game-high 31 disposals at an astonishing efficiency of 83 per cent, to go with 10 intercept possessions and 467 metres gained while also clunking a personal-best 14 marks to cap off a career night. After his first two seasons were ruined by injuries, the 21-year-old defender has enjoyed a breakout campaign in the heart of the Dockers' formidable defensive unit, which is set to reap the rewards of his ongoing development into one of the best interceptors in the game not only into September, but beyond. - Nick D'Urbano

Hayden Young kicks the ball during the R19 clash between Fremantle and Richmond at Marvel Stadium on July 22, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

7. Adam Saad is in All-Australian form

Just in case there was still any doubt over Adam Saad's claims for a maiden Therabody AFL All-Australian selection, the Blues speedster delivered in another game-breaking performance against GWS. Saad's recent form has been quite extraordinary, but Sunday's effort was the cream of the crop. His 12-mark, eight-intercept and 25-disposal outing was only superseded by his epic hanger over Giant James Peatling in the last term. His trademark run and carry off half-back and superb delivery into the Blues' forwards turned the game for his side, which was threatened early by a buoyant Giants outfit with nothing to lose. - Alison O'Connor


8. The Eagles got a mid-season steal in Jai Culley

In just two games at the highest level, Jai Culley has established himself as a key part of West Coast's future and a potential fan favourite. The first player picked at the NAB AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft, Culley backed up his excellent debut with another impressive midfield performance against St Kilda, stepping up as senior teammates were shut down. He is more than just the tough, hard-working onballer he appeared on debut, too, showing class against the Saints with 19 disposals, a late crowd-pleasing goal, and the decision-making of an experienced player. At the start of a rebuild, he is just the steal you want as a club to pair with your high draft selections. Add prized draftee Campbell Chesser to the mix after an injury-ruined 2022 and the midfield will have a different look about it next season. - Nathan Schmook 


9. Brisbane has a nice trump card up its sleeve

For the third time this season, Chris Fagan switched Jarrod Berry to a tagging role mid-match on Saturday night against the Suns, and for the third time he had great success. After slowing down a rampant Zach Merrett in round two and then a destructive Jordan Dawson in round nine, against Gold Coast it was Touk Miller who Berry had to lock in on after the Suns' co-captain threatened to steer his team to an upset win. After Miller had gathered an eye-catching 28 disposals through three quarters, winning the ball on the inside and exploding into space on the outside, Fagan moved his No.1 stopper for the final term. Berry had success, keeping Miller to six 'quiet' disposals and playing a role in Brisbane's dominant final term. It won't be a move the Lions use all the time, but having Berry up its sleeve is a useful trump card to have against the competition's best. – Michael Whiting

Jarrod Berry in action during the R19 clash between Brisbane and Gold Coast at the Gabba on July 23, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos