1. Dockers back to square one after dismal Adelaide performance
With six wins from their past seven games, Dockers fans had reason for optimism when they arrived in the City of Churches. Instead, for the second time this year, the trip turned into a nightmare. The Crows returned to their rampant best and completely dominated a Dockers side that looked bereft of ideas and struggled to get its hands on the ball. Ross Lyon has a massive job on his hands getting his troops up for next Sunday's clash with Collingwood at Domain Stadium. The Dockers looked a million miles off what is required to be a finals side. But providing they can beat the Magpies and the Brisbane Lions in the next fortnight, they can still enter the bye with an 8-4 record and have strong claims to be in the top eight come September. - Lee Gaskin

2. Paddy Ryder is the key to Port's top-four hopes
Everything that Port Adelaide does starts out of the middle of the ground. Before this round began, the Power were No.1 in the AFL for forcing turnovers in the forward half and in forward-half differential. Much of that supremacy can be put down to the team's onball brigade and, in particular, to in-form big man Patrick Ryder. Despite a two-point loss to Geelong, Ryder's influence on the contest was sizeable. The ruckman exerted his influence with 31 hit-outs as well as notching five clearances as the Power got on top in that statistic, 40-32. Returning from a year out of the game due to a 12-month WADA-imposed suspension for his time at Essendon, Ryder's ability to cover the ground and give his midfielders first use of the footy shapes as crucial if Port Adelaide is to challenge for a top-four spot later in the season. - Ben Guthrie

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3. Hawthorn's leaders might be on their way out, but they're still match winners
Shaun Burgoyne, Josh Gibson, Luke Hodge and Jarryd Roughead are the only Hawks on the list over the age of 30, and they've copped plenty of heat this year. But with that age comes a combined 1088 games experience and 15 premierships, and without the accompanying footy smarts, there's no way the visitors would have beaten the Swans at the SCG. Burgoyne was outstanding all night through the midfield, while Hodge controlled the game like a puppet master across half back, and although Roughead didn't have a huge scoreboard impact and Gibson struggled on good mate Lance Franklin, they both stepped up when the game was on the line. Burgoyne and Roughead kicked the last two goals of the game with clutch set shots beyond 50, and Hodge and Gibson set the Hawks up perfectly in defence, along with the skipper, once Alastair Clarkson's men snatched the lead late. Every minute the star quartet spends with their younger teammates this season will help build the club's future, and 17 other clubs around the league would kill to have such leadership at their disposal, especially in tight games. Just ask Richmond. - Adam Curley

4. Paddy McCartin should be persisted with at AFL level
There will always be plenty of attention on McCartin, who the Saints took with the prized No.1 draft pick in 2014, and that is to be expected. And plenty of eyes were on the 21-year-old on Saturday against the Western Bulldogs. McCartin finished with 15 disposals and nine marks, and kicked a long goal in the final term. He also had a number of 'almost' moments, where he nearly grabbed some marks close to goal (a couple of which were actually spoiled by teammates getting in the way). He still has things to work on like any third-year player does, but McCartin did enough on Saturday to show he should now get a consistent run in the Saints' senior side after serving his time at VFL level. The more games the club puts into him now, the better off he – and St Kilda – will be in the future. - Callum Twomey

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5. The Eagles might have found a key to unlock Lewis Jetta's talent
It has been a frustrating season-and-a-half for West Coast and Jetta since the 2012 Sydney premiership star was traded back home to WA, but maybe – and we stress maybe – the 28-year-old is working out where he fits in the Eagles' system. Jetta was recalled for Sunday's Sir Doug Nicholls Indigenous Round after five games at East Perth, and building some confidence and working on his intensity away from the AFL spotlight appears to have helped. Jetta spent more time playing high half-forward rather than on a wing and ignited the Eagles early against GWS with his silky ball use and speed. When the former Swan has the ball in hand West Coast looked dangerous – especially when Jetta was looking to find a target inside 50 – and Sunday's effort picking up 28 touches and booting two goals was arguably his best performance as an Eagle. The next challenge is to produce that on a consistent basis. - Travis King

After the siren: Giant win could define their season

6. The Lions have nailed their on-field leadership 
If it was leadership by example the Brisbane Lions wanted when they installed Dayne Beams as captain, he has not disappointed. Leading a midfield that was decimated by injury against Collingwood on Sunday, Beams gritted his teeth and showed his young teammates the way against his former club, finishing with 28 possessions and three goals. Beams replaced Tom Rockliff as captain this season, with Rockliff becoming vice-captain and Dayne Zorko deputy vice-captain. Rockliff was missing with a shoulder injury against the Magpies, but Zorko was the Lions' other shining light in a 45-point loss, finishing with 28 possessions (18 contested) and two goals. With Rockliff in fine form before injury struck, the Lions look to have found the right balance with their leaders. In a loss littered with little positives for coach Chris Fagan, they are setting the right example for the club's many youngsters. - Nathan Schmook     

7. Nathan Jones is still Melbourne's heartbeat
Although Melbourne had a stack of contributors in overwhelming Gold Coast in Alice Springs, one man turned the tide more than most. With the Dees trailing by 30 points early in the third term and starring down the barrel of a second straight loss (and 4-6 record at the bye), Jones simply took over and willed his team to the lead. The co-captain had 12 disposals and two timely goals in the third quarter on his way to 27 and three for the match. While he got plenty of help from fellow co-captain Jack Viney (23 and 11 tackles) and precocious youngster Clayton Oliver (35, including 21 contested and 11 clearances), Jones again proved he's not only the catalyst, but still the heart and soul of the Dees. - Michael Whiting

Demons co-captain Nathan Jones was at the centre of things yet again. Picture: AFL Photos

8. Conversion is Richmond's next challenge
The Tigers had 10 more scoring shots than Essendon and 19 more inside 50s as they created repeat entries through forward pressure. However Richmond is not yet turning that inside 50 dominance into match-winning leads. Hardwick is correct in identifying the relative inexperience inside 50 but the Tigers could also help themselves with better conversion from set shots. On Saturday night, they managed just 6.6 from set shots up until three-quarter time before Jack Riewoldt kicked a long goal to give the Tigers the edge in the final quarter. Richmond needs to work on getting teammates into better positions to have set shots and then drilling the gilt-edged chances. The brand of footy is good and deserves to be rewarded. - Peter Ryan

9. Individual performances can still be resurrected at three-quarter time
Ben Cunnington and Mason Wood are at different stages of their development, but shared something in common through the first three quarters against Carlton – dirty days. Cunnington similarly struggled to get going in North Melbourne's round six win over Gold Coast on a forgettable night. This time, after failing to win a disposal in the third term to give him seven at the last break, the 2014 club best and fairest willed himself into the contest. Cunnington had 10 last-quarter possessions and was a strong contributor in turning the momentum around. Wood also turned his fortunes around for the better to kick two key final-term goals – including the go-ahead one – after four touches to three-quarter time. That's the sort of character coaches must love. - Marc McGowan