IN THIS week's Nine Things We Learned, we discover that Cam Rayner is ready to be Brisbane's difference in September, Jeremy Cameron is without peer and Richmond has the firepower to frighten anyone. 

Check out these lessons and more as our team runs their eyes over round 22. 

06:04 Mins
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The 10: Round 22's best moments

Watch the best highlights from an entertaining round

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1. Cam Rayner can be Brisbane's September wildcard

So much is spoken about Brisbane's key forward trio Joe Daniher, Eric Hipwood and Dan McStay in the club's chase of a flag. Throw Charlie Cameron into the mix and there are big names who can turn a game on its head. But Cam Rayner's influence shouldn't be underestimated, with the exciting forward shaping as a finals wildcard for the Lions. His performance against St Kilda on Friday night, when he kicked four goals, including three in a brilliant last quarter, was one of his best in Lions colours. He's capable of producing big moments at big times and will enter the finals with confidence. Brisbane missed his X-factor in the finals last year. - Callum Twomey

THE RUN HOME Pies hit the wall, HUGE R23 looms large

01:46 Mins
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Rayner's fantastic four lights up Marvel

Cam Rayner helps gets the Lions over the line with a stunning four-goal outing

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2. This Cat might be the best player in the League

It's a topic that will never have a definitive winner, but after years of midfielders dominating discussions around the best player in the AFL, Geelong forward Jeremy Cameron is mounting a serious case for taking the mantle. Against Gold Coast he was the best player on the ground, kicking 3.3 and being involved in a match-high 10 score involvements from 21 disposals as he roamed up the ground to a wing and in the midfield, before haring back towards goal and losing opponents in the air and on the ground. Put simply, there's no singular player that can match Cameron all over the ground, apart from perhaps teammate Mark Blicavs. There's Lachie Neale and Christian Petracca and Clayton Oliver and maybe even Shai Bolton, but for all-round impact, Cameron is the game's main man right at this moment. - Michael Whiting

Jeremy Cameron celebrates a goal during Geelong's clash against Gold Coast in round 22, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

3. Richmond's attacking weapons are scary

The Tigers may be sitting seventh on the ladder but they're second in the League for scoring overall. Sunday's rout of Hawthorn showcased their forward-line weapons, as they registered a 100-plus score for the third straight week. No side has scored more across the past three rounds than the Tigers. While Tom Lynch got the spotlight with an eight-goal haul, relative newcomers Noah Cumberland and Maurice Rioli jnr had two goals and nine score involvements each. Veteran Shane Edwards added two majors with three goal assists. The scary thing is Jack Riewoldt and Shai Bolton had quiet days and Dustin Martin is due back for the finals. They're going to be tough to stop in September. - Ben Somerford

02:21 Mins
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Lynch the great bags career-best eight

Tom Lynch was at his powerful best against the Hawks with a monstrous eight-goal outing

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4. No one wants to play a final at the SCG - except the Swans

The SCG is becoming a fortress again. Sydney has won seven games in a row at home by an average winning margin of 43 points. And it's more than that. A crowd of 44,659 crammed into the SCG on Sunday afternoon against Collingwood – the venue's third-highest attendance for any AFL game and the second-highest for a home and away match. The club built the game up as its biggest non-final at the SCG in 20 years and it delivered. When Dane Rampe chased down Brody Mihocek in the last quarter, the game was already well and truly over, but the crowd erupted like it was match-winning. Something special is going on at the SCG right now. The Swans might have two home finals to look forward to next month, potentially including a preliminary final. - Josh Gabelich

Lance Franklin celebrates a goal with Sydney fans against Collingwood in round 22, 2022. Picutre: AFL Photos

5. Sam Docherty looms as Blues' new midfield weapon

It was a move made out of necessity – with the likes of midfield bulls Matt Kennedy, George Hewett and late withdrawal Adam Cerra sidelined – but Sam Docherty starred playing on the ball against Melbourne. With usual winger Will Setterfield also playing an inside role, supporting Paddy Cripps and Sam Walsh, Docherty barely missed a beat in the unfamiliar role. He recorded 28 touches, 10 tackles and four centre clearances (six in total), and should be an extra string to Carlton's bow if the Blues hang onto their top-eight spot. The news that Kennedy will miss the rest of the season with a foot injury makes Docherty's new role all the more crucial. - Sarah Black

Carlton's Sam Docherty gets his kick away against Melbourne in R22, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

6. The Crows' rebuild is ticking along nicely

There were questions raised about Matthew Nicks' side earlier in the year, but a third straight win – this time over North Melbourne on Saturday – was its eighth of the season, improving on 2021 (seven). Adelaide has also been consistently competitive, with its biggest loss, by 59 points, coming against Greater Western Sydney in round seven the only one by more than 50 points. The year has also included wins over Richmond, the Western Bulldogs and Carlton. If Darcy Fogarty can take his late-season form into 2023 – he now has 30 goals this year – and the likes of Sam Berry, Jake Soligo and Josh Rachele, among others, can continue improving, Adelaide appears to be tracking nicely. - Dejan Kalinic

Adelaide players sing the team song after beating North Melbourne in round 22, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

7. Eagle woes should help All-Australian candidate Barrass 

West Coast key defender Tom Barrass would have a strong claim to his first All-Australian blazer just on the strength of his one-on-one performances this season and ability to shut down his man each week. But when you also factor in the weight of forward entries he has faced and the intercepting and rebounding work he has done, the case is compelling to reward the Eagles' standout performer. Coach Adam Simpson is officially campaigning and has good material to work with, with Rory Lobb the latest key forward to wear the Barrass blanket, going goalless in Saturday night's Western Derby. But beyond winning his match-up, Barrass won a game-high 14 intercepts, including six in the third quarter when the Eagles defenders were under siege, and took 12 marks. West Coast has conceded the second most inside 50s this season (58.2 a game) and been without Jeremy McGovern for much of the year. Contenders will fill much of the All-Australian side, but Barrass should be an exception at full-back. - Nathan Schmook

Tom Barrass marks the ball during West Coast's clash against Fremantle in round 22, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

8. Essendon still hasn't eliminated its shockers 

The Bombers have had some shocking defeats in 2022 – they lost to the Cats by 66 points in round one, were thrashed by 48 points by the Dockers (in Melbourne) in round five, and are only one of two teams to be beaten by West Coast. Sunday's hammering by the Power was one of their worst. After quarter-time, the Dons barely gave a yelp and at times, it looked like it was Essendon's VFL side taking on Port's AFL team, such was the disparity in effort, skill and intensity. The Bombers desperately need a response in round 23, but it won't be easy, with the rampaging Tigers at the MCG looming large. - Trent Masenhelder

9. The Giants' defence is in good hands

It's been a tough old year for the Giants, but whoever takes over as coach next season can go into the new year knowing they have an embarrassment of riches in the defensive half to build around. Despite falling short against the Bulldogs, GWS' defence shone through with interim coach Mark McVeigh saying post-game it "is a seriously good backline and will be for 10 years". The usual suspects, Sam Taylor and Nick Haynes were unsurprisingly brilliant, with the former continuing to mount his case for a Therabody AFL All-Australian call-up, while Harry Himmelberg's move to defence continues to pay dividends with another 30-disposal outing from the back half. Isaac Cumming put in yet another potent display as a fellow rebounder off half-back. However, it was the youngsters who gave the Giants' fanbase plenty to get excited about. Leek Aleer was sensational in game three, patrolling the skies and providing a staunch match-up for Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, while Callum Brown showcased his versatility. And there's more to come next season, with Jack Buckley and Connor Idun to return from injury and potentially, veteran Phil Davis should he play on. - Nick D'Urbano

Leek Aleer in action during the R22 clash between Greater Western Sydney and Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium on August 13, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos