WHAT HAPPENED IN ROUND 9 OF THE AFL:
* THEY SAID IT: "We can't address it because we don't know what the interpretation is going to be and we're not sure what the rule is." - Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge on inconsistent umpiring decisions after the AFL's mid-season tweaks to the holding-the-ball rule.
* STATS THAT MATTER: Despite entering their attacking 50m zone more times than Brisbane during their Friday night clash, Essendon's attack faltered so badly that they finished the match with 3.10 (28) - their lowest score in a game this century.
* MAN OF THE ROUND: It's not often a bloke who only tallies nine disposals and no goals qualifies for this section, but the sheer value of Nic Naitanui's ruck taps was the major reason why West Coast were able to scrape over the line against Geelong.
* KEY MOMENT: Majak Daw's goal during the final quarter of North Melbourne's comfortable win over Adelaide brought the proverbial house down and put the icing on his comeback cake. Daw missed an earlier shot at goal from long distance, but never looked like wasting his second opportunity.
* TALKING POINT: The umpires were again in the spotlight as a holding-the-ball decision paid against Essendon's Andrew McGrath was widely condemned. The Bombers midfielder attacked the ball at the same time as Brisbane's Jarryd Lyons, with both players fighting for possession. McGrath had no time, or opportunity, to get a possession away, but was pinged and saw a free-kick paid to Brisbane.
* TRIBUNAL WATCH: No suspensions as yet this week, just a handful of fines, including a $500 penalty dealt to St Kilda's Jake Carlisle for misconduct after he repeatedly slapped Dane Rampe's broken right hand. Melbourne midfielder Clayton Oliver (striking) and Brisbane goal sneak Charlie Cameron (rough conduct) can both accept $1000 fines for minor offences.
* KEY INJURIES: Toby Greene (GWS, hamstring); Matt de Boer (GWS, hamstring); Nick Larkey (NM, ankle); Shaun Burgoyne (Haw, hamstring tightness); Harry Edwards (WCE, concussion); Sam Simpson (Geel, concussion); Seb Ross (StK, calf - late withdrawal).
* WHAT'S NEXT: The festival of football continues as ladder leaders Port Adelaide host the Western Bulldogs in a rare Monday night opening to round 10. Reigning premiers Richmond meet second-placed Brisbane in a battle of two genuine flag contenders on Tuesday night. Matthew Nicks faces the prospect of becoming the first man in AFL history to start his coaching career with a 0-10 record when Adelaide host Melbourne on Wednesday night. Essendon take on GWS on Friday night to finish the unusual round, which sees Carlton, Fremantle, Hawthorn and West Coast having byes.