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“Cold aggression”, Lions star full forward Dakota Davidson called it.

Brisbane outmuscled, outran, and ultimately overwhelmed us. They certainly came to play and exorcised their 2022 grand final grudge defeating the Demons in the rematch by 25 points.

Stats count and Brisbane won the key ones. Inside 50s 42 to 24, centre clearances 8 to 6, uncontested possessions 133 to 75 and 51 marks to 27.

The Lions’ sustained pressure is the kind we usually bring for other teams.  

There was one brief moment, at the 13-minute mark of the second quarter, when Melbourne skipper Kate Hore put the Dees in front. Alas that was our last goal for the rest of the game.  

The match was eerily reminiscent of the second and third quarter shellacking that Adelaide delivered in Round 6.  

Disappointingly, there was no last quarter comeback this time as the Lions had completely blanketed the handful of soldiers bravely resisting.  Melbourne’s renowned versatility and even contribution failed to emerge.  

Pearce, Hanks, Hore, Purcell, Gillard, Goldrick, Mackin and Harris were all willing but needed everyone to get more involved if we were to win.

Star mid Paxy Paxman was ruled out before the game with hamstring awareness and replaced by last week’s debutant Georgia Gall. Rhi Watt was ruled out with concussion during the game.  

Maeve Chaplin was visibly upset as she was helped off the ground following her collision with Davidson. Encouragingly, she later re-emerged and finished out the match.  

Replacements are needed. No Maddie Gay next week and possibly no Paxy. We can only hope that Aimee Mackin and Gaby Colvin complete their recoveries and that no one else is added to the unavailable list. Some are concerned that Tyla Hanks may be in trouble for her dangerous tackle. 

A dispiriting way to finish the home and away season, but our second spot and a double chance has been well earned so let’s start over.  Anything is possible in finals.

In terms of the game:

Q1 Brisbane starts with heat and Dakota Davidson scores the first goal from a nice mark on a lead.

Meggs is concerned about leg speed over the ground as Brisbane carve Melbourne up through the middle with a long bomb running goal by Hampson.  Gall for Paxy seems an odd replacement.

We seem to be fumbling and dropping marks under the perceived pressure.

Against the run of play, a chain of Demons sees Fitzy hit up Sherriff who marks in from of goal. The commentator mentions that Casey has kicked 4 goals 14 points over the past two seasons but thankfully she can’t hear Jason Bennett and kicks truly.

¼ time: Lions 2.2.14 Dees 1.0.6

Q2  We start stronger this quarter.

Tayla appears to re-injure her shoulder but moments later marks and goals.

Just as we look to be attacking Kate drops a chest mark under pressure and Brisbane take the ball coast-to-coast for a goal with some exhilarating ball movement.

Hanks is taken high and goals from directly in front.

Zanker is now on second ruck duties replacing the concussed Rhi Watt.

A brilliant pick up and snap from Kate Hore on a tight angle sees the Demons in front.

However, it doesn’t take long before Brisbane takes back the lead after Davidson scores her second goal.

Brisbane showing us some more of their cold aggression right on half-time with a number of players pushing and shoving.

½ time: Lions 4.3.27 Dees 4.0.24

Q3 Brisbane dominate the opening of the 3rd term and score 2 quick goals.

Meggs watches most Brisbane games and Jade Ellenger is not someone who opposition coaches would typically consider for a matchup.  However, she is giving the Lions heaps of defensive drive, playing the best game of her career.  No one appears to be playing on her.

The weight of Lions inside 50s is overwhelming our defence and Ruby Svarc and Sophie Conway score late quarter goals.  

¾ time: Lions 8.4.52 to Dees 4.1.25

Q4 An arm wrestle with no goals scored by either team this term.  

While the Dees failed to kick a goal in the second half, we are the 4th quarter specialists, and win last quarter by 2 points.

Lions 8.5.53 to Dees 4.4.28

Coaches and next week

Melbourne Coach Mick Stinear said Brisbane was too good tonight and deserved to win.

Defensively Brisbane was brilliant tonight and we struggled to navigate a way through.  It was a physical game and Rhi Watt is out with concussion.  He referred to really good depth in his squad.  

Lions coach Craig Starcevich said there was some passages of play by his team that were the best they’ve ever done.  He felt he had his best team out there which helps.  

Brisbane having defeated all the other top four teams must be considered an equal flag favourite with Adelaide.  Their qualifying final next week in Adelaide will be a blockbuster.

For Melbourne, a huge task awaits Mick Stinear and his football department as they tend to bruised bodies and restoring self-confidence ahead of our all-important qualifying final against North Melbourne.  Dees should start as favourites but recent wins count for nothing once the game starts.

MELBOURNE 1.0.6 4.0.24 4.1.25 4.4.28 

BRISBANE LIONS 2.2.14 4.3.27 8.4.52 8.5.53

GOALS

MELBOURNE Hanks Harris Hore Sherriff

BRISBANE LIONS Conway Davidson 2 Hampson Mullins Smith R Svarc

BEST

MELBOURNE Pearce Hore Purcell Hanks Gillard

BRISBANE LIONS Ellenger Koenen Hodder Conway Anderson Dawes

LATE CHANGES 

MELBOURNE Paxy Paxman (hamstring) replaced in selected side by Georgia Gall 

BRISBANE LIONS Nil

INJURIES 

MELBOURNE R. Watt (concussion) 

BRISBANE LIONS Nil

REPORTS 

MELBOURNE Nil

BRISBANE LIONS Nil

CROWD 3,004 at Brighton Homes Arena

AFLWReportRd102023.png

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