Brisbane Lions ease the pressure, keep Essendon Bombers in last spot

by admin on July 13th, 2018

filed under 南京夜网

BRISBANE 6.3  9.4  15.6  20.8 (128) ESSENDON 3.4  6.9  7.14  12.19 (91) Goals: Brisbane: J Walker 4 J Green 2 L Dawson 2 R Mathieson 2 T Cutler 2 D Rich E Hipwood P Hanley R Bastinac R Bewick S Martin S Mayes T Rockliff. Essendon: J Daniher 4 O Fantasia 3 A Tipungwuti C Dempsey K Langford M Brown W Hams.Best: Brisbane: Rockliff, Rich, Robinson, Martin, Zorko, Bastinac, Hanley, Walker. Essendon: Merrett, Daniher, Langford, Goddard, Hartley, Francis, Parish. LeuenbergerUmpires: Chris Donlon, Leigh Fisher, Robert O’Gorman.Official Crowd: 34,869 at Etihad Stadium.
Nanjing Night Net

There was no clear-cut draft prospect for these teams to try and play for. There was no Jacob Weitering Cup, no Lachie Whitfield Shield, no trophy named after Tom Boyd.

No, the clubs that turned up to Etihad Stadium needed something much more than Hugh McCluggage, Will Brodie, Sam Petrevski-Seton or whoever ends up the No.1 draft pick: a win.

Essendon arrived with just one for the year. One more than many expected for them at the start of the season but a tally that should have ticked over to two or three, given their improved form in the last few weeks.

The Lions turned up with four points to their name too. For them this had been a year in which improvement could and probably should have occurred, but hasn’t, leaving them where they have been for such a long time now.

This was both teams’ big chance but you might not have known that given the clear edge in urgency that Brisbane began with, creating a lead that the Bombers had to helplessly chase all day.

The Lions had 13 more disposals in the first five minutes. They had seven clearances, to none. They had five inside-50s, to zero. More importantly than that, they had four goals on the board.

Essendon found their way into the game. They felt much more than just in the game, by the end of the first quarter. But then the self-sabotage began, and expanded, and grew.

The Lions were direct and clean. When they got a shot at goal, they more often than not made the most of it. They cherished the chances they worked hard to create.

There was lots to like about the way they started: Sam Mayes’ running goal, Josh Walker’s stretching mark, the gung-ho Rhys Mathieson, Mitch Robinson’s job on David Zaharakis.

Daniel Rich’s long kicks into the forward line didn’t always land in the arms of a Brisbane player but helped them keep the ball down there. Tom Rockliff did some bashing and crashing.

At one end, Eric Hipwood held onto a strong contested mark while sandwiched between three others. The first-year forward has just 82 kilograms to go with his 200 centimetres.

At the other end, he intercepted a handball on the boundary line, stepped one way and the other before snapping a goal. He carts 200 centimetres around with his 82 kilos.

There were some things to like about Essendon, too. Zach Merrett fought on without a whole lot of help, as he always does; Kyle Langford moved well; Joe Daniher snapped a right-foot goal.

Aaron Francis approached his first game with confidence, courage and composure, backing himself in, going for marks and taking them, running into contests with the flight of the ball.

There wasn’t too much else, though. Essendon’s kicking was comical at times, and cover-your-eyes terrible at others. They looked tired and their mistakes multiplied.

Where Brisbane played at pace, moved the ball quickly and created clear shots for goal, Essendon missed targets off the backline, through the middle and everywhere else on the ground.

They got the margin back to 14 points at half-time, which sounded much more pleasant than the 26 points it had eased out to at the start of time on, but then things became harder, not easier.

Brisbane got sharper. The Bombers got sloppier. The Lions kicked the first two goals of the third term via Tom Cutler and Mathieson, which pushed their lead straight back out to where it was.

Essendon generated shots, but they kicked points: through Connor McKenna, Mitch Brown, McKenna again. They missed running into open goals, they kicked the ball into the post. They kept finding ways.

That was one problem; the next, accompanying one, was how easily the Lions were able to whisk the ball from the kick-in straight to their end, where more often than not they scored a goal.

They kicked 6.2 for the quarter. Essendon kicked 1.5. The three-quarter time margin was 40 points.

The Lions were bubbling; they had 15 clearances to two for the term.The Bombers were flat, beaten badly for the ball and still their own worst enemy when they had it.

They were pushed aside more easily than they have been by much better teams this year and didn’t move the ball with much confidence until it was way, way too late.

Brisbane haven’t looked like a cohesive team for much of this season, and they still have work to do to ensure the potential of Hipwood, Josh Schache and others is realised not wasted.

But this was a very good day. A game they set up very early and gained even greater control of the longer it went.

A 37-point margin. Thirteen goalkickers to seven, a club record 12-game losing streak finally over and good players all over the ground.

.A tiny little flicker of hope, and some pressure eased. For now.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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