Round 2 – Brisbane v North Melbourne: Abbreviated Thoughts

A glorious Saturday afternoon in Brisbane. Five minute wait to get into the German club an hour before the game. Plenty of white and blue about, feels like a designated away pub but everyone is jovial and enjoying a drink in the sun before the bounce. First home game of the year has the die-hards and the families out in seemingly equal proportion. The family friendly mid-afternoon kick off seems like an appropriate way to get the season underway for the locals.

 

Lions start well. Young, fresh legs provide plenty of running but the kicking is ordinary to say the least. Seven behinds in the first sets the tone. While the Lions have a spasmodic, erratic energy about them when they have the ball, the Roos appear far more organised and systematic. From a contest, North execute a few training park perfect clearances working the Sherrin out the back first then wide, then wider again and they’re away. The Lions use twice as many handballs to find clean air but the aggressiveness is welcomed by the crowd, who are emboldened that their hopes of a contest remain intact as the siren sounds at the end of the first half.

 

Grandstands empty in search of refreshments and ceramic. A small crowd gathers under the monitors above the bar as the hooter blasts for the start of the third quarter. Necks bent back in unison.

 

Winx is a champion.

 

Lions stay within reach for at the start of the third and when they kick two on the trot mid-way through the third the crowd lifts, hoping that the goals will start to flow. It’s not to be. North Melbourne are clinical after some, frankly terrible, turnovers and the game is done as a contest heading into the final quarter.

 

The size of the defeat doesn’t do the Lions justice, who played hard and even had some passages of dominance. Fair to say that wayward goal kicking in the first half cost them but I had the sense that the Roos had another gear to go to if required.

 

The Lions’ biggest obstacle this season is the final kick into the fifty. Without a big man they’re forced to be more precise with the boot. Flatter trajectories and pinpoint accuracy required but not available. The pressure that Brisbane generate on the ball and their running will help them stay competitive this season but when you do your best work between the 50m arcs the W’s will be tough to come by.

 

Some other observations from the afternoon:

  • Rich playing full forward betrays the absolute dearth of tall forward options available to the Lions.
  • Boomer is as good as ever with ball in hand.
  • Jarrad Waite’s hands are covered in glue. They’re still trying to get his boot polish off the ball.
  • Lewis Taylor’s class shouldn’t be questioned. Has it.
  • Lions back men were surprisingly robust. No team can survive the type of turnovers that helped the Roos kick away.
  • Surprised when a tick over 18,000 is revealed to be the crowd for the day. Felt like more.

 

BRISBANE LIONS              2. 7      4. 11      7. 12     11. 17  (83)
NORTH MELBOURNE      2. 3      8. 8      13. 13     17. 15  (117) 

 

GOALS
Brisbane Lions: Green 2, Taylor 2, Zorko 2, C Beams, Bell, Lester, Rockliff, Walker
North Melbourne:  Waite 5, Brown 3, Dal Santo 2, Gibson 2, Harvey 2, Goldstein, Petrie, Ziebell

 

BEST
Brisbane Lions: Taylor, Hanley, Zorko,
North Melbourne: Waite, Wells, Ziebell, Jacobs, Brown, Swallow, Goldstein

 

VOTES: 3 Jarrad Waite (NM), 2. Daniel Wells (NM), 1. “Huey” Lewis Taylor (BNE)

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