Lions roar off the back of stoppage dominance
IT was brewing on the edge of half-time, and once the machine that is the Brisbane Lions got going, there was little Hawthorn could do to stop the title contenders on the weekend. Clashing in Frankston on Sunday, the Hawks threatened to cause a boilover early off the back off a strong midfield performance, before Brisbane fought back and made light work of its opponents in the second half to run away with the victory.
ROUND 5 CLEARANCE STATS
|TEAM||FIRST HALF CLEARANCES||SECOND HALF CLEARANCES|
The above table tells the story of the tape, and the reason why the game shifted from one half to the other. Hawthorn got the jump on the Lions through the first half, and while Brisbane did have more inside 50s, the Lions were wasteful in front of goal, kicking 1.6 for the majority of the first half. By comparison, Hawthorn kicked 4.2 and lead by 14 points heading into the last minutes.
THE TURNING POINT
On the edge of half-time, Brisbane surged forward and some loose checking rom Hawthorn defence resulted in Dakota Davidson taking a mark close to the boundary line. Making no mistake from the set shot, Davidson cut the deficit to eight points at the main break and breathed life into a Lions attack that had been wasteful.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?
A simply dominant performance from Brisbane as the Lions would pile on the next five goals, and six of the last seven to leave a shellshocked Hawks in their wake. Captain Breanna Koenen moved into the midfield and immediately had an impact, providing extra strength around the ball.
Up forward, Isabel Dawes was the spark, laying a critical tackle on Kaitlyn Ashmore to win a holding the ball free on the goalline. She made no mistake, and a few minutes later, Ashmore had another moment to forget, trying to fend off Davidson and Dawes, and was pinged. Davidson kicked another major and all of a sudden the Lions were in front.
WHO WERE THE MIDFIELD STARS?
Ally Anderson arguably had her colours lowered in the first half against former teammate and close friend Emily Bates, but fought rack to rack up a whopping 30 disposals, eight clearances, eight tackles, and impressively, 455 metres gained. Dawes (20 disposals, five clearances) added some extra toughness and speed around the ball, while Koenen even managed three clearances herself.
The Hawks again relied heavily on Bates (17 disposals, 14 tackles and five clearances), while Tilly Lucas-Rodd (14 disposals, four clearances) and Jasmine Fleming (15 disposals, four clearances) tried hard but struggled with efficiency.
To compare both sides, Brisbane had 16 players who recorded 50 per cent or greater disposal efficiency, compared to just 10 from the Hawks. This was further exemplified in the disposal efficiency differential of 60.6 to 50.6 per cent.
WHO IS NEXT?
Brisbane returns home to face Collingwood, a side the Lions will be expected to beat, though the Magpies’ strength lies in its midfield. Therefore, Brisbane cannot afford to drop a clearance differential like it did against the Hawks in the first half, or the Lions will be playing catchup.