Brisbane was So Close to Victory Against Sydney

Brisbane lost to Sydney today but the Lions can take pride in the performance that they put on show, almost coming close to victory themselves.

Although the Lions only lead for a few minutes in the first quarter, they kept on persisting and they avoided another heavy defeat like the one they got last week against the Western Bulldogs.

There some were some players that under-performed in the three-point defeat but there were others that performed well in slippery conditions at the Gabba.

The Positives

Dayne Zorko was the standout for Brisbane with 33 disposals, seven tackles and a goal. He showed great fight and stamina and he used the ball well throughout the match. Pearce Hanley was also fantastic for the Lions, collecting 25 disposals, making 12 tackles and scoring two vital goals.

Mitch Robinson gathered 28 disposals and made seven tackles and he demonstrated once again that he is one of Brisbane’s toughest midfielders. He was a hard tackler and he went in hard into the contests.

Daniel Rich is a player that gets moved around the ground from time to time and he was a solid performer today. He touched the ball 23 times, made five tackles and he kicked two goals, showing that he can be a handy goal-scorer when he is in scoring range.

Allen Christensen touched the ball 17 times but he took seven marks and scored three goals, more than any other Brisbane player. He was usually present in the contest and he was slick in tight areas. After a tough 2015, this season he has shown that he is starting to be a key contributor for the Lions.

Ben Keays made his debut and got 11 disposals but he made eight tackles and kicked 1.1. It was not an amazing start to his AFL career but it was a solid introduction nevertheless.

Although Tom Rockliff gained 32 disposals, I felt that most of the other on-ballers made more of an impact with their ball use. 

The Negatives

Arguably the biggest disappointment from this game aside from the result itself was the performance of Lewis Taylor.

In his 50th match, his impact was not positive and he touched the ball only 11 times. There were a number of occasions in which he failed to control the ball and some of these opportunities to control the ball where at times in which he could have given Brisbane the lead.

Although Josh Walker scored the final goal of the match, his performance was rather poor. When he plays in the forward 50, he struggles to make leads, he has trouble taking marks, and he doesn’t create space for his teammates.

Walker works hard when he goes into the ruck so he is probably better off being a back-up to Stefan Martin than to become a key forward. Daniel McStay also struggled in the forward line, scoring one goal and only taking three marks.

Where Do the Lions Go From Here?

A trip to South Australia is next for Brisbane, who will play Port Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval next Sunday. The Power defeated Richmond on Saturday night but Brisbane needs to display the same determination and effort that they showed against Sydney.

Dayne Beams might play his first game of the season for the Lions against Port Adelaide, which would be great for the midfield, but Justin Leppitsch needs to fix his forward line.

Josh Schache needs to return after having a week’s rest so the Lions can have an additional target in the forward 50. It is unlikely that Walker will be dropped but Leppitsch is better off bringing back Jonathan Freeman and persisting with him because Walker doesn’t look like a player capable of becoming an elite key forward.

Brisbane showed that it was tough to beat but these sort of performances need to be replicated consistently. Defeating Port Adelaide might not be an easy task for the Lions but they must prove to all the other AFL sides that they are not a bunch of easybeats.