By MITCH TERPSTRA
The Brisbane Lions have continued their undefeated streak in 2019 and coasted to a big 89-point victory over the Canberra Demons in Canberra.
The Lions led the whole game and were able to make the most of the patches where they held the momentum, winning 24.11 (155) to 10.6 (66).
It was a tight and scrappy affair to begin with as both teams weren’t able to gain ascendency or chains of clean possessions due to a greasy surface.
The Lions’ Nick Robertson was the first goal kicker of the match after a beautiful assist from goal sneak Ben Keays. This was the kick start for the lions to kick the only three goals of the quarter.
It was the Lions’ AFL listed players that were having the most impact on the game with Allen Christensen and Ryan Bastinac each collecting 12 and 10 disposals respectively, while Robertson had nine disposals and two goals to his name at the quarter time break.
Canberra were unlucky to come away from the first quarter with only three behinds in hand as they were certainly matching the Lions through the middle of the ground. Canberra were able to go through patches gaining clean possessions but weren’t able to enter their forward line effectively on a consistent basis.
A costly kick-in error that led to a Joyce goal was the worst way to start the second quarter for the Demons. Brisbane were doing a good job of locking the ball in their 50 before a nice handball chain on the far side of the oval lead to an easy run in goal by Harry Carr.
Canberra was able to get a quick clearance and deep kick inside 50 for a nice Aaron Bruce contested mark and goal and suddenly the Demons looked like they were mounting a run. As quickly as this patch of play began, though, the Lions were able to reply with the next six goals of the quarter.
The Lions were doing a really good job of locking the ball inside their forward half and were winning most of the important clearances showing why they are the class of the competition so far, this year. Ryan Bastinac was the main contributor in the middle for the Lions in the second quarter having 21 disposals at the half.
Canberra were certainly putting the effort in to mount a comeback but were unable to gain any clean possession to a forward target. The Lions were simply running the young Demons side off their feet around the ground. Mitch Maguire was certainly helping the Demons get back into the game with 10 disposals, three clearances and two rebound 50s.
It was a 51-point margin at the half with the home side having plenty of work to do if they were wanting to get back into the match.
It was a high scoring and accurate third quarter as 11 goals were kicked between the two sides. Canberra kicked the much needed first two goals of the quarter through Tom Highmore and Rhys Pollock, holding the ball in their forward half for majority of the opening 10 minutes of the quarter.
Brisbane were able to gain the momentum back and fire a quick three goals of their own, and simply being a class above. It was Brisbane’s big name AFL players in Bastinac, Christensen, Taylor and Robertson that were the difference between these two sides.
Some of Canberra’s leaders stood up when they needed to and wrestle three of the next six goals of the quarter. The margin was out to 56-points and Canberra was playing for pride in the last quarter.
The Demons were unable to win the last quarter as the Lions kicked eight goals three to run away with a big victory. Canberra was competitive around the ground but were just unable to restrict the Lions scoring and ability to spread the ball.
Canberra Demons coach Kade Klemke said that his side needs to work on its spread and run with the ball as well as its consistency through games.
“We just had lapses throughout the game, and there were times that we really matched it with them, and I think we were winning the contested footy… and then we would just make a silly error, like turnover at a costly time,” he told neafl.com.au.
“They would just get a run on and our boys would drop our heads for five or 10 minutes and you just can’t afford to do that against the best sides.
“There were some really good passages but just not consistent enough over the four quarters.”
Both teams have the bye next week.
Canberra Demons v Brisbane Lions at Phillip Oval
BRISBANE 3.3 10.7 16.7 24.11 (155)
CANBERRA 0.2 2.4 7.5 1.6 (66)
GOALS – Brisbane: N Robertson 3 B Keays 3 A Smith 3 R Mathieson 3 T Wooller 3 T Fullarton 2 L Taylor T Joyce C Lyons C Cox A Christensen C McFadyen C Ballenden. Canberra: H Carr 3 A Bruce 2 A Smout T Faul R Pollock T Highmore M Hardie.
BEST – Brisbane: R Bastinac A Christensen N Robertson R Mathieson C Lyons A Smith. Canberra: A Smout A Baker G Richardson H Carr J Maynard M Hardie.
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