Preview Round 15 2020 - Brisbane Lions vs Collingwood, The Gabba, Friday September 4th @ 7:50 PM

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Nunez

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The Beginning

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Enjoy this picture of a sad Buckley

When singing up for the Easter Thursday clash between Brisbane and Collingwood, I felt this would be an important game in the context of our season.

In a Covid impacted 2020 though, this game is more important than ever, but not for the reasons you may think.

This preview starts back in 2016. The Leppa coached Brisbane Lions were set to have a much-improved season after an injury riddled 2015. Fans were optimistic. I mean, how much worse could we get?

Enter round 8, 2016. 11 goals to 3 in an hour of football. Brisbane, the player and the coach officially hit rock bottom and any hope of a good year was flushed down the metaphorical shitter.

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Poor Leppa

Thankfully, a rookie coach by the name of old man Fagan took over and little by little, we went from one of the worst teams ever (conceding 130 points a game) to one of the premiership favourites in three short years.

One by one, we have broken hoodoos and the losing streaks that come with them.

However.

There are two teams that have dogged us – Richmond and Collingwood. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that they’re the two biggest clubs in Victoria and every game played against the two has a ‘big fight feel’ to them. No matter how good we’ve seemingly got, the Pies and Tigers find a way to beat us – or should I say – we find ways to lose.

Against the Tigers, our inaccuracy meant what should have been a close game was a bad loss (x3 if you include both games in 2019). Against the Pies, it was a similar story. Our inaccuracy meant we couldn’t capitalise on our momentum and the Pies blew us away in the third.

The big two. The limelight. The pressure. The same result.

For Brisbane to win the premiership in 2020, we must beat the Pies.

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Collingwood
Collingwood’s season has been rocky at best. Many considered Collingwood a premiership favourite at the start of the year. While they’ve had some good wins, letting games slip against the likes of Fremantle, Melbourne and Essendon meant they’re skirting around the edges of the top 8 instead of being entrenched in the top four.

They play a high possession game, averaging 40 more disposals a game than Brisbane. Their ability to control the football is strong, but their confidence going forward means a surprisingly low amount of shots per game. They are averaging just 16 scores a game to go with 42 inside 50s. Their inability to kick winning scores is what seems to separate them from the top of the pack.

Collingwood has not been helped by their injuries and may be without De Goey, Howe, Treloar and Sidebottom heading into this match. Historically, they have been the players to carve us up, so if none of the above can get up to play against us, it would be a huge loss for the Pies.

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"Just fu**en score, aye"
-Nathan Buckley, 2020


Brisbane
Given this is a Lions forum, I’ll cut the fluff. Accuracy is our Achilles heel. We average 22 shots a game, 12 of which are behinds. If we straighten up, we’re hard to stop.

We’ve had our depth in 2020, but fortunately the likes of Witherden, Answerth, Smith & Fullarton have been able to play their roles when called upon.

We will see the return of Daniel Rich against Collingwood, but we will also be without Linc McCarthy. McCarthy has played a pivotal role for us up forward, averaging 1 goal, 11 pressure acts and has tagged out opposition half back flankers. Whoever takes his role against Collingwood will have an important role to play.

Fagan and co will also have to consider whether or not we bring Archie Smith in for Tom Fullarton. That would be incredibly unlucky (and probably unlikely) for Tom to lose his spot, but given Collingwood play three rucks (Grundy, Cameron and to a lesser extent, Cox), Oscar will have his hands full and Fullarton would be very vulnerable in the ruck. With that said, I’d personally back Fullarton in to have an impact with his running power and ability to score.

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"There's a little crippled boy sitting in a hospital who wants you to win this game. I know because I crippled him myself to inspire you."
- Coach Fagan


How Do We Win?
Regardless of Collingwood’s outs, for us to win we absolutely must win the mental battle before the first siren sounds. We have to believe in ourselves and our ability to win. We must convert our opportunities. We must apply the level of pressure we’ve become known for. If we play at our best, we will beat Collingwood.

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What Does A Win Mean?
A win means belief. A win means another hoodoo quashed. A win needs we are more ready than ever before to win in the finals. Once we have the belief, we will have momentum heading into our second consecutive finals campaign.


So… Will We Win?
Removing bias, I think Brisbane walk away with a four-goal win. Statistically, we’re superior to the Pies. We get more inside 50s, lay more tackles, score more goals, gain more meters, have more rebound 50s, get more contested marks and are equal in clearances. If we’re able to convert like we did against Essendon and the Bulldogs, we’ll take the points.

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Adding the bias (and pain from supporting Brisbane through the Voss and Leppa era), I am concerned our history losing to the big two means performing similar to the Richmond game – the pressure will get to us and we’ll botch our scoring chains/shots at goal. If we can go in with a calm, confident mindset and mitigate the errors going forward, then this will be a monumental win.

The belief we would gain by beating a long-time foe in Collingwood would be huge. In many ways, our season hinges on this game.

Let's break the hoodoo with a dominant win and announce ourselves as the real deal heading into the final weeks of the home and away season. Go Lions!

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lionraven

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Even if the Pies play the three rucks I would back Fullerton. OMac and Archie have both played against Cameron in the NEAFL. It has been 50-50 from what I remember. I think McStay can handle someone like Cox if we need a chop out. Cox relies on reach so we can outmuscle him off the ruck. I would back Fullerton against Grundy at the around the ground aspect. It is clear Grundy will dominate taps but the key strength from Grundy is his around the ground follow up work. He is essentially an added midfield. I would back Fullerton's running to keep up with Grundy in that respect and make sure every disposal of his is pressured.
 

Nunez

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Great preview Nunez :thumbsu:

I am genuinely interested to see who the coaches replace McCarthy with. In order of preference, I hope it is either Christensen, Cox or Coleman although I’m expecting it to be Coleman.
Coleman seems like the guy doesn't he? Unless Bundy is cooked, I am hoping we opt for a more senior head against the Pies and he ticks the boxes based in 2019 form.
 

Dylan12

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Coleman seems like the guy doesn't he? Unless Bundy is cooked, I am hoping we opt for a more senior head against the Pies and he ticks the boxes based in 2019 form.
Coleman does seem like the guy. Named emergency 7 times to Christensen and Cox's both not having been named once between them.

I just rate Christensen. Last year he reminded me of Craig McCrae in terms of his manic defensive work inside our forward 50 and also he just kicks goals or sets others up. Of course, I have no idea where he is rated by the coaches, but the romantic in me would love for him to get a final game in the jumper he designed.
 

Gadzorks

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I really rate Fullerton in the ruck as ruck skills are basic basketball jumps and taps for the ball. He's needed a lot less time to develop as he is adapting existing skills rather than learning a whole new position. He and Oscar will be fine for this game.

Also we need to break the scoring hoodoo so we have to bring in an experienced forward who doesn't have anything to prove and can just matter-of-factly score goal or goals and lift the others. Has to be Christensen. His body of experience is perfectly suited and he showed last year he isn't in slighest fazed by any opposition when he steps up.
 

Gadzorks

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Coleman seems like the guy doesn't he? Unless Bundy is cooked, I am hoping we opt for a more senior head against the Pies and he ticks the boxes based in 2019 form.
Last time he was interviewed he reckoned he was in the best form of his career. Just seems out of flavour with the coaches and their drive to stick by the young guys.
 

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mpal6

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I really rate Fullerton in the ruck as ruck skills are basic basketball jumps and taps for the ball. He's needed a lot less time to develop as he is adapting existing skills rather than learning a whole new position. He and Oscar will be fine for this game.

Also we need to break the scoring hoodoo so we have to bring in an experienced forward who doesn't have anything to prove and can just matter-of-factly score goal or goals and lift the others. Has to be Christensen. His body of experience is perfectly suited and he showed last year he isn't in slighest fazed by any opposition when he steps up.
+1 to that, Fullarton showed a lot more in terms of covering ground and be a handball option for our mids. He is way ahead of Archie already.
 

Nunez

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There's a spot up for grabs too if Ah Chee's struggles continue.
I'm not convinced he's struggling. Have a look at the delivery to him in the replay - I thought he broke even in several contests which in itself was impressive given the delivery. I didn't notice it at all live but definitely saw it in the replay.
 

jjami15

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First; please let me get tickets, please let me tickets!
Second; please let us win, please let us win!
If there is anyone I enjoy beating the most it’s this mob (it’ll be Richmond when it happens;)).
 

Mighty Lions

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Even if the Pies play the three rucks I would back Fullerton. OMac and Archie have both played against Cameron in the NEAFL. It has been 50-50 from what I remember. I think McStay can handle someone like Cox if we need a chop out. Cox relies on reach so we can outmuscle him off the ruck. I would back Fullerton against Grundy at the around the ground aspect. It is clear Grundy will dominate taps but the key strength from Grundy is his around the ground follow up work. He is essentially an added midfield. I would back Fullerton's running to keep up with Grundy in that respect and make sure every disposal of his is pressured.
Nice to read your post and several other BF posters getting excited and backing Tommy. Think its important that we give him the time to develop & not expect too much of him while he's doing just that. The challenge of playing against Grundy is a huge opportunity for Fullerton & one he will take a lot away from but to expect too much of him against one of the best in the business at the moment is a little premature right at the present time.
 

Dalions

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Nice to read your post and several other BF posters getting excited and backing Tommy. Think its important that we give him the time to develop & not expect too much of him while he's doing just that. The challenge of playing against Grundy is a huge opportunity for Fullerton & one he will take a lot away from but to expect too much of him against one of the best in the business at the moment is a little premature right at the present time.
I think we tend to play Oscar on the opposing No:1 ruck 90% of the time anyway, so Fullas will not be playing on Grundy for too much game time I wouldn’t think.
 
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