- Feb 22, 2016
- AFL Club
- Brisbane Lions
Really? watching the game now and I think we are clearly the better team.Now that I've slept on it and calmed down...
We didn't deserve to win that game. Yes, the final quarter fightback was great, but we'd been garbage for the entire first half. You generally don't win games of football by only playing properly for half of it. And yes, the umpires screwed us over repeatedly for obvious calls, but we should never have been in that position to begin with, considering the number of scoring shots we had. We were getting caned in the midfield until we moved Neale out of there, and we gave up far too many easy goals. The defence was like a sieve at times, completely failing to cover players or shut off their avenues at goal.
Someone said in the game thread that we'll be right once McStay and Gardiner are back. They have a point that we miss those two players a lot - Gardiner could have covered Hawkins and let Harris play as a roaming intercept marker, and McStay would have held down CHF while Joe rucked. But it's not that simple. We need some serious work on our midfield brigade. Neale got tagged out of the game far too easily. Usually our response is to protect him with big bodies, but we didn't have any available once Berry Sr went down pre-game. This led to us shifting Robbo inside, which isn't ideal. Going forward I want to see McCluggage and Berry Sr in there a lot more, or failing that, Matho or CEY come in. I really think they could have made the difference.
Lyons had a good game, no issues with him. Our wingers were poor though. Sharp shouldn't be playing right now. Yes he's got endurance and did a couple of good things last night, but it's not enough to justify his selection when he gets shrugged off so easily by physically more developed players. He's a high schooler with some talent and he looks like it right now, in a game of men. Prior seemed to be playing wing too, I wonder why when he was drafted as a defender. In the past we've done well with Robbo as a winger, whose hack kicks were fine because we played chaos ball, but I don't think that's going to work any longer. We need better kicks there than Sharp, Robbo and Prior. Next week I'd shift Ah Chee up there, and maybe give Ely a chance there too.
Some say we lost this game at the selection table, and I have to agree. We know that Geelong have big bodies in midfield and we need big bodies to counter them, but we didn't pick enough. We even brought in Prior to cover Berry Sr instead of a like-for-like player in Matho. We know that Harris doesn't play well on Hawkins and yet we put him on Hawkins again instead of selecting Adams. We know Birchall is incredibly slow, and that playing him alongside Lester and Rich cost us dearly against Sydney, and yet we did it again. We know teams like to tag Neale and yet we had no answer to it for an entire half of football. Half this loss is on the players, the other half is on the coaching staff for defeating themselves in selection and strategy.
Some good things came out of this game though. After spending six quarters trying to turn him into a midfielder, we finally seem to have learned again how to use Charlie best - get the other forwards to draw away defenders, giving him the space to use his pace and leading ability. Joe stepped up big time in the final quarter. McCarthy, Bailey and Berry Jr did their jobs. Zorko looked pretty impressive at times, aside from stupidly giving away that 50. Payne worked his way into it after an unimpressive start.
There's a lot to build on going forward. But Fagan really has to swing the axe and change things if he wants to make this team play to its potential.