Game Day: Gabba Saturday 13th June 2020 at 1.45pm AEST
Dockers v Lions
The Brisbane Lions were set to play the Fremantle Dockers in round 11 at Optus stadium.
But alas the world is in a strange place at present, so we get to play Fremantle instead of North in round 2.
This game was originally scheduled in WA.
We would have been up against a hostile crowd (before corona virus) and this game would have been penciled in by coaches as a danger game.
Any game played across the country is a danger game as was evident by our heartbreaking 1 point loss to the Dockers at Optus Stadium last year.
The previous 2 years we traveled to WA for this game. We now have a home game, and one we must win to get back on track in 2020.
After a lackluster effort against the Hawks in round 1 the boys need to come out firing and not let the Dockers into the game right from the first bounce.
A good start in the shortened quarters format will be important.
The next four games are also at the Gabba and I believe we must win 3 of them to stay in finals contention in this short but fair (sort of) corona virus draw of 2020.
At the time of writing this review there was no injury list available for either team on the AFL site.
I am going to assume (wrongly) that the players named in round 1 for each team will most likely front up again. I expect the vast majority will.
With no recent game form to go on, a review of both teams round 1 performance may provide some insight to this game.
Fremantle v Essendon
In round 1 the Dockers under new coach Justin Longmuir failed to peg back the fast starting Essendon by 6 points.
One of the Dockers problems over the years with Ross Lyon in charge was their inability to post a big score. Once again they only kicked 8 goals at Marvel stadium.
Rory Lobb had a good game marking everything that came his way and kicked 2 goals while pinch hitting in the ruck.
Three goals came from first gamer Sam Sturt, with single goals to Walters, Colyer & Taberner.
Bret Bewley in his 8th appearance played his best game to date. He had 20 disposals and 8 marks also had a game high 498 meters gained.
Ex Lion James Aish also playing his first game for the Dockers but was quiet with only 12 disposals.
Lions v Hawthorn
In my opinion the round 1 Lions v Hawks encounter lacked intensity compared to the Dockers v Essendon game. Hopefully this is rectified come round 2.
Looking at the team stats it was fairly even overall except the final scores.
Hawthorn did have a healthy margin in these three stats - hit outs 33 to 22, uncontested possession 172 to 159, free kicks 20 to 15.
Also, the Lions only used 73 of 90 interchange.
Stefan Martin injured his PCL during the 3rd quarter and did not return. Charlie Cameron’s day ended early in the last quarter with a toe injury.
Deven Robertson made his debut when Grant Birchall withdrew with hamstring tightness.
Hawthorn had no injuries for the game.
Maybe we can put the loss down to all these things combined.
At three quarter time we only trailed by 13 points but had 14 scoring shots to their 12 so still in the game at this stage.
The Hawks kicked 4 goals 4 to our 2 goals 1 to run away with a comfortable 28 point win.
And then the season unraveled for everyone.
At half time Gil McLachlan announced to the AFL community the season was on hold due to corona virus.
According to both clubs no players were informed of this decision.
Should both teams go in unchanged (but unlikely) the breakup will look something like below. The Lions figures include Deven Robertson in for Grant Birchall
Below figures taken from footywire. I rechecked the game average of 58.7 for the Dockers and that is what they have indicated.
So a very young team for the Dockers that day
|188.1 cm||Height||188.0 cm|
|88.6 kg||Weight||88.8 kg|
|24 yrs. 10 months||Age||24 yrs. 0 MThs|
|Total Players BY Games|
|7||Less than 50||11|
Fremantle will go into this game with Darcy their main ruck and Lobb mostly forward.
I expect the Lions to play Martin (if fit) and another forward/ruck, possibly McInerney over Ballenden and Archie Smith.
What are people’s thoughts on playing one or two rucks?
Our back line is becoming a solid unit and should hold Fremantle to another low score.
Containing Walters could be the key.
Rory Lobb played well in round one but he had a first gamer on him most of the day.
Our forward line need to find a way to score more consistently and not solely rely on a team effort that worked so well in 2019.
Opposition coaches will have done their homework.
This could be a chance for someone like Ballenden to get the gig over Oscar.
Whoever gets the forward/ruck role needs to consistently kick goals to hold that spot. If not, we may very well run with an extra mid.
On paper we have a better midfield then the Dockers.
However Fyfe is one on the best midfielders in the completion and we can’t afford to have him dominate.
One player needs to have a run with role on Fyfe.
Jarred Lyons has played this role on a few players in the past but I think we need a big bodied mid to take on the role.
I am going way out on a limb and suggest Cam Ellis-Yolmen to get the job.
Hopefully Cam has taken his wake up message from Fagan before round 1 seriously.
Jarrod Berry is another who could take this role.
Please voice your opinion I can take it, I think.
Key players for the Dockers if they play. List in no particular order- Darcy-Lobb-Fyfe -McCarthy-Mundy-Walters
Which young player might get a game for the Lions - Ah Chee-Ballenden-Coleman-Cox-Payne-Robertson-Skinner-Starcevich or a bolter
So predicatively I believe the Lions will be too good at home and win by 20+ points.
Hopefully they get off to a good start and stay well in front the whole game.
So what does the Lions Big Footy community think?