Lions’ youth-led AFL win delights Voss
Brisbane captain Jonathan Brown’s failure to kick a goal in a 58-point AFL win over the Western Bulldogs has coach Michael Voss confident his side is headed upwards.
Returning veteran Ash McGrath kicked five majors as the Lions thrashed the Dogs 18.6 (114) to 7.14 (56) at Etihad Stadium on Saturday, their first win at the venue since 2010.
It lifted the Lions to a 5-7 record, ahead of the Bulldogs on percentage.
With Brown goal-less and another triple-premiership star, midfielder Simon Black, also outshone by younger teammates, Voss said his side were finally developing the even spread of contributors they had been craving.
“The big fella didn’t kick a goal today, so that’s significant,” Voss told reporters.
“It’s been pretty consistent in terms of sharing the workload in some of those areas this year.
“That’s what we’re trying to get across our midfield group too.”
McGrath’s five goals were combined with preventing Bulldogs star defender Bob Murphy from having a major impact.
Young midfielder Tom Rockliff (40 disposals, two goals) was superb, with fellow up-and-comers Jack Redden, Pearce Hanley, Daniel Rich and Dayne Zorko also very good, while Daniel Merrett kicked four goals.
The Lions were wearing special heritage jumpers ahead of Saturday night’s inaugural club Hall of Fame function and Voss said it had been important they did their Fitzroy and Brisbane predecessors proud.
They were clearly more inspired than the Dogs, jumping their opposition with three goals to nothing in the first nine minutes.
The Bulldogs were still in touch at halftime, trailing by 17 points, and missed some crucial scoring chances early in the second half.
The Lions then buried their opposition with a nine-goal run either side of three-quarter time.
Bulldogs coach Brendan McCartney lamented his side’s failure to adequately pressure Brisbane, who frequently moved the ball the length of the ground with sharp disposal chains.
The first-year coach said some aspects of the performance were as poor as anything they had produced this season.
“If you haven’t got it in your hands you’ve got to work pretty hard to get it back and that was the essence of the day – they did, we didn’t,” McCartney said.
Dogs skipper Matthew Boyd had a rare quiet day, fellow star Adam Cooney did next to nothing, while tall forwards Ayce Cordy and Liam Jones had no impact.
Midfielders Daniel Cross and Tom Liberatore battled hard, Brian Lake outpointed Brown and first-gamer Tom Campbell gave Bulldogs fans something with a solid game in the ruck.
Brisbane defender Matt Maguire was subbed off in the first quarter after hyperextending an elbow, with the extent of damage still to be determined.© AAP 2013
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