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Can Brisbane break their finals drought?

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18th May, 2019
20

That’s the question on everyone’s lips in Queensland after the Lions managed to topple Adelaide by a solitary point today.

It was a great win for the young Lions outfit, with the Crows no pushovers after playing a solid month of football.

Lachie Neale was again outstanding with 39 disposals and Charlie Cameron was dynamic around the goals with only inaccuracy stopping him kicking a bag.

What I found most impressive about the Lions today was their ability to tackle and pressure Adelaide. The Crows dominated the aerial game with 91 marks to 66, yet the Lions out-tackled the Crows by 24.

That showed their willingness to press against the Crows and to not let Adelaide dominate with their possession style of footy. The Crows have been susceptible to teams starving them of the footy and even though Brisbane didn’t do that over the whole match, they did enough.

They were able to play corridor footy for the majority of the game and take out a small period in the second term they never looked like losing control of the match.

I thought when the Lions stretched out a 26-point lead in the last term that they were home. But credit must go to Adelaide for fighting on and the match could’ve gone either way in the end.

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But it’s another win for a Lions side that’s growing with confidence each quarter and each game in 2019. And digging into some stats reveals that.

Judging on a quarter-by-quarter basis it seems that the Lions are slow starters and fast finishers. They have managed to win just nine out of 18 first and second quarters with a percentage of 88. But when they leave the half time sheds they explode.

They have won 12 out of 18 quarters with a percentage of 121. That’s a sign of a team that knows when to play their best football and that’s at the end of games.

Another reason why I see Brisbane playing finals in 2019 is their player availability. So far after nine rounds of football, they have had 16 players play every game.

That’s a massive advantage for a young side that needs continuity within the group. Chris Fagan must also be rapt that the team is breaking a number of hoodoos so far this season.

Chris Fagan of the Lions

(AAP Image/Julian Smith)

They have managed to beat West coast and Adelaide for the first time since 2012, took care of Sydney for their first win since 2009 and also defeated Port for the first time in half a decade. These sort of wins can turn into a tsunami of belief that a whole club can ride a wave on.

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And looking ahead to the rest of their fixture it paints a very positive picture. They play Fremantle in Perth next week then follow that up with playing four teams currently outside the eight. If they can manage to go 3-2 or even 4-1 in that stretch this season could be their oyster.

So lock yourself in Brisbane fans. The train towards September may be gaining traction at a greater speed than anyone anticipated. Their hardest games for the season will probably be against GWS in Round 16 and Geelong in Round 22.

Every other game you could make an argument that they have a realistic chance of winning them. Even Port Adelaide in Adelaide and Hawthorn in Melbourne aren’t impossible road trips.

If the young Lions can win next week against Fremantle I would even go out on a limb and say they can finish top four. Let’s see what next week unfolds for us.