After a big win on the weekend, Chris Fagan’s Brisbane Lions once again proved why they can win the premiership.
Their win on the weekend has penciled them in as finishing in the top four and they now move equal with both Geelong and West Coast on points, with only percentage separating the Lions from being on top of the ladder.
So what makes Brisbane so good?
On the weekend, we saw a perfect example: it’s their pressure.
Brisbane’s pressure acts around the ground are elite. Their tackling is unstoppable and Darcy Gardiner displayed that with a huge goal-saving tackle on Bailey Dale in the second quarter.
Dayne Zorko this year has been a key pressure player for the Lions with 125 tackles for the season, which puts him third overall in the competition.
Additionally, pressure acts from Brisbane’s small forward Charlie Cameron have been outstanding. On Sunday he was unstoppable. As well as providing forward pressure, he also hit the scoreboard, kicking four goals.
On top of pressure, the Lions also uniquely utilise and make the most of their ball use. They run in small clusters, which allows them to flick the ball around quickly and then attack straight into their forward line.
This quick ball movement is spearheaded by Lachie Neale, Dayne Zorko, Jarryd Lyons and also Mitch Robinson, who have all had stand-out years.
Brisbane’s back line has also been brilliant this year. Led by AFL veteran Luke Hodge, Brisbane’s defence has held up well.
Young gun Noah Answerth has also established himself as key part of Brisbane’s back line and Darcy Gardiner has also had a solid year playing centre half back.
Chris Fagan should be applauded for the work and development he has put into this team. He has totally transformed the club and regenerated the Brisbane Lions.
From an AFL fan’s perspective, I’d love to see the Lions battling for the flag on grand final day this year.
This fresh-faced team will embrace September football, and if they continue to play the brand of football they have been playing in season 2019, then they are well on the way to win the flag.