The Brisbane Lions made Michael Voss and Daniel Rich’s debuts at coach and player respectively sweet, as they pulled off a relieving 9-point win at the Gabba. Despite poor disposal efficiency and a flurry of Mark LeCras early, Brisbane replied masterfully with an irresistible 57 point third quarter.
The Eagles shot out of the gates for the first ten minutes, booting 6 goals to 2 in the first quarter to be leading by 25 points at the first break. Signs were ominous for the newly appointed Michael Voss as head coach as his side poorly disposed of the football out of their defence, but for West Coast it was the opposite as Dean Cox dominated the hit-out count and LeCras slotted numerous classy majors. The Lions had no answer to West Coast’s smooth football as this trend continued through the second quarter.
But the half-time break came at a glorious time for the Lions, as Matthew Leunberger, Travis Johnstone, Luke Power and debutant Daniel Rich immediately made an impact in the midfield. Rhan Hooper was simply stunning up forward, booting 3 lively goals to give the Lions the momentum and the lead. Goals to Bradshaw, Brown, Johnstone and McGrath continued to boost the home side’s lead, as the headed into the three-quarter time huddle with a 16-point margin.
A nervous final term consequently followed as both team tackled ferociously, disallowing any chance of a similar stream of constant goals as seen in the first and third. Goals to Ashley Hansen and Dean Cox gave the Eagles a final roll of the dice, but it was a matter of too little too late as Brisbane held on the win by a goal and a half.
Johnstone (37 disposals), Luke Power (35), Hooper (4 goals) and Bradd Dalziell (28) were the best for the Lions, while gallant efforts by Matthew Priddis (29 touches), Dean Cox (26 hit-outs) and Darren Glass were the performers for the opponents.
Both teams can leave the game with a solid platform and some expectation to build on for next week, as Brisbane play Carlton and West Coast play Port Adelaide; both games being seemingly winnable.
Brisbane Lions: 2.1 5.3 14.6 14.11 (95)
West Coast: 6.2 9.4 11.8 13.8 (86)
Brisbane Lions: Hooper 4, Bradshaw 3, Brown 3, Johnstone 2, Rischitelli, McGrath
West Coast: LeCras 6, Hansen 3, Cox, Kerr, Hurn, Lynch
Brisbane Lions: Johnstone, Hooper, Power, Patfull, Dalziell, Macdonald
West Coast: LeCras, Hurn, Cox, Wirrpanda, Masten, Hansen
Brisbane Lions: Nil
West Coast: Nil
Umpires: Kennedy, Stewart, Avon
Crowd: 26,800 at the Gabba
Match review written by Rally on the forums.