AFL defenders don’t always get the same level of recognition as their midfield or forward counterparts.
The spotlight generally focusses more on individuals who those collect a mountain of possessions, provide flashes of brilliance, or kick a winning score.
Defenders, meanwhile, are happy to go about their business with little fanfare, yet perform an equally valuable role for the team.
In fact, Champion Data’s statistical analysis of the 2012 season shows that the Brisbane Lions were best served down back last year.
“The back 50 was the clear strength of the team in 2012,” Champion Data reported in the 2013 AFL Prospectus.
“No team outside to top eight was harder to score against than the Brisbane back six. The Lions conceded a score 47.2% of the time and a goal 25.1% - ranked fourth and sixth respectively.”
“It's no surprise that 20.7% of the Club's scores were generated from the defensive 50 - not something you want to rely upon for too long.”
The Lions defenders were duly recognised for their efforts at the 2012 Club Champion awards ceremony, with the ever-reliable Joel Patfull taking out the Merrett-Murray Medal.
"Joel Patfull hardly put a foot wrong all season winning the B&F, while playmakers behind centre Pearce Hanley (third) and Jed Adcock (equal seventh) both managed top-seven finishes,” the 2013 AFL Prospectus read.
“Daniel Merrett also finished equal seventh, sharing his time between attack and defence.”
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