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Lions lose catfight at the Gabba

Michael Whiting, AFL.com.au  July 8, 2017 10:40 PM

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What could have been a danger game for Geelong quickly turned into a big victory, as it defeated the Brisbane Lions by 85 points in Tom Lonergan's 200th game on Saturday night.

After an entertaining first quarter, the Cats slammed the door shut with a 10-goal second term to take a match-winning 54-point lead at the main break. 

The sting was out of the game in the second half as the Cats won 25.13 (163) to 11.12 (78) and remain entrenched in third place.

The Cats looked recharged and full of energy after spending a week on the Gold Coast.

Despite his team's loss, Dayne Zorko unleashed one of the best individual performances of the season to finish with 36 disposals, four goals, 10 clearances and 12 tackles. 

His first-quarter goal, involving two disposals, one bounce and a kick from 60m on the run was breathtaking. 

As was Geelong's second quarter when it tore the game apart. 

It feasted on the Lions' turnovers.

"You couldn't defend them," Lions coach Chris Fagan said of his team's turnovers.

"You couldn't be critical of the backline players, it was almost impossible to defend them.

"Last week we were terrific in that area, tonight not so good.

"We'll live and learn and grow from that."

After such promise in defeating Essendon last week, the Lions let themselves down for a costly quarter.

After half-time they battled well, kicking five goals apiece in the third, and for that they can be proud, but they again fell away in the last term. 

Tom Rockliff (22 disposals) was solid, while Ryan Bastinac (16 and three goals) continued his dramatic form reversal of late, while youngster Jarrod Berry performed a solid run-with role alongside Cats skipper Joel Selwood, keeping him to 23 touches.

It was a great team performance by the Cats with nine players topping 20 disposals.

"Over the course of the game, we thought some of our skill execution was a little bit off - that second quarter was probably the exception," coach Chris Scott said.

"We were OK in the first quarter but butchered some really good looks.

"We thought our systems stood up pretty well but the difference between the second quarter and late in the game (they kicked the final five goals), compared to the rest, was we didn't quite execute our skill."

MEDICAL ROOM

Brisbane Lions: Versatile Josh Walker went off early in the first quarter with a calf problem and did not return. It left the Lions one player down, and coach Chris Fagan with less flexibility with his talls. Lewy Taylor copped a heavy head knock early in the third quarter and was taken from the field to be assessed before returning later in the term.

Geelong: The Cats appeared to escape with a clean bill of health.

NEXT UP
Geelong plays its great rival Hawthorn next Saturday at the MCG in now what looks a mouth-watering contest after the Hawks' form revival. The Lions travel to Melbourne to play Richmond at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

BRISBANE LIONS    3.5      6.6      11.8     11.12      (78)                  
GEELONG                 5.2     15.6     20.9     25.13     (163)          

GOALS
Brisbane Lions: 
Zorko 4, Bastinac 3, Hipwood 2, Mathieson, McCluggage
Geelong: Hawkins 4, Blicavs 3, Parsons 3, Dangerfield 3, Murdoch 2, Parfitt 2, Duncan 2, Motlop 2, C. Guthrie, Stanley, Smith, Bews