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Young Lions win Sydney leg of AFLX

Adam Curley, AFL.com.au  February 17, 2018 8:02 PM

 - AFLX

Brisbane has taken out the final leg of the first AFLX competition in Sydney after holding off the fast-finishing Swans at Allianz Stadium on Sunday.

Inspired by the lethal leg of Daniel Rich, midfield brute Mitch Robinson, and the returning Allen Christensen, the Lions booted three 'Zooper' goals in the opening half and couldn't be reeled in despite a strong push by John Longmire's men.

The Lions won the match 5.2.5 (67) to 2.3.3 (41).

The long left boot of Rich constantly drove the winners forward in the decider where Christensen (two goals) and Tom Cutler (two 'Zooper' goals) were dangerous inside the 40m arc. 

Youngster Ben Keays had a brilliant Grand Final alongside Robinson, who did a power of work through the middle of the ground, especially with his tackling pressure.

The Swans named the most experienced squad of the weekend but pulled senior stars Nick Smith, Sam Reid and Jake Lloyd before their first pool game, leaving the likes of George Hewett, Harry Cunningham, Nic Newman and Dean Towers to carry the leadership load. 

Earlier, Dane Rampe provided the highlight of the tournament when he banged home three straight 'Zooper' goals in a big win over the Western Bulldogs in the Swans’ first pool game, before the star defender sat out for the rest of the tournament.

Gold Coast piled on an equal-tournament high score of 2.10.8 (88) to smash the inexperienced Western Bulldogs, and followed that up with another solid effort in their loss to the Swans, and their form would have no doubt pleased new coach Stuart Dew.

Like the Suns, Richmond split their two pool games with flag-winning trio Dan Butler, Jason Castagna and Nathan Broad all prominent, along with two players who missed out last year in Sam Lloyd and Reece Conca. 

It was a tough tournament for the winless Giants and the Bulldogs, but while GWS were competitive in both of their losses to the Tigers and Brisbane, the youthful Doggies struggled in two big defeats. 

GRAND FINAL

Brisbane 5.2.5 (67) def Sydney 2.3.3 (41)

POOL A

Game 1: Richmond 3.2.7 (49) def Giants 2.2.2 (34)

Game 2: Brisbane 4.3.8 (66) def Richmond 4.3.3 (61)

Game 3: Brisbane 3.5.4 (64) def Giants 2.6.2 (58)

POOL B

Game 1: Sydney 4.7.6 (88) def Western Bulldogs 1.4.2 (36)

Game 2: Gold Coast 2.10.8 (88) def Western Bulldogs 0.3.4 (22)

Game 3: Sydney 2.8.4 (72) def Gold Coast 1.4.7 (41)

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