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NEAFL notch victory over Swans

Sarah Krause, NEAFL  April 14, 2018 3:00 PM

NEAFL: Team Song The NEAFL Lions team sing the song after their win over the Swans

The Brisbane Lions notched a commanding 50-point victory over the Sydney Swans with a 12-goal barrage in the second half blowing apart an initially seesawing affair.

The inaccuracy which plagued Sydney in Round 1 was on full display again at Burpengary on Saturday afternoon, as the Swans kicked a lacklustre 10.14 (74) to Brisbane’s 19.10 (124).

Lions’ coach Mitch Hahn was impressed by his team’s much-improved Round 2 performance after their shock first round loss against NT Thunder in Darwin.

“We thought that we played pretty well at times last week in tough conditions, but this week against a really good opposition in the Swans…we knew that it was going to be another tough challenge,” Hahn told neafl.com.au

“90 points from turnovers (against the Thunder) was spoken about and that was a really big focus for us going into the game.”

As is usually the case when these two teams meet, the first half was an arm-wrestle characterised by lead changes and tightly contested possession.

Sydney had a real chance to take the game away from Brisbane at the beginning of the second term with the ball taking up permanent residency in Sydney’s forward half between the third and 10th minute.

However – just like last week – Sydney’s inaccuracy off the boot meant they only had 1.4 to show for their efforts.

Considering their underwhelming kicking display, the Swans were lucky to go into the first two breaks leading on the scoreboard – by one and seven points respectively.

However, the Lions made the Swans pay for their poor aim, as they emerged from the sheds at half-time a completely different team, and kicked an impressive 12 goals to Sydney’s three in a dominant half of football.

Claye Beams led the charge, slotting two goals in the half’s first three minutes. Not to be outdone, Connor Ballenden and Ryan Bastinac quickly followed suit, making it four goals in the first five minutes for the Lions.

Claye Beams during the Round 2 NEAFL match v Swans (Photo: David Layden).
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Hahn says he can’t take credit for sparking his team’s second-half performance.

“I wish it was something that I said,” he said.

“I think ultimately they sort of sat down at half-time and there were a few areas that we weren’t happy with as a team.

“We honed in on making sure that our defence when we didn’t have the ball, and that transition was really strong. Our spirit, our attitude and effort after half-time was really fantastic to see.”

Brisbane didn’t let up in the final quarter, notching a further six goals and finishing the match with 13 different goal scorers.

By the time the final siren sounded, the Lions had outplayed the Swans in almost every statistical category, winning the hit-outs (43-25), disposals (381-254), clearances (37-22) and inside 50s (56-38) by considerable margins.

Cedric Cox, Ryan Lester and Jack Frost were all impressive for the home side in their return to the NEAFL team, while academy talent Daniel Fleming performed his role well.

For the Swans, captain Darcy Cameron was one of his team’s best on ground, with 14 disposals, three tackles, 17 hit-outs and two goals to his name.

While there were extenuating circumstances for Sydney’s poor showing – as James Bell left the field in the second-quarter with a possible knee injury, while Daniel Robinson failed to start the match – it was ultimately their own inaccuracy that was the Swans’ undoing.

The men in red-and-white will now have an extra week to regroup and reflect on their performance, with a much-needed bye up next in Round 3.

Brisbane will face another tough challenge when they host local rivals, the Gold Coast SUNS, at South Pine Sports Complex next Saturday.

BRISBANE 3.3 7.5 13.8 19.10 (124)
SYDNEY 3.4 7.12 8.13 10.14 (74)

GOALS
Brisbane:
R Bastinac 3 D McStay 2 Starcevich 2 R Lester 2 T Bell 1 C Beams 2 J Allison 1 B Keays 1 C Ballenden 1 A Smith 1 D Fleming 1 C Lyons 1 N Smith 1. 
Sydney: B Ronke 2 D Cameron 2 J Rose 1 J Brown 1 T McCartin 1 J Amartey 1 B Stewart 1 M Pearce 1.

BEST
Brisbane:
 C Beams R Lester T Bell C Lyons J Allison D McStay. 
Sydney: R Fox H Marsh T McCartin B Ronke.

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