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Hyundai Highlight Key Takeaways: Lions v Hawthorn

About time!

After numerous close losses the Brisbane Lions finally brought home the four points with an incredible victory over Hawthorn at the Gabba on Sunday.

Almost the entire team had season-best matches, led by emerging stars Hugh McCluggage, Harris Andrews, Eric Hipwood and Tom Cutler.

Deservingly voted by Lions fans as the Player of the Round, McCluggage made plenty of impact with his 27 touches (16 contested).

Hipwood created havoc in the forward line and kicked an equal career-best four goals, while also assisting another two and taking two contested marks.

Down back, Andrews clunked four contested marks and produced a massive 16 one percenters. Andrews sits second in the league for one percenters with 96, six behind Dougal Howard of Port Adelaide.

Cutler finished with 26 disposals at 88.5% efficiency and took the ball inside 50 seven times. 

In the last three weeks since returning to top form, Dayne Zorko has amassed 88 disposals, nine goals, 28 inside 50s, 15 clearances and 28 tackles.

Zorko’s defensive pressure in particular has been incredible. On the weekend he had 46 pressure acts, which was far more than the next best of Jarrod Berry and Hawks midfielder Tom Mitchell who had 24 each.

While the final margin was 56 points, the team statistics were relatively similar, mainly due to Hawthorn’s dominance of the first 15 minutes.

Hawthorn ended up winning disposals (+3), clearances (+3), inside 50s (+1), tackles (+4) and contested possessions (+7). The Lions had a decisive win in marks inside 50 (+9) and hit outs (+3).

In perfect conditions at the Gabba, the Lions were marginally more efficient than the Hawks (68% kicking efficiency to 64%) and were better at generating forward half intercepts (30-21) and scoring from this source (57-26).

The Lions now sit in 17th place on the ladder with a 1-8 record and a percentage of 82.4%. Interestingly, the Lions were 1-8 and with a percentage of 63.9% last year, 1-8 and 62.1% in 2016, and 1-8 and 54.8% in 2014. 

While it’s only one win, the percentage increase on previous years definitely points to the improvements Chris Fagan and the team have made this year.

Five straight for NEAFL! 

The Lions NEAFL side looks unstoppable at the moment and cruised to a 22.15 (147) to 13.3 (81) victory over the Redland Bombers on Sunday. 

Josh Walker booted 6.3 and had 14 score involvements, Connor Ballenden bagged five goals and took four contested marks and Ryan Lester grabbed 28 disposals.

Ben Keays had 17 touches (11 contested) and nine score involvements in the first half before leaving to be the emergency for the Senior match.  

The Lions dominated inside 50s (+25), contested possessions (+35) and disposals (+105). 

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs