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Zorko on the Sunday Footy Show

4:38pm  Jul 17, 2018

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Match Report: Wounded Lions fall to Giants

Michael Whiting, AFL.com.au  June 23, 2018 7:30 PM

 - Brisbane Lions

After losing Harris Andrews early, the Brisbane Lions spent the rest of tonight's match playing catch up with the GWS Giants, eventually going down by 27 points at the Gabba. 

The Lions were again valiant in defeat, but the Giants held them at arms' length for most of the night, making it three straight wins.

Eric Hipwood kicked three goals for the Lions.

Daniel Rich (30 disposals) and Luke Hodge (30) – playing his best game for his new club – were magnificent in defeat.

Hodge wound back the clock, not only marshalling the undermanned backline, but managing to climb high for a super second-quarter grab and kick his first goal for his new club. 

After watching the Giants stream to a 36-point lead early in the third quarter, the home team scrapped and clawed to within 15 points early in the last after a clever Allen Christensen finish.

The Giants' 16.13 (109) to 12.10 (82) victory moves them to within half-a-win of eighth, but Jeremy Cameron's first quarter hit on Harris Andrews could have larger ramifications.

Cameron raised his elbow in a marking contest, making contact with Andrews' face while the Lions vice-captain was trying to spoil.

Andrews crashed to the ground concussed with blood streaming from his mouth and barely moved before being stretchered off.

The 21-year-old had his jaw stitched and sat on the bench for the second half but did not return to the field.

It would not surprise if he was referred directly to the tribunal.

Speaking to Fox Footy after the match, Cameron explained his side of things.

"I just saw the ball coming in, I like to go the ball really hard," he said.

Cameron went on to kick three goals.

With Stephen Coniglio (26 disposals) back in the line-up, their all-star midfield was back to its best, led by the strong-running Josh Kelly (30 disposals and two goals), Lachie Whitfield (26) and Dylan Shiel (26).

Without their All Australian contender Andrews, the Lions can hold their heads high.

Giants coach Leon Cameron said he was pleased with the win but there was plenty to work on.

"To come away with a 27-point or 30-point win is really pleasing, but it was disappointing that (in) the last three or four minutes they kicked the last two or three (goals)," he said.

"There was some good things, there was some bad things. We clearly let them go from one end of the ground to the other and our pressure wasn’t to the level it needed to be.

"Particularly after the last two weeks, the Gold Coast and the Adelaide game, I thought it was really good, but we need to obviously do a fair bit of work on that during the week."

Coach Chris Fagan said he was proud of his team after also having to play without Darcy Gardiner (ankle) for about a quarter before he returned.

"I liked the character of our players to hang in there," he said.

"The effort was there again tonight. I thought our ball movement at times was fantastic."

MEDICAL ROOM

Brisbane Lions: Andrews was sick and sorry post-match and coach Chris Fagan said he would be assessed through the week. "I don't think he remembers too much about what happened," Fagan said. Darcy Gardiner hobbled off in the opening quarter with an ankle problem but returned with a hobble and eventually ran the game out strongly.

Greater Western Sydney:

No problems for the Giants, with Stephen Coniglio (26 touches) very strong on his return from concussion.

NEXT UP

The Giants start a tough month of footy that could define their season with a home match against Hawthorn next Saturday night, while the Lions make the longest trip in the game to play Fremantle in Perth on Sunday afternoon.

BRISBANE                              3.2       4.4       7.6       12.10 (82)

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 5.2       8.4       10.9     16.13 (109)

GOALS
Brisbane: Hipwood 3, Christensen 2, Zorko, Cutler, McInerney, Berry, D.Beams, Bailey, Hodge
Greater Western Sydney: Cameron 3, Patton 3, Kelly 2, Griffen 2, Finlayson, Taranto, Hopper, Reid, Langdon, Himmelberg

BEST 
Brisbane: Rich, Hodge, D.Beams, Taylor, McCluggage, Walker
Greater Western Sydney: Kelly, Whitfield, Shiel, Coniglio, Haynes, de Boer

INJURIES 
Brisbane: Andrews (concussion), Gardiner (ankle)
Greater Western Sydney: Nil

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Donlon, Fisher, Harris, Pannell

Official crowd: 11,267 at the Gabba

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