An unbeaten Brisbane Lions VFL outfit goes on the road this weekend to take on the GWS Giants at Blacktown International Sportspark.
The Saturday morning clash will feature a Lions side fresh off a 19-point win over arch-rivals Southport, in what was the Club’s first victory over the Sharks since 2019.
Reflecting on the Lions fourth win in four matches, coach Ben Hudson acknowledged the strength of his side to hold off a classy outfit in Southport.
“On the weekend we probably had to win it a couple of times against Southport, who are a quality side,” Hudson said.
“They kept coming and we were able to hang on which will hold us in good stead come the end of the year.”
In contrast, GWS are fresh off a bye round after back-to-back wins over Carlton and Coburg, meaning it will be rejuvenated and ready to go.
Last time we met
The Lions travelled to Blacktown in 2022 to tackle the GWS Giants in an intriguing clash between two finals contenders.
A scrappy affair, in which 23 behinds were kicked out of 40 scoring shots, the Lions prevailed by nine points.
Despite the nature of the game, the Lions never once relinquished the lead from the opening bounce.
Early goals to Thomas Berry and Blake Coleman set the tone and by halfway through the second term the lead had grown to 30 points and was at 24 by the main break.
A third-quarter fightback from the Giants had the margin cut to just seven points thanks to two consecutive Giants goals and no scoring shots from the Lions.
After trading goals midway through the final quarter, it left the Giants just two points adrift, VFL Listed player Wilson Barry kicked what turned out to be the sealing major with a little over five minutes remaining.
Ryan Lester was enormous for the Lions collecting 31 touches and holding onto 13 marks while fellow midfielder Deven Robertson had 29 disposals himself along with seven clearances.
This time around
The Lions remain undefeated in season 2023, after another strong win against a relentless Southport side.
VFL Head Coach Ben Hudson spoke about his sides ability to win from different positions.
“I think the advantage of winning in different ways is you are learning, from the things you did well and the things you have to improve on,” Hudson said.
“The first few weeks it was our inability to start well so that gave us a theme for the last two weeks and then we scored against heavily on turnover against Southport.”
Turning the attention to GWS this week, a team fresh from a week off, the Giants are team full of confidence after two strong wins over Coburg and Carlton, following a Round 1 loss to Essendon.
Josh Fahey has been outstanding for the Giants in the last two victories collecting 43 and 37 disposals respectively demonstrating his ability to win the ball and distribute it effectively.
Wade Derksen, brother of Lions VFL Listed player Zack, is averaging 2.3 goals per game including a bag of five against Coburg.
His partner in crime, Max Gruzewski, is also averaging multiple majors include a four goal haul in the win over Carlton.
Callum Brown has also been impressive in defence, known for his intercept marking, Brown is averaging 11 grabs per game through four rounds.
This match proves to be another test for a Lions outfit that boasts stars across the park.
Rhys Mathieson continues to be a ball magnet, averaging over 32 disposals after collecting 32 touches in his most recent outing against the Sharks.
Deven Robertson, who returned from the AFL last week, averages 1.5 goals per game along with 24.5 disposals proving his effectiveness in the contest and on the scoreboard.
Wylie Buzza continues to fire as a key forward, after booting another three goals against Southport taking his season tally to 11.
Darcy Fort, returns this week and will look to put in another dominant performance after his last VFL match against Collingwood where he kicked three goals, won 11 clearances and 34 hitouts.
Stocked with AFL talent this match up shapes to be another key encounter between two teams pushing for finals in season 2023.