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Hyundai Highlight Key Takeaways: Lions v Collingwood

NBA superstar Lebron James would have been proud of Dayne Zorko on the weekend.

While James was continuing to dominate the NBA play-offs in the US, Zorko was putting together the AFL equivalent of the NBA’s treasured triple-double against Collingwood at the Gabba on Sunday. 

He had 34 possessions, four goals and 10 tackles in the Lions’ seven-point loss to the Pies to be judged best afield by both coaches.

It was just the seventh time in the 712-game history of the Brisbane Bears/Lions that a Brisbane player has had 30 possessions and kicked four goals in the same game. And just the second time when this rare feat has been paired with 10 or more tackles.

Skipper Dayne Beams split the two Zorko triple doubles when he had 32 possessions and four goals against Gold Coast at the Gabba last year to go with a similar double for Collingwood in 2012.

Since 1987, only two players have had 30+ disposals, 10+ tackles and 4+ goals in a match.

Patrick Dangerfield is one player, and following Sunday’s match Zorko has now achieved this feat twice. The first time was against Geelong last year (36 disposals, four goals, 12 tackles).

Other Brisbane players to combine 30 possessions and four goals in the same game have been Tim Notting, Michael Voss, Mark Withers and Mark Williams. 

In reverse chronological order, Notting, a 2001-02 premiership player, had 31 possessions and four goals against Fremantle at the Gabba in 2001, and Voss, the Lions’ 2001-02-03 premiership captain, had 32 possessions and four goals wearing a Bears jumper against West Coast at the Gabba in his 1996 Brownlow Medal year.

Mark Withers, the Bears’ 1988 club champion who played only 36 games for the club, joined this exclusive group with 39 possessions and four goals against West Coast at the WACA in ’88.

And Williams, the Bears’ inaugural vice-captain and the first player signed by the club, had an even more rare double when he combined 30 possessions with six goals in just the Bears’ second game against Geelong at Kardinia Park in 1987.

Zorko kicked four goals straight in a best afield performance against Collingwood to also lead an historic goal-kicking performance by the Lions.

Their 10-0 score at halftime was the first time in club history they’ve scored 10 goals without a behind. Had Collingwood not rushed a behind soon after halftime this would have stretched to 12 goals without a blemish in the third term. 

With the Lions finishing with a score of 18-6 (114), it was just the seventh time in Club history the team has converted at a 75% rate or better. And in games in which Brisbane have had 20 or more scoring shots it is equal best.

In pure percentage terms, the best conversion came against Hawthorn in Launceston in 2010, when the Lions kicked 7-1 (43) at 87.50%.

They kicked 15.3 (83.33%) against Fremantle at Subiaco in 1987, and 13-3 (82.25%) against St Kilda at Etihad Stadium in 2009. 

The Bears matched Sunday’s score of 18-6 (75.00%) precisely against Fitzroy at Carrara in 1989 before the Lions did likewise against the Bulldogs at Etihad in 2012. 

With Collingwood also enjoying a good day in front of the big sticks, kicking 19-7 (121), the combined conversion of 37-13 at 74.00% is the third-best all-time in a Brisbane game.

The best was against West Coast at Subiaco in 2012, when the Lions kicked 12-5 and the Eagles 28-7 for a combined 40-12 at 76.92%.

Interestingly, too, at a time when the quality of the game has been under siege among the AFL media, Brisbane and Collingwood produced a high-quality thriller on Sunday.

It was the 17th time in a Brisbane match that both sides have kicked 18 goals, and, more significantly, the first time this has happened since 2008.

 

Debutant Matt Eagles overcame a nervy start to finish with 11 disposals and four marks.

First-year player Cam Rayner and Zac Bailey had great matches and took the game on on numerous occasions.

Rayner tallied 18 disposals and used the ball at 94% efficiency, while Bailey had a career-high 17 disposals and four tackles. 

Unfortunately, the close loss was the fifth time this year the Lions have been within a kick during the last quarter.

The Gabba crowd on Sunday of 21,850 was the biggest since Round 10, 2016.

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