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Lions’ dynamic forward line creates headache for opposition

Coaches Wrap: Round 20 Ruck and Midfield coach Ben Hudson wraps up the win against the Western Bulldogs.

A season high of 19 marks inside the forward 50, played a major role in the Lions’ seventh straight win this season against the Western Bulldogs.

The 18-point victory broke the five game winning drought against the Dogs, with Ruck and Midfield Coach Ben Hudson saying numerous threatening forward options for the Lions made them to contain.

“I think we had eight or nine goal kickers this week and we probably have that week in week out…it makes it difficult for oppositions to scout genuine targets because we share it around a fair bit,” Hudson told lions.com.au. 

The seamless connection between midfielders Lachie Neal (20 disposals, 12 kicks) and Jarrod Berry (25 disposals, 16 kicks) to the forward line, made for accurate and precise passages of play.

“Nineteen marks show that the delivery in there [forward 50] was a balance between short lead up or long deep inside 30 to our talls” Hudson said.  

The Lions lost overall clearances but won the contested ball with Hudson putting it down to gaining possession along the ground.

“Our tackling prevented their ability to shape the ball and get out,” he said.

“Our ability to get out and get to the next contest has certainly been a focus for both the midfields and forwards. To win those ground balls was huge.” 

Midfield turnovers and defensive pressure was crucial as the Bulldogs had their fair share of the ball with 72 more disposals, 10 more clearances and five more inside 50’s.  

The pressure was particularly evident throughout the middle, with hard nut Mitch Robinson laying plenty of forceful tackles.  

“He’s (Robinson) just one of many, I think Jarryd Lyons probably had his season high of tackles, Lachie Neal the same, so that ability to tackle [gives us] the ability to win it [possession] back… is huge in deciding who wins,” Hudson said.

The Lions will take on the Gold Coast SUNS in QClash18 at the Gabba this Saturday the 10th of August at 4:35pm.

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