K rock Football

Confidence boost for Lions

MELBOURNE is counting the cost from of seven-point AFL pre-season loss to Brisbane, with boom recruit Steven May and star tagger James Harmes potentially in doubt to face Port Adelaide in their season opener.

May might be cited for a late hit on the Lions’ Jarrod Berry in Saturday evening’s final quarter. Berry was forced him from the field after being clipped on the chin, while Harmes was sent to hospital after suffering a possible little finger compound fracture in the second quarter.

The Demons’ Jay Kennedy Harris required scans after hyper-extending his left knee which left him writhing in agony, also in the second quarter. He had to be taken from the field on a stretcher.

Young Brisbane ruckman Archie Smith also ended up in hospital after copping a whack across the throat, leaving him unable to speak or swallow.

In hazy conditions at Casey Fields, due to bushfires in southeast Victoria, the Lions survived a late Demons surge to win 16.8 (104) to 15.7 (97) after opening up a game-high 31-point lead early in the final quarter.

The result continued the AFL’s high-scoring pre-season, with the six-six-six rule creating more space on the field, in what might be a sign of what to expect in the home-and-away season.

The Lions had more disposals (395-382), clearances (40-29), inside 50s (62-52) and contested possessions (160-150).

Brisbane recruit Jarryd Lyons had a day out with 26 disposals (15 contested), six clearances, five tackles, seven inside 50s and a team-high four goals playing more time as a deep forward.

Fellow off-season arrival Lachie Neale was also influential with 27 touches (16 contested) and five clearances. Mitch Robinson, Daniel Rich, Harris Andrews and Daniel McStay were also valuable contributors.

For Melbourne, defender Joel Smith kicked four goals, while Clayton Oliver, Angus Brayshaw, May, Max Gawn and Aaron vandenBerg were among their best players.

After Melbourne jumped out to a seven-point lead early, the Lions booted six of the next eight goals to take a commanding 20-point advantage at the end of an 11-goal first quarter, including a pair to Brisbane’s Eric Hipwood and Melbourne’s Jayden Hunt.

In the second term, the Demons scored five of the first six goals to retake the lead via a dominant inside-50 advantage (19-9) as the Dees’ pressure rose with more than four times the tackles (25-6) which forced plenty of errors.

However, the Lions resisted the Demons, as they helped themselves to seven of the next eight goals.

© AAP 2019

BRISBANE LIONS 7.4 9.6 13.7 16.8 (104)

MELBOURNE 4.2 9.4 10.6 15.7 (97)

Goals: Brisbane Lions: J Lyons 4 D McStay 2 E Hipwood 2 C Cameron C Rayner H McCluggage L Neale L Taylor M Robinson R Bastinac R Mathieson. Melbourne: J Smith 4 A Brayshaw 3 J Hunt 2 A Neal-Bullen B Fritsch C Petracca C Spargo S Weideman T McDonald.

Best: Brisbane Lions: J Lyons L Neale M Robinson D Rich H Andrews D McStay. Melbourne: A Brayshaw J Smith C Oliver S May M Gawn A vandenBerg.

Umpires: Leigh Haussen, David Harris, Nick Brown.

Official Crowd: 4,215 at Casey Fields.