Kangas pip Lions in last-gasp nailbiter
times, convincingly. I wanted to bounce back, it’s not good when you’re not playing at your best. I had to get back to basics.
“It’s going to be a tough three weeks but we’re excited by it.”
Pies ruck Brodie Grundy produced arguably the highlight of his stellar season, with 57 hitouts, while generating nine clearances, but couldn’t drag his side over the line.
With Franklin’s first opponent Moore unavailable, debutant Jack Madgen often had the job on the four-time Coleman medallist in the second half. Coach Nathan Buckley was already in the midst of an injury crisis. Especially in defence, where Lynden Dunn, Matthew Scharenberg, Ben Reid and Jeremy Howe were absent.
The Pies face Brisbane, Port and Fremantle in the final three rounds, and squandered a golden chance to bolster their bid for a coveted double chance in September. CAMERON Rayner will draw a harsh lesson from the butchered shot on goal that handed North Melbourne a thrilling three-point AFL victory, according to Brisbane coach Chris Fagan.
Rookie sensation Rayner on Saturday had the chance to win the match with about 30 seconds to go with a free kick on a slight angle from 25m out.
It would have capped off a remarkable comeback from the Lions, who were 24 points down early in the last quarter but kicked three unanswered goals and looked ready to deliver a potentially fatal blow to North’s finals hopes.
Usually so calm and composed under pressure, the 18year-old crumbled. Instead of taking his allotted time, Rayner rushed an around-the-corner effort that sprayed wide, letting the Kangaroos off the hook.
He looked close to tears after the final siren and had to be consoled by Fagan, who sensed the feeling of expectation from the boisterous crowd at the Gabba got to him.
“He’s upset about it, which is natural enough,” Fagan said.
“It’ll stand (him) in good stead down the track.