Kan­gas pip Lions in last-gasp nail­biter

Sunday Tasmanian - - Sport -

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.

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