The Sunday Mail (Queensland)
Lions stuck in a nasty time warp
IT was “Groundhog Day’’ in Launceston yesterday, as reigning premiers Hawthorn thrashed the wooden spoonbound Lions by 72 points.
But there was nothing funny about proceedings as the Hawks mercilessly punished the error-riddled Brisbane.
The Lions won the contested possession count (139-136) and clearances (51-39) but Hawthorn kicked 15 of their 21 goals from turnovers.
The Hawks are exquisite users of the ball while Brisbane butcher it far too often. That gaping chasm was brutally on show yesterday.
The Lions were good early and led by 17 points at quartertime.
But the rampant Hawks clinically kicked 14 of the next 15 goals to put the game on ice.
Ten of those majors came in a sizzling second term when Brisbane were utterly powerless to stop the Hawks, despite the home side losing star midfielder Sam Mitchell before the match due to illness.
Brisbane coach Justin Lep- pitsch has seen it all before this year.
He said too many “soft goals’’ left his side “demoralised’’.
“Our bad patches are really bad. That’s really it,’’ he said.
“It was a bit of Groundhog Day. We fell away really badly in the second quarter.
“Fifteen goals to four from turnovers … they are very clean and very well drilled.
“We’ve still got a bit to go to get to that level.
“Kicking efficiency was something like 73 per cent to 55 per cent.’’
The Lions showed some fight in the third term to arrest the landslide but the Hawks then steamrolled the visitors in the last term to get back on track after a shock loss to Port Adelaide last Friday night.
It was Hawthorn’s 15th straight win in Launceston.
Lions captain Tom Rockliff amassed 45 disposals, including 19 contested possessions, and also added 14 tackles, 11 clearances and a goal to clearly be Brisbane’s best.
Mitch Robinson (25 disposals, 13 tackles, nine clearances and a goal) was also good for Brisbane along with ruckman Stefan Martin with 23 touches, 40 hit-outs and six clearances.
Hawthorn’s Liam Shiels was best on ground with 34 disposals and seven clearances, and enjoyed good support from Jarryd Roughead (30 touches, five clearances and three goals), Jack Gunston (four goals) and Jordan Lewis (31 disposals).
Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson was happy with how quickly his side swung momentum back in their favour.
“To kick 21 goals in those conditions was a good performance,’’ he said.
“To be three goals down at quarter-time and to reel that deficit back pretty early in the second quarter, then to put some scoreboard pressure on the Brisbane side by half-time, was really, really pleasing.”
James Frawley chipped in with three goals.
The Hawks had 12 different goalkickers while Brisbane had six goalkickers.