The Sunday Mail (Queensland)

Lions stuck in a nasty time warp

- GREG DAVIS @greg­davis_c­mail

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.

 ??  ?? DIG­GING DEEP: Lions skip­per Tom Rock­liff gets a hand­ball away. Pic­ture: Getty Im­ages
DIG­GING DEEP: Lions skip­per Tom Rock­liff gets a hand­ball away. Pic­ture: Getty Im­ages

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