Lions coach slams his run- of- mill play­ers af­ter loss to De­mons

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT -

F R U S T R A T E D B r i s b a n e Lions coach Justin Lep­pitsch has la­belled his play­ers “very re­luc­tant run­ners’’ who in­ex­pli­ca­bly “lacked spark’’ in the 24- point loss to Mel­bourne at the MCG yesterday.

A largely pu­trid first half was fol­lowed by a promis­ing burst in the third term, but it was too lit­tle too late as the De­mons stead­ied and hung on for their fifth win of the year.

The bot­tom line was that er­ror- rid­dled Bris­bane sim­ply did not have enough of an ap­petite for the con­test and when they did win the ball they butchered it like school­boys.

In­jury was added to in­sult with Pearce Han­ley subbed out of the game at half- time as a pre­cau­tion with a tight right ham­string.

The de­feat will cut deep at the Gabba be­cause Bris­bane had their best team of 2105 on the pad­dock and their best shot at premier­ship points in a month. They were also com­ing off three en­cour­ag­ing dis­plays against top eight sides.

But the Lions were

flat, fumbly and oc­ca­sion­ally down­right di­a­bol­i­cal from mid­way through the first quar­ter when the De­mons piled on the pain with young spear­head Jesse Ho­gan boot­ing three goals in the open­ing term.

Bris­bane’s to­tal of 1.5. ( 11) at the main break was the club’s sec­ond low­est half- time to­tal against Mel­bourne.

Lep­pitsch said his side had a “re­luc­tance to hurt them ( Mel­bourne) with the ball’’.

“We won the sec­ond half and got our game- styling up and go­ing. I’m not sure why it took a half,’’ Lep­pitsch said

“We lost our way for that first quar­ter and a bit.

“We were very re­luc­tant run­ners. It was def­i­nitely the flat­test we’ve played for four or five weeks.

“There wasn’t a spark at all – I thought we lacked spark for most of the day.’’

Bris­bane cut a 38- point half- time deficit to 20 points early in the fourth term but Lep­pitsch said any chance of vic­tory was ru­ined by “dumb lit­tle things’’.

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