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Sport Lions cruise in fourth straight AFL win

14:16  09 may  2021
14:16  09 may  2021 Source:   aap.com.au

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A fourth straight AFL win has moved Brisbane back to fifth, Hugh McCluggage oozing class in a 24-point defeat over Fremantle that threatened to blow out at the Gabba.

a man holding a football ball: Brisbane have eased their way to a 24-point win over Fremantle in a rescheduled Gabba AFL clash. © Darren England/AAP PHOTOS Brisbane have eased their way to a 24-point win over Fremantle in a rescheduled Gabba AFL clash.

The silky Lions wingman ensured the absence of injured Brownlow Medallist Lachie Neale wasn't felt as the hosts ran out 14.11 (95) to 10.11 (71) winners in a game that was first scheduled to be played at Perth's Optus Stadium.

McCluggage finished with 27 disposals, one goal and four goal assists, standing tall in the first half as they built a match-winning lead, coach Chris Fagan admitting his All-Australian contender had "gone up a little notch from where he was last year".

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His service to the Lions' small forwards stood out, McCluggage spinning out of the clutches of two Dockers tacklers and hitting Charlie Cameron on the chest as the lead swelled to 34 points at halftime.

Every Lions forward kicked a goal but Cameron (11 marks, three goals, five behinds) was the standout with five first-quarter marks inside 50m, only inaccuracy robbing him of a night out against the West Australians.

Two goals each to Caleb Serong and Matt Taberner, including one either side of halftime from the tall forward, gave the visitors a sniff but Cameron's third and a drilled major from Jarryd Lyons (30 disposals) quickly snuffed that out.

The lead hit 47 points in the third term before Fremantle kicked the game's last three goals, while Fremantle also led the inside-50 count 52-49.

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The Lions moved to 5-3 and up to fifth ahead of Sydney and West Coast - a win behind third-placed Port Adelaide - after they'd slumped to 1-3, while it was the Dockers' (4-4) second-straight loss.

"I never feel like we are humming along," Brisbane coach Chris Fagan said.

"I always coach better when I think like that and I think our players play better when they think like that too.

"It's been a good recovery ... psychologically it's tough when you are 1-3 and people are sort of predicting doom and gloom for your season."

Nat Fyfe (27 touches, 18 contested possessions, eight clearances) unable to break the game open but warmed into the game in the second half.

Dockers coach Justin Longmuir lamented too many basic errors and a safety-first mentality in the first-half.

"The message at halftime was to keep going for your kicks, don't be safe and back yourself in," he said.

"It didn't always look perfect, but I'd rather us play that way than the first half."

Connor Blakely was subbed in for Dockers forward Michael Frederick in the first term, Frederick to have scans on a suspected high ankle sprain.

The Lions play neighbours Gold Coast on Saturday while the Dockers, after the recent COVID-19 outbreak in their home state, will remain on the Gold Coast before their next game against Essendon at Marvel Stadium on Sunday.

Lions to play all tour games with no fans after schedule is confirmed .
It was still hoped that some local spectators would be permitted, in controlled numbers but the country's National Coronavirus Command Council will not allow it.As previously reported by Mail Online Sport, it has been known for several weeks that travelling British and Irish fans would not be able attend any fixtures, but it was still hoped that some local spectators would be permitted, in controlled numbers.

usr: 1
This is interesting!