AFTER a disrupted start to its premiership defence, Brisbane has continued to roar up the ladder with a commanding 24-point win over Collingwood in Maroochydore on Saturday.
In conditions more useful for flying kites than playing footy, the Lions mastered the gusty winds to blanket the Magpies and win their third match in 12 days.
LIONS v MAGPIES Full match coverage and stats
The 5.5 (35) to 1.5 (11) victory was set up in the first quarter where the hosts kept the scores level despite kicking into a howling gale, before they established a match-winning lead in a dominant second term.
Emily Bates continued her wonderful season, finishing with 23 disposals and a crucial third-quarter goal into the wind, while third-gamer Zimmi Farquharson again dazzled with two goals from limited chances.
Cathy Svarc (12 touches and a match-high 12 tackles) did a nice job running with prolific Magpie Brittany Bonnici, while Greta Bodey was dangerous forward of the ball with good hands and quick feet in tight spaces.
Brisbane ran harder and was more prepared to take the game on with run-and-carry and daring ball movement when the chances arose.
The game was blown open in the second quarter with the Lions kicking three unanswered goals on the back of a staggering 17-0 inside 50 count.
Once Dakota Davidson broke the arm-wrestle with a right foot snap early in the term, the floodgates opened.
The Lions got ascendency around the stoppages and had the ball camped inside their front half, allowing Farquharson to cash in with two goals.
Her first came from a beautifully judged mark drifting across the front of a pack and the second from a lovely chain of ball movement that involved skipper Bre Koenen, Orla O'Dwyer and Jesse Wardlaw.
Did you see that?
Collingwood kicked just one goal for the day, but what a goal it was. Youngster Eloise Chaston provided a rare highlight for the Magpies late in the third quarter when she smothered a clearing kick from Phoebe Monahan, then gathered the loose ball before a quick sidestep and snap went right through the middle.
One to watch
Greta Bodey has teammates with bigger personalities and more accolades, but not many Lions are as consistent as the skilful half-forward. Again, she was outstanding in the blustery conditions, gathering 15 disposals, using it at a terrific 66 per cent efficiency, taking four marks and laying seven tackles. Bodey also laid on two goals for her teammates and was rewarded in the final minute of the game by kicking a goal of her own.
There was plenty of ferocity all day and one huge collision during the third quarter typified that from both teams. Tough nuts Shannon Campbell and Jaimee Lambert sprinted for a loose ball on centre wing with not a thought of bracing for contact from either. Lambert appeared to get there a split-second first, with her hip collecting Campbell's head. The rugged Lions defender was assisted from the field and did not return.
"It's hard physically, but it's also hard mentally to stay in the game and not get frustrated when the ball's doing weird things in the wind, and just to concentrate and really watch the flight of the ball … all that stuff I think our players did beautifully today." – Brisbane coach Craig Starcevich
"The message to the group was we did a few things that weren't quite right … but I felt like we took a few steps forward and looked like we were putting some pieces together. We've got to continue to build on that." – Collingwood coach Stephen Symonds
Brisbane will try and make it four wins in succession on Friday night when it travels to play St Kilda at 7.10pm AEDT at a venue yet to be confirmed. Collingwood returns home to Victoria Park to try and get back in the winners circle against West Coast, starting at 5.10pm AEDT.
BRISBANE 0.2 3.4 4.5 5.5 (35)
COLLINGWOOD 0.2 0.2 1.4 1.5 (11)
Brisbane: Farquharson 2, Davidson, Bates, Bodey
Brisbane: Bates, Bodey, Svarc, Farquharson, Koenen, O'Dwyer
Collingwood: Schleicher, Lambert, Butler, Brown, Bonnici
Brisbane: Campbell (head)
Crowd: TBC at Maroochydore Multi Sport Complex
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