Ruthless Brisbane Lions rip through Port Adelaide Power to book prelim spot
BRISBANE has stormed clear in a frenetic qualifying final shootout against Port Adelaide to move within two wins of breaking the club’s 20-year premiership drought.
Port threatened a Gabba upset when it rallied to lead in the second quarter and then surged again to trail by just nine points in the third term.
LIONS v POWER Full match coverage and stats
But the hosts had the answers in a 19.9 (123) to 11.9 (75) win on Saturday night.
Cam Rayner (three goals) and Hugh McCluggage (26 disposals, nine clearances, four scoring assists, one goal) starred as usual Brisbane weapon Lachie Neale was held to just a single first-quarter touch and finished with 19 in total.
Joe Daniher also kicked three of his five goals in a crucial third term run after 200-gamer Charlie Cameron had booted two in an instant in his 200th game.
Port now hosts Greater Western Sydney in a knockout semi-final while Brisbane will host the winner of Melbourne-Carlton in a preliminary final at the Gabba – they haven’t lost at the ground in 12 games this season – to earn a shot at their first flag since 2003.
The Power will be ruing some errant kicking, the visitors scoring from 20 of their 48 forward entries but missing crucial set shots when the game was in the balance.
Usually reliable, Todd Marshall sprayed two shots from close-range that didn’t even register, Ollie Lord the unlikely source with a career-high four goals.
Willem Drew kept Neale under control but McCluggage stepped up, his poise and positioning ensuring Brisbane’s offence flowed.
Connor Rozee played that role for the Power, often emerging out the front of stoppages to slice up the Lions’ much-improved defence.
The 36,020-strong crowd were still singing Cameron’s trademark Country Roads goal celebration song when the small forward raced onto another chance and kicked his second in a memorable third-quarter moment.
Marshall had the reply but McCluggage stayed calm, finding Daniher with another exquisite kick forward that prompted the Lions’ decisive burst.
Earlier Jason Horne-Francis imposed himself on the contest with a series of barging runs and Port finally found their radar to boot three in quick time and snatch a two-point lead.
But Rayner popped up again to steal it back with his third goal, before McCluggage and Dayne Zorko took their chances in the closing stages of the half to rebuild a 16-point advantage.
Brisbane rookie Jaspa Fletcher, who kicked a key third-quarter goal, and teammate Callum Ah Chee were both rock solid when questions were asked.
Port coach Ken Hinkley substituted Darcy Byrne-Jones to inject veteran Travis Boak with seven minutes to play.
But no sooner did Trent McKenzie and Dylan Williams hobble off with injuries, Brisbane surged clear in that time to ensure no nervous fourth-quarter moments.
You can’t keep Charlie down
Charlie Cameron is a player fans come to watch and the small forward likes nothing more than a big stage to ply his trade. Cameron has kicked 20 goals in his past seven finals and has only failed to hit the scoreboard in September once, and that was in an Adelaide jumper, so when he was scoreless from two possessions in the first half there was a feeling something wasn’t right. And this in his 200th game! So it came as no surprise when the dynamic small forward kicked two goals in a matter of seconds in the third quarter, revving up his motorbike and the crowd to get the game back in Brisbane’s command.
Lord not the saviour but he’s starting to shine
Port Adelaide has had issues with key forwards throughout the season, with Charlie Dixon and Mitch Georgiades’ injury-restricted campaigns seeing Ollie Lord thrown into the senior side arguably ahead of time. The 21-year-old looked out of his depth on occasion, but not on Saturday night. With Todd Marshall’s kicking unusually unreliable and Jeremy Finlayson well held, it was Lord that stood up, kicking four goals and creating headaches for the Brisbane defence. He may still be wet behind the ears, but Adam Kingsley will need to pay Lord respect next week or he may return another career-best bag.
These Lions aren’t making up the numbers
Preliminary finals are not an unknown quantity to this Brisbane outfit, but there’s a feeling after four failed finals campaigns under Chris Fagan, this one is different. The way the Lions dispatched the Power on Saturday reeked of ruthlessness. They didn’t take their foot off the pedal till the final siren despite knowing they had secured a week off, and while percentage amounts to nothing at this time of year, late-game injuries can be the cruelest of blows. With another game at ‘the Gabbatoir’ there’s a real feeling they’ll be back at the MCG before October, and they couldn’t care less about their record at the Home of Footy.
BRISBANE 3.3 8.4 16.5 19.9 (123)
PORT ADELAIDE 1.4 5.6 9.9 11.9 (75)
Brisbane: Daniher 5, Rayner 3, Fletcher 3, Cameron 2, Zorko, McCluggage, McCarthy, Lyons, Hipwood, Bailey
Port Adelaide: Lord 4, Marshall 2, Powell-Pepper 2, Byrne-Jones , Rozee, Rioli
Brisbane: Daniher, McCluggage, Rayner, Dunkley, Fletcher, McInerney
Port Adelaide: Rozee, Butters, Houston, Aliir, Lord, Lycett
Port Adelaide: Trent McKenzie (ankle), Williams (hamstring)
Brisbane: Jarryd Lyons (replaced Deven Robertson in the fourth quarter)
Port Adelaide: Travis Boak (replaced Darcy Byrne-Jones in the third quarter)
Crowd: 36,020 at the Gabba
read more youtube
website : Joomla.edu.vn
More News Local AU News