Lions’ finals hopes alive after statement win over Dogs

After a seesawing first quarter, which produced five lead changes, the Lions blew the game wide open in the second, with six goals to one, as they belatedly capitalised on their total domination of general play.

At half-time, the Lions were smashing the Dogs in clearances 30-13, contested possessions 79-60, inside 50s 36-19 and disposals 213-157 to lead by 33 points before running out 17.12 (114) to 10.11 (71) victors.

Hipwood tends to be a whipping boy for Brisbane fans, and with only two goals in his previous five games, he gave them plenty of reasons to be frustrated.

But the 26-year-old played the best match of his 164-game career against the Dogs, finishing up with an equal personal best six goals, to go with career-highs in disposals (20) and marks (13), as well as an equal best four contested marks, against one of the best defenders in the competition Liam Jones.

AFL Rd 13 -  Western Bulldogs v Brisbane
Brisbane’s finals hopes remain alive. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Hipwood played like a man possessed as he imposed himself on the contest with unprecedented physicality, freely flying for his marks and helped his team end the contest early with four first-half majors.

Jarrod Berry (23 touches and a goal) was also pivotal with a tremendous tagging job on Bulldogs champion Marcus Bontempelli, keeping arguably the best player in the AFL to six disposals in the first half, a week after his best-on-ground effort against Collingwood, which included a career-high 38 touches.

Bontempelli finished with a respectable 19 touches and three goals, but crucially he was shut out when the match was up for grabs.

Dual Brownlow Medalist Lachie Neale was outstanding for Brisbane as well, finishing with 38 possessions (14 contested), 10 clearances and two goals.

The Lions ended up creaming the Dogs in clearances 50-32 and inside 50s 64-45. The AFL average for marks inside 50 per game is 12, yet 10 minutes into the second quarter, the Lions already had eight and finished with a whopping 21.


The Dogs were an outside chance of finishing in the top eight this round if they took care of Brisbane, as the bookmakers expected them to do, but Luke Beveridge’s men could be two games adrift with 10 matches remaining.

They will now likely require at least six more wins to make the finals this year after all their good work from the previous month largely came undone.

Meanwhile, the struggling Lions kept their faint September flame flickering, but considering they will likely still be 10 points outside the eight on Monday evening, they certainly still have a big job ahead of themselves in the second half of the year.

AFL Rd 13 -  Western Bulldogs v Brisbane
The Dogs were blown off the park. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)


Brisbane youngster Logan Morris has made an impression in his first handful of games at the top level, and he produced a goal-of-the-night contender early in the second quarter when he broke tackles from Lachie Bramble, Alex Keath and Tim English before splitting the big sticks with a beautiful banana from 20m out to put his team up by 15 points.


His star teammate Joe Daniher wasn’t far behind him. Late in the first term, the big forward baulked James O’Donnell and while being tackled by English, his spectacular snap from 30m out on the boundary curled around to perfection.


W.BULLDOGS 4.0, 5.4, 8.7, 10.11 (71)

BRIS.LIONS 4.3, 10.7, 13.9, 17.12 (114)


Bulldogs: Treloar, Duryea, Bontempelli, Bramble, Dale.

Lions: Hipwood, Berry, Neale, Dunkley, McInerney, Daniher, Wilmot.


Bulldogs: Bontempelli 3, Ugle-Hagan 2, O’Donnell 2, Treloar, Garcia, West.

Lions: Hipwood 6, Daniher 2, Neale 2, Bailey 2, Dunkley, Morris, Berry, Rayner, Lohmann.

INJURIES Bulldogs: Lobb (ankle), Keath (cut head). Lions: McKenna (TBC).

UMPIRES Deboy, Nicholls, Gianfagna, Wallace



3 Eric Hipwood (BL)

2 Jarrod Berry (BL)

1 Lachie Neale (BL)