19/04/2024

A monumental performance from the Brisbane midfield earns the side a week off before prelim weekend. (Image: AFL Womens)

It was a low-scoring affair on Saturday afternoon as Brisbane overcame Richmond by 17-points at Metricon stadium. It gives the Lions the week off, while the Tigers face North Melbourne in next week’s semi-final.

After a highly contested first quarter, Brisbane broke the game open in the second, kicking three goals and went into the main break 28 points up. However, despite his side looking in control of the contest all day, Lions coach Craig Starcevich was unimpressed with the scoring return.

“There’s always room for improvement, obviously scoring would be nice,” Starcevich told media post-game.

“I know we’ve had a good year with that so we can’t be too picky, the result today was okay but we probably left a few out there.”

The Lions have only kicked more behinds than goals twice this season, in Saturday’s Qualifying Final and also in Round 5 against the Tigers. They kicked one goal and eight behinds in the four-point loss.

Brisbane only managed 17 shots from its 36 inside 50s, going at 47 per cent, and only five goals. It gives Starcevich and his team something to work on as they take the week off to prepare for one of Adelaide or Collingwood.

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Fortunately for Brisbane, the midfield was firing on all cylinders as it dominated the Tigers in all major stats. The Lions were +14 in inside 50s and +13 in clearances, while being in front in both contested and uncontested possessions as well.

They were led by the trio of Ally Anderson, Emily Bates and Catherine Svarc, all of which had more than 19 disposals, five tackles and five clearances. The Tigers’ midfield couldn’t keep up with the overwhelming production.

“I thought our midfielders as a group today were the most impressive,” Starcevich said.

“Tahlia [Hickie] and Taylor [Smith] were terrific in the ruck, and our ground-level players all had big games. Our outside mids had big games as well.

“At the first bounce of the second quarter, Cathy [Svarc] had a moment that sparked the game for everyone.

“She had an enormous day with pressure acts, tackles and clearances. She really gave us a turning point to get the game on our terms today.”

Brisbane has been one of the most consistent teams all season along with Melbourne, only losing that single game to Richmond by four points. Starcevich said he was proud of the team’s ability to play a high level of football this season considering how long it’s felt.

“We’ve just had 11 games straight, which I think is the most we’ve played end-on-end. So it will be good for the girls to have a break,” he said.

“It’s come at a good time I think, it’s been a long year with the two seasons, but they deserve this week to freshen up for hopefully another two weeks.”

The Lions will enjoy a week off and be able to sit back and watch the battle of the birds as the Crows and Magpies battle it out for a chance to travel to Brisbane for the Prelim. The Tigers will be hoping to prove themselves after last weeks draw as they meet the plucky North Melbourne Kangaroos once again.

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