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Lions thrash Magpies to earn NAB final berth

Liam Quinn


Liam Quinn

Written on Saturday, 09 March 2013 20:02

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The Brisbane Lions were far too good for Collingwood at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night, powering away to a 34-point victory, thanks to a second half surge.

After a tight opening half, the Lions couldn't be stopped in the second, getting the better of an undermanned Magpies at every opportunity. Despite the fact that Collingwood left a host of top-tier stars in the stands, Brisbane will return north full of confidence as they look to build upon their thirteenth place finish in 2012.

The night provided plenty of takeaways for both teams, despite the somewhat lopsided score-line.

COLLINGWOOD

Brilliant Beams

With a host of his big-name contemporaries watching from the stands, Dayne Beams made the most of his night in the spotlight, with the 23-year-old omnipresent across the ground. After picking up 15 possessions and two goals to half time, his dropped off in the second-half, ultimately finishing the night with 23 possessions and two goals. However, his continued improvement was clear to see. Beams' progression from fringe forward to midfield maestro adds yet another string to the Magpie midfield, one that is shaping up as the league's best.

Mile High Musings

In December last year, I found myself sharing a Melbourne bound flight from Los Angeles with the majority of the Magpie tiding, fresh off their high-altitude expedition to Utah. While waiting on the LAX tarmac, Paul Seedsman passed the time by providing details of the preseason sojourn, and how it helped the boys build for another tilt at September. Judging from his performance against the Lions, Seedsman's efforts are paying off, with the 21-year-old one of the Magpies most prolific possession getters on the night. After making his debut in Round One last year, he went on to earn another 10 senior appearances. Based off his form tonight, he'll feature regularly for the Magpies throughout 2013.

NAB Cup Legitimacy

Given that a win would've seen the Magpies face off with old-foe Carlton in the NAB Cup decider; their team-sheet spoke volumes to the competitive nature of the preseason competition. Dane Swan, Scott Pendlebury, Travis Cloke and Heath Shaw, Harry O'Brien were absent from the Magpie outfit, in addition to the likes of Dale Thomas and Luke Ball who've missed through injury. When winning becomes somewhat secondary in the minds of the clubs, the legitimacy of crowning a preseason premier has to come into question.

 

BRISBANE

Replacing the Leader

One of the toughest tasks for the Brisbane Lions in 2013 will be finding a long-term successor to Jonathan Brown's forward-line crown. Hopefully, the 31-year-old can put together an injury free campaign this year and rediscover some of his finest for, however a replacement still needs to be found. Aaron Cornelius looms as the heir to Brown's throne. The 22-year-old forward has been in fine form throughout the NAB Cup, and carried it into the clash with Collingwood. He finished the night with 3 goals, and was dangerous throughout. Combined with the play of Rohan Bewick, who bagged four goals of his own, and the Lions could have found a new duo to lead the line.

A New Lion King

With the remnants of Brisbane's dynasty all but gone, the club is entering into a new phase; Daniel Rich is the man to lead them into a new era. Now entering his fifth season, the clubs top-pick of the 2008 draft is coming into his own across the league. On the back of his best season to date, Rich was everywhere at Etihad, picking up 25 touches and a goal against Collingwood. Rich's continued development this year could help propel the Lions up the ladder, and make their rebuilding process a much easier task.

Etihad Acclimatisation

Not only did tonight's contest give Brisbane the chance to test themselves against one of the league's best, but it provided the perfect opportunity to go through their paces at Etihad Stadium, ahead of their season-opening meeting with the Bulldogs. Judging from the way they took to the turf tonight, the Bulldogs could be in for a rough afternoon in Round One. Plus, they'll get another chance to run out for the Grand Final next Friday, when they take on Carlton.

 

Final Score:

Collingwood: 0-7-12: 54

Brisbane: 0-12-16: 88

 

Goals:

Collingwood: Beams 2; Lynch 2; Mooney; Goldsack; Kennedy

Brisbane: Bewick 4; Cornelius 3; Brown; Hanley; Green; Martin; Rich

 

Best: Bewick, Rich, Rockliff, Cornelius, D.Beams.

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