Hawks coach Clarkson defends Brown - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawks coach Clarkson defends Brown

By Laine Clark 20/04/2008 12:03:42 PM Comments (0)

Support for Jonathan Brown came from an unlikely source as the Brisbane Lions co-captain faced an anxious wait over a late hit on Hawthorn skipper Sam Mitchell.

The Lions talisman may be in doubt for Sunday's home game against lowly Melbourne after being placed on report for charging Mitchell in the second quarter of the undefeated Hawthorn's tight 12-point AFL win at the Gabba on Saturday night.

While Lions coach Leigh Matthews would not be drawn on the topic, Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson surprisingly stood up for Brown.

Clarkson drew comparisons with Hawthorn's hard nosed Jordan Lewis who came back from yet another suspension against the Lions on Saturday night, saying he would rather have competitive players who risked being reported on his side than off it.

"I don't know what is going to happen with Browny, but I love the way that he plays because he is just so physical and competitive about the way he plays," he said.

"I'll have those blokes in my side and risk them getting reported every day of the week compared to a bloke who is not competitive.

"A bloke who is competitive might lose a game from suspension from time to time but I love the way they go about it.

"We have guys who go close to the line but we love them at our club."

The report compounded a rare quiet night for Brown who was kept goalless and limited to just 10 possessions by Trent Croad.

The Lions can never afford to be without Brown but at least they know they still have ample firepower if the reigning Coleman Medallist is suspended.

Daniel Bradshaw continued his remarkable comeback from a knee reconstruction that sabotaged his 2007 season, booting seven goals against the Hawks to take his season tally to 23 from just five games.

Unfortunately for the Lions, Hawthorn's Lance "Buddy" Franklin refused to be upstaged by kicking a staggering eight goals to guide the visitors to their first Gabba victory since round 18, 2000.

"It was a shootout. They were touting it as the Brown-Buddy show, it turned out to be Buddy-Bradshaw," Clarkson said.

"Gees Bradshaw played well. I've been impressed with him for a long period of time but the way he has come back from his knee has been first class."

Matthews added: "Daniel did it for us but he (Franklin) was spectacular for them."

The Lions coach was clearly frustrated that his side had come so close to knocking off the undefeated ladder leaders despite a below par performance.

"The fact we were able to push the undefeated ladder leaders and have not that many do what they are capable of, that gives us some hope but it's disappointing," Matthews said.

The Lions were behind the eight ball from the outset following the last minute withdrawal by veteran onballer Nigel Lappin (Achilles).

"It's not normally the kind of thing that heals overnight," Matthews said.

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