Essendon bomb Lions by 36 points in AFL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Essendon bomb Lions by 36 points in AFL

Laine Clark 15/05/2011 01:03:10 PM Comments (0)

Parallels abound between Michael Voss and James Hird as AFL players.

But they could not be more far removed as AFL coaches after Essendon ran out 15.12 (102) to 9.12 (66) winners at the Gabba on Saturday night.

Not much separated Hird and Voss on the field - they were even named co-winners of the 1996 Brownlow Medal.

But it seems Brisbane mentor Voss can learn much from Hird's approach to coaching after the Lions slumped to a 36-point defeat.

It extended the Lions' horrific 2011 record to 0-7 - their worst season start.

Voss remained under the pump as Lions coach after Brisbane let a first half advantage slip against the high-flying Bombers (5-2-1).

As poorly as they were travelling, the Lions did have history on their side heading into their Gabba clash.

The Lions had won their past six against the Bombers at the Gabba by an average of 32 points.

And Essendon had not defeated the Lions at the Gabba since round eight 2000.

In fact, in their past 10 interstate matches, the Bombers had lost nine including the past seven.

And the Lions looked set to keep their run alive after jumping to a surprise 3.5 (23) to 3.2 (20) lead at the first break.

Kicking on from his six goals last round against the Gold Coast, Ash McGrath grabbed two majors by halftime to ensure the Lions scraped to a one-point lead at the main break - 6.7 (43) to 6.6 (42).

While the Bombers appeared in holiday mode in the first half, they were all business as they kicked 4.4 to 0.3 in the third to blow the deficit out to 10.10 (70) to 6.10 (46) by the final interval.

They tried to keep the foot on the throat as they ran out rare victors at the Gabba in front of 24,921 people.

Hird wasn't all smiles after the game with captain Jobe Watson expected to undergo scans on a troublesome hamstring complaint on Monday.

The star midfielder was subbed off in the third quarter but Hird was hopeful of having Watson back against Richmond next weekend.

While Brisbane slumped to a seventh straight loss, Hird paid tribute to the Lions defence.

"I think they came out and played really well," he said.

"They beat us in the areas that we wanted to win at - they probably won that battle early."

Voss agreed, saying the Lions defence was "enormous".

"I thought our approach on the game was good but I think we conceded seven goals from free kicks," he said.

"They are the things that hurt you enormously.

"We were beaten in contested footy and there were times when they carved through us too easily but the fact that you give away seven free kicks is a hell of a lot.

"They are parts of the game that we have to tidy up, and we need that to happen now, not later."

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