Lions sink Demons 126-82 at the Gabba - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lions sink Demons 126-82 at the Gabba

By Laine Clark 14/07/2007 10:58:32 PM Comments (0)

A devastating opening quarter has helped the Brisbane Lions seal an impressive 18.18 (126) to 12.10 (82) AFL win over Melbourne at the Gabba and keep their slim finals hopes alive.

Still buzzing from last round's shock win over West Coast at Subiaco, the Lions picked up where they left off to give the Demons hell from the outset.

Brisbane banged in the first 41 points before Nathan Brown finally broke Melbourne's drought when he goaled in the 29th minute as the Lions went to the first change ahead 6.5 (41) to 1.0 (6).

The Lions then sealed the result by booting 7.2 to 2.4 - including four straight majors - in the third quarter to go to the final break ahead 14.14 (98) to 5.8 (38).

Brisbane (6-8-1 record) have now claimed back to back victories after ending a seven game win-less run with their last round boilover in Perth.

Jonathan Brown ran amok early, banging in four first quarter goals before settling for six overall as the likes of Robert Copeland (three majors) shared in the goal-fest in front of 22,708 largely delirious fans.

Only a late goal blitz by Melbourne - who outscored Brisbane 7.2 to 4.4 in the final term - added respectability to the scoreline.

Livewire Demon Aaron Davey finished with four goals.

It was technically a home game for the Demons, marking the seventh straight year Melbourne has hosted Brisbane at the Gabba.

However, Brisbane avoided wearing their much maligned white away strip thanks to a simple gaffe by the Demons.

Melbourne inexplicably brought their white away shorts, ensuring a colour clash that officials deemed could only be avoided if the Lions wore their home guernsey - much to the relief of the Brisbane faithful.

Early on, it seemed Melbourne also brought a white flag as Brown goaled almost at will in the opening stanza.

Away guernseys have been a hot topic for the Lions this week after they received overwhelming support for the old Fitzroy jumpers they wore during their stirring last round win over the Eagles as part of the Heritage Round.

The Lions are now considering wearing the old Fitzroy jumpers for all future away matches in Melbourne.

Brisbane have already committed to wearing the Fitzroy jumper in the August 11 clash with Hawthorn at the MCG as part of the celebrations for the Kings of the Pride reunion.

Melbourne (3-12) have already had a tumultuous season with coach Neale Daniher resigning a fortnight ago.

However, the Demons came into the match full of confidence after winning three of their last five including a 23-point victory over Carlton last weekend - caretaker coach Mark Riley's first game.

Melbourne officially began the search for a new AFL coach to replace Neale Daniher on Saturday when the vacancy was advertised nationally.

Coincidentally, former Lions triple premiership winning skipper Michael Voss is among the Demons' coaching candidates.

It marked the Lions' first win against Melbourne since round 14, 2005, a fitting celebration for Brisbane ruckman Jamie Charman's 100th game.

Lions coach Leigh Matthews dipped his hat to his rebuilding team after they successfully backed up from last week's stirring victory.

"I was always interested to see what would happen after we had a pretty emotional game last week in unexpected circumstances," he said.

"It was a tick for their competitive maturity. I think we are good enough to give most teams a shake."

The only scare for Matthews was Brownlow Medalist Simon Black going down in the third quarter clutching his leg but he later returned, much to the relief of the Lions faithful.

"He ripped his knee but he came back on. We got him off for the last 10 minutes. But he didn't have to come off - it was safety first," Matthews said.

Meanwhile, Riley said his second game in charge was a "tough day in the office".

"Tough start. We got them on a crest of a wave with 11 shots to one (at goal) in the first quarter," he said.

"We didn't want to start the game on the back foot and use flooding tactics and extra people - we don't think that is a good way for our young men to learn.

"So we played a one on one brand of footy. At certain stages it looked like it might blow out...but to their credit from the first quarter we were very very competitive all over the ground."

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