THIS weekend was all about the kids, as plenty of talented Queensland prospects put their hand up to be named in the final Allies squad in their hit-outs against the Victorian sides. Meanwhile at the elite level, the Lions just fell short in tough conditions against the might of the Swans.
Queenslanders impress in trial games:
In what is seen as an annual scratch match for the Allies and two Victorian sides, the double header at Ikon Park treated spectators to two close contests. The Allies came from the behind in game one to run over the top of Vic Country, while in the second game, Vic Metro did enough to hold off the Allies and get the job done. There was no shortage of Queensland talent on display for the Allies, and they played key roles in the Allies’ strong performances. In total, there were 15 Queensland player across the two Allies squads.
In the Allies game one victory, 190cm Brisbane Lions Academy forward Connor McFayden made a case for the Allies’ best on ground as he booted four goals and was a strong target all game. Fellow Lions Academy prospect Keidan Coleman and Gold Coast Suns Academy prospect Connor Budarick demonstrated their class and polish with passages of great play.
Game two against Vic metro saw 187cm Gold Coast prospect Ryan Gilmore impress. Playing down back, Gilmore was able to attack the footy hard and use it cleanly when he had it. He also showed off his intercept marking ability.
The action ramps up in June when the 2018 Under 18 Division One National Championships kick off for the Allies, who will look to prove themselves again against the best in the nation.
Lions go down swinging in the wet:
Lions hard nut Mitch Robinson had a day out in a wet weather contest against the Swans at the Gabba on Saturday afternoon. Robinson bettered club icon Simon Black for a place in the Lions’ record book with 26 contested possessions against the Swans. The previous best by a Lions player since the statistic was introduced in 1999 was Black’s 25 in an effort that won him the Norm Smith Medal in the 2003 Grand Final.
The Lions fought hard like Robinson all game, but you could sense it was a perfect storm for big bodied and contested footy specialists Sydney Swans to beat the Lions. After a tough week, former skipper Dayne Beams was marvellous in totalling 38 possessions – the third most he’s ever had. Darcy Gardiner was impressive as he kept the ever-dangerous Lance Franklin to just one goal and 13 touches.
The first quarter was virtually even with scores separated by just 4 at the first change. The Swans, however, would wear down the Lions over time, kicking seven goals to the Lions’ four over the remaining three quarters to run out 18-point victors.
The Lions face North Melbourne next round whilst the Gold Coast Suns play the Cats at Metricon, fresh off a bye.