Monday, March 27, 2023

‘It is certainly not a shock’: Melbourne eliminated in straight sets

“I thought we were in a bit of trouble early. Melbourne were all over us, probably a bit fortunate they didn’t kick straight. Then we clicked into gear in the second quarter and were in the game at half-time, which gave our group some confidence.”

Melbourne had twice thrashed the Lions this season, most lately in spherical 23. Fagan mentioned his staff had allowed themselves to be distracted by a confrontation surrounding that match. Regrouping to play and beat Richmond in final week’s elimination closing, that they had resolved to slender their focus. Now they’re in a preliminary closing.

The Brisbane Lions and Melbourne had a fierce tussle at the MCG before the Demons’ season ended.

The Brisbane Lions and Melbourne had a fierce tussle on the MCG earlier than the Demons’ season ended.Credit:Getty

“It’s a remarkable turnaround in two or three weeks,” Fagan mentioned. “It goes to show sport [is] fantastic, isn’t it?”

Not so unbelievable for Melbourne, with Goodwin saying they have been making an attempt to repair points that have been arising within the again half of the season once they did not money in on their momentum early in video games and left the door open for the opposition.

“We tried to address it on the run throughout the season. We weren’t able to do that to the level where we could get results,” Goodwin mentioned. “In finals, it’s funny, your vulnerabilities find you.”


Brisbane has an appalling report on the MCG and a poor current finals report, however Fagan mentioned each have been overplayed.

“Some good teams play at the MCG, so it’s not that easy to win here and we don’t play here that often,” he mentioned. “We’re lucky we’ve had three goes in the last nine or 10 weeks. It probably helped us.

“We were getting a bad rap for our finals record. The truth is we lost one game by a point and another game by three points. A whisker away from two more prelims. I don’t see those as bad losses. I’ve always had faith in this group that we could find a way.”

Fagan praised the video games of Eric Hipwood, who needed to step up after the late withdrawal of Joe Daniher, and stand-in ruckman Darcy Fort, as properly Jarrod Berry, who moved onto Clayton Oliver at half-time and performed a decisive position.

Fagan mentioned Berry had texted him final weekend asking to play on Oliver. Fagan determined initially to stay with Plan A, Dev Robertson, however switched on the lengthy break.

“It was a very important move and I won’t take credit for it,” Fagan mentioned. “Cam Bruce, who joined our coaching staff this year, suggested it, forcefully and I took his advice. It ended up being a great move.”

Fagan mentioned his staff would relish the problem of taking part in a rested and in-form Geelong. However, Berry might need a nervous wait because the match assessment officer assesses an incident the place he appeared to run his hand throughout Oliver’s face with a mark left close to Oliver’s eye.

The Lions’ Lincoln McCarthy additionally appeared to mock Melbourne’s Harrison Petty close to the top of the match for crying after he was verbally sledged throughout their earlier encounter on the Gabba.

“We’ll have our work cut out, but we’ll come with the same attitude we came with tonight and give it our best shot,” he mentioned.

“Generally speaking, we’ve had close games the last couple of years. We’re starting to be more competitive against them. We’ll need to be, they’re in great shape.”

Fagan additionally pre-announced the start of Daniher’s daughter in Brisbane. “We get a fresh Joey Danhier next week and we had a good win tonight,” he mentioned.

“You couldn’t get a better day than that, could you?”

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