Leppa under gun as AFL spoon looms

Taking to the field with a patchwork team following a raft of ASADA imposed bans, no-one would bet against Essendon as the 2016 AFL wooden spooners.

The Bombers were a Black Cavier-esque $1.15 with some bookmakers to finish last after 12 of their senior players were rubbed out for the season back in January.

Nobody had counted on there being a team as bad as Brisbane though.

The Lions slumped to a club-record equalling 12th-straight loss against Greater Western Sydney at the Gabba on Sunday.

That defeat leaves the Lions with just one win from 16 starts this year, the same record as supposed no-hopers Essendon.

If the Bombers beat the Lions at Etihad Stadium on Sunday the pressure on coach Justin Leppitsch will reach a crescendo.

A 13th straight defeat will put the Lions hierarchy under the cosh to put their ex-premiership star on the same scrapheap as club legend Michael Voss, who was axed by the Lions in 2013 when the club had eight wins on the board with three matches left in the season.

If Leppitsch – who reacted angrily to reports of a player revolt last week – is feeling the pressure though, he’s keeping up a good poker face.

“Essendon are in a similar spot to us, obviously,” he said.

“We play their home deck, they’ve been playing some pretty good footy, should be a pretty good game.

“We go to win every game so it doesn’t really change, we don’t sit around in the foetal position rocking back and forward, thinking, `we’d better win this week’.

“That’s not what we do. We go out there, set a task and try to achieve it.”

The Lions insist Sunday’s match won’t decide Leppitsch’s fate, which will be scrutinised over his entire tenure.

After just 12 wins from 60 matches as Lions’ head coach, the one saving grace for Leppitsch is the fact he’s avoided a wooden spoon in either of his two seasons at the helm.

Lose on Sunday and even that unwanted achievement looks inevitable.

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