Lions plumb new AFL depths with GWS loss

Lions plumb new AFL depths with GWS loss

Not since the days when they became known as the “Bad News Bears” has Brisbane sunk this low in the AFL.

Sunday’s 22.14 (146) to 9.13 (67) thrashing by Greater Western Sydney in front of just 10,195 fans at the Gabba was the Lions’ 12th loss in a row.

That streak equals the 12-match losing run of the Brisbane Bears team of 1990-91, a team who have become a byword for spectacular failure in the competition.

The abysmal attendance is the lowest for the Lions at the Gabba in the club’s history.

Brisbane didn’t start too badly against a Giants team who are now inside the top four after their 11th win of a breakthrough campaign.

But after a first quarter where they kicked the first two goals and were within a kick of their opponents at the break, they fell apart.

The Giants kicked 10 goals to two in the second term, several of their goals coming from uncontested possessions well inside the Lions’ defensive 50.

Under-fire coach Justin Leppitsch, who had to dispel rumours of a player revolt during the week, is now facing a clash this weekend against Essendon which looms as a wooden spoon showdown.

Leppitsch is playing down the significance of the clash with the Bombers at Etihad Stadium next Sunday.

“There’s also another six games after that,” Leppitsch said.

“It could be (decisive) but I don’t think it will be. I still think we’ve got some winnable games at home on the back end as well we can take care of.

“I know most people will put a lot of emphasis on the game but we will go down there, absorb a lot of pressure and put in our best performance.”

The simple truth though will be that Leppitsch’s position will come under severe scrutiny if his club can’t match a Bombers team topped up by kids and has-beens in the wake of the ASADA bans to 12 of the club’s senior players.

“I actually would be disappointed if it wasn’t built up to be honest – it’s something to write about,” he said.

“I’m sure it will be, but we just have to focus on what we can do.”

The contrast couldn’t be greater with the Giants, who are heading to a first finals campaign in their club’s brief AFL history.

Coach Leon Cameron said the nature of the victory was pleasing after a disappointing loss to Collingwood the week before.

He said the response, particularly by midfield stars such as Callan Ward, Dylan Shiel and Stephen Coniglio, was exactly what he was after.

“Really happy with our contested ball and our stoppages,” he said.

“I thought (Shane) Mumford bounced back and I thought our midfield really bounced back and answered the challenge.

“It was pleasing we could come up here and play some good footy away from home.”

The Lions look set to lose Daniel McStay for the Bombers’ clash after he limped off in the third term with an ankle injury while there’s doubts over Lewis Taylor (ankle), who didn’t start Sunday’s match and Stef Martin (ribs) who played on despite copping a heavy bump from Giants star Steve Johnson in the second quarter.

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