Dockers thump Lions in AFL

Fremantle recorded their second victory in succession and also of the season, smashing a woeful Brisbane Lions by 83 points at the Gabba.

Young key forward Matt Taberner kicked five goals and Chris Mayne, Lachie Weller and Hayden Ballantyne contributed four each as the Dockers romped to a 23.9 (147) to 9.10 (64) victory.

Both teams came into the match with one win to their names, but will leave with far different perspectives on the future. The Dockers will now look to put a horror first 10 games of the season behind them while the Lions might end up battling it out with Essendon for the wooden spoon.

In a week in which Justin Leppitsch suggested the worst period for his side may be over, his players put in a performance to potentially make him reassess this judgment.

Plenty of Lions fans left the ground from early in the third quarter leaving far fewer than the 12,899 – the second-lowest Lions attendance – at the Gabba at the game’s conclusion.

For Ross Lyon’s side there were lots of positives and evidence that they may be able to transition into the more free flowing style of football played by most of the competition in 2016.

With the Dockers’ veteran spearhead Matthew Pavlich out with a groin injury, Taberner impressed throughout with his contested marking and kicking at goal in what may be looked back on as his breakout game.

Young midfielders Weller, probably the best on ground, and Connor Blakely, with a team-high 29 disposals, outplayed their Brisbane counterparts, in a match in which ball-magnet Lachie Neale was kept to 17 possessions by Mitch Robinson in one of the rare positional wins for the Lions.

The match began brightly for Brisbane who scored three goals in the first seven minutes, as the Fremantle defence allowed uncontested marks close to goal for Josh Schache and Daniel Rich.

The scores were level at quarter-time, but in the second quarter the Lions conceded nine goals in succession to effectively kill off the game.

Although Brisbane scored the first two goals of the second half to reduce the deficit to 35 points, the deluge continued soon afterwards and did not let up until the final siren.

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