Saturday’s (23/04/2016) AFL 2016 Round 5 match is between Western Bulldogs and Brisbane Lions. The opening bounce is set to commence at 19:25 local time with the game to be played at Etihad Stadium. The home team Western Bulldogs are the favourite for the match. View our preview and teams for the game between Western Bulldogs and Brisbane Lions.
When: 19:25 | Saturday 23/04/2016
Where: Etihad Stadium
Tip: Western Bulldogs at $1.13
Value Bet: First Goalscorer: Tory Dickson at $12.00
B: M.Boyd, M.Adams, D.Morris
HB: M.Suckling, E.Wood, S.Biggs
C: L.Hunter, T.Liberatore, T.Dickson
HF: L.Picken, T.Campbell, K.Stevens
F: L.Dahlhaus, J.Stringer, C.Daniel
R: J.Roughead, J.Macrae, M.Bontempelli
I/C: M.Wallis, B.Dale, J.Adcock, L.Jong
EMG: T.McLean, K.Collins, J.Redpath
IN: E.Wood, T.Campbell, T.Dickson, B.Dale
OUT: J.Johannisen (Hamstring), J.Hamling (Omitted), T.Boyd (Shoulder), T.McLean (Rested).
B: D.Gardiner, D.Merrett, C.Beams
HB: R.Harwood, H.Andrews, T.Cutler
C: R.Lester, A.Christensen, D.Rich
HF: P.Hanley, T.Rockliff, R.Bewick
F: J.Walker, J.Schache, R.Bastinac
R: S.Martin, D.Zorko, M.Robinson
I/C: J.Green, T.Bell, L.Dawson, L.Taylor
EMG: D.McStay, S.Mayes, B.Evans,
OUT: S.Mayes (Omitted).
Golf could provide the unlikely answer to Brisbane’s AFL goalkicking woes.
The Lions have created plenty of scoring chances but have emerged as one of the competition’s worst teams in front of goal over the first four rounds and are desperate to correct that record.
To that end, forwards coach Ben Hudson is busy looking into the putting and driving routines of professional golfers in the hope it might provide the Lions with a mental edge.
“We’re trying our own things at the moment, some different things,” coach Justin Leppitsch told reporters on Thursday.
“There’s so many theories flying around with goalkicking – do you practice just kicking goals, so kick from the top of the square and get used to success, do you try the hardest shots, do you use external things to help us?
“We’ve got our goalkicking routine plastered on our yellow men (training mannequins) out there, so guys remember every time what that is.
“I know golf’s always been a good analogy with putting and driving, it’s as much a mindset as it is a skill itself. You can stare down the whole fairway or stare down a spot.”
No team in the AFL has kicked more behinds this season than Brisbane’s 66, while only Essendon and Carlton have a poorer goalkicking percentage, with the Lions converting just 42.3 per cent of their shots on goal.
Despite winning last weekend’s Q-Clash they nearly kicked themselves out of the game, scoring a wayward 14.23 (107) to Gold Coast’s 14.10 (94).
It’s a trend Brisbane can ill afford to continue, particularly ahead of clashes with the more clinical Western Bulldogs and Sydney over the next two weeks.
But Leppitsch admitted it is nearly impossible to replicate the in-game pressure that can so often be the difference between hitting a target and not.
“We can’t simulate Etihad Stadium with 25,000 opposition supporters yelling at us. Experience tends to prepare you for that,” he said.
“I don’t think we’re going to get it down here at Coorparoo so we have to just be mentally prepared that that’s what’s going to happen.
“What’s going to have to happen this week is the first guy’s just got to kick a goal and settle us down.”
Meanwhile, concussion victim Stefan Martin will line up to face the Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium on Saturday if he completes training on Thursday.
Ruckman Martin was knocked out by a huge Steven May bump on Saturday but has already passed two concussion tests this week and will play if he gets through the session unscathed.
May copped a five-week suspension from the AFL tribunal for the head-high hit, which Leppitsch believes was adequate punishment.