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Lions Leave Chase Late Against Roos

BY JACK KOVACIC.

Coburg has suffered defeat at the hands of North Melbourne in their Round 4 clash this afternoon at Piranha Park.

The game was off to a good start for the Lions, with the pressure in the opening minutes matching last week’s that resulted in a seven-goal opening quarter.

Unfortunately unlike last week however, this pressure could not be sustained for a long period of time, with North able to cause a few turnovers and make the Lions pay on the scoreboard.

In the second quarter, the Lions arrested North’s dominance in general play but struggled to translate it into scores.

Liam Hunt kicked the Lion’s first of the day late in the first half, with a long set shot from outside-50.

Hunt was a standout performer all day, finding space and time where most others would’ve struggled and succumbed to the pressure.

He finished with 37 disposals and eight clearances along with his goal, and to no surprise was named Coburg’s best-on-ground.

Speaking post-game, midfield coach Andrew Sturgess was most pleased with the pressure that Hunt applied.

“We’ve been working really hard with him on pressing up at the ball carrier,” Sturgess said.

Nick Mellington kept the scoreboard ticking over with an early snap in the third quarter, which gave the Lions some much-needed confidence.

He followed it up minutes later with a coolly converted set shot to go along with his 21 disposals and a team-best 10 tackles.

North were able to take the momentum back as the Lions defence struggled to contain Mason Wood, who kicked four third-quarter goals.

On debut, Harry Nolan was the best in defence, looking calm under pressure and leading the team with six spoils.

Although the margin continued to grow throughout the third quarter, the young Lions continued to run, and the pressure lifted resulting in turnovers and opportunities in front of goals.

Coburg were finally able to make these chances count, kicking six goals in a row in a solid last quarter performance where the Lions were able to get the game on their own terms.

The Lions finished the game with just two less scoring shots, after a much better second half performance in what truly was a game of two halves.

“In the first half, our pressure was off because our whole system and cohesiveness between each line was off,” Sturgess said.

“In the second half we got our systems and structures right, and it enabled us to pressure much better.”

Sturgess sees the boys taking a lot of confidence out of the second half performance.

“They can match it with teams of AFL calibre every week,” he said.

“It’s a mindset thing; if they can go into games thinking they are as good, if not better than them, they can do what they did in the second half.”

A four-quarter performance is the only thing currently sitting between the Lions and a win this season.

“We can do that by learning during the week, today we were able to string two really good quarters together, so we are getting there.”

 

Coburg: 0.2 1.6 3.10 9.18 (72)

North Melbourne 5.6 9.8 17.10 19.10 (124)

Best: Hunt, Cannolo, Mellington, Lowson, Nolan, Lentini.

Goals: Mellington 2, Cannolo 2, Hunt, Tilley, Aujla, Lowson, Mitchell.

 

Image courtesy of Jordan Zmood Photography.

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