Cubs to slaughter: Hawks v Lions wrap

The Hawks bossed around the young Lions all night… but did we learn anything for fantasy purposes?

Lion cubsThe short answer is: no, not much. The most pleasing score had to come from Ben McEvoy with 93, including 47 in a dominant Q1. David Hale scored 48 in Q2 as part of his 84 including 3.1 in front of goals, underlining how completely pants the Lions rucks where with Trent West (30) and Sam Michael (30) breaking even in hit outs but providing only token effort around the ground. You would not expect such scores on a consistent basis against #1 rucks. While Hale was subbed off not once but twice – blame the NAB challenge sub rules, which are more complex than the legal defence of Craig Thomson – you would have to also think McEvoy is a sub risk in the home & away, given how often Max Bailey was subbed. I know McEvoy is a significant upgrade to Bailey in terms of stamina, but it remains a worry.

James Aish was the only good fantasy news story for Brisbane, looking like he knew the right places to run and getting there for a solid 66. His consistent scoring in all four quarters was also a good sign. Joshua Green‘s vaunted move into midfield didn’t look like it was going too well, until a 32 point Q4 lifted his output to 72. The Lions are going to get flogged on a fair few occasions this year, especially away, so there will be junk time stats on offer. It would be a slim chance to hang a fantasy choice off.

Cyril Rioli off halfback, often matched up on Green, was a pleasure to watch. His sprint through the middle in Q3 was reminiscent of the best of Chris Yarran. Not much can be read into this game due to the lack of pressure, nonetheless. Matt Suckling came with a rush late to reach 77. Taylor Duryea played stay-at-home back pocket, which is of course the role vacated this year by Brent Guerra – if you had been hoping for Duryea to turn into a rebounding halfback, that doesn’t look likely.

If there is a spot opening up in the Hawks midfield with the gradual decline of Brad Sewell, then the likes of Alex Woodward would need to improve on this performance to stake a claim for early rounds. Liam Shiels put up a 54-point Q3 as part of his 122 and Jonathan Simpkin also filled his boots with a 96, suggesting there isn’t much room in the premier’s 22 for a young bloke at this stage. With Jed Anderson recovering from offseason pneumonia meaning a loss of preseason conditioning, we shall have to see Dayle Garlett in action next week to see if the Hawks do hand a debut for round 1. Noises out of the club in the media have suggested Garlett won’t be given early exposure, however.

As for the rest of the Lions, they (and you) can forget about this one and look forward to the second game back in Queensland next week. How about you, will you be picking any Lions who were in this game, like Dayne Zorko? How about Suckers, has he convinced you yet? Are you on the Big Boy Express with McEvoy? Let me know in the comments.

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