AFL 2020: Brisbane v Fremantle – Round Two Knee Jerk Reaction

What did we make of the Lions nail-biting victory over the Dockers.

Is Charlie Cameron the best small forward in the game?

With four goals in the first half against Fremantle, Charlie Cameron erupted at the Gabba on Saturday. The moustachioed goal sneak the difference early in a tight contest. After a quiet final series and Round One, it was a timely reminder of just what the 25-year-old is capable of.

Having spent four years learning from, and in the shadow of Eddie Betts at Adelaide, Cameron has blossomed in the Sunshine State. So much so, after 57 goals in 2020, he is now the most dangerous small forward in the game.

Lions win but pushed all the way.

The wait for Round Two was a particularly long one for the Lions after a disappointing first up performance against the Hawks in Round One. Following three straight defeats to end their otherwise remarkable 2019 campaign, pressure was building on Chris Fagan’s men.

The long and painful wait may have felt replicated in the final term against Fremantle. After having taken a 25-point lead in the third-quarter, Brisbane were under siege in the last as Nat Fyfe and Michael Walters led the visitors to within a kick of victory. With his team faltering in the face of the Dockers surge, Brisbane skipper Dayne Zorko stepped up with a late goal to ice the game.

It was the exclamation mark on a strong performance from Zorko (Two Goals) who along with Charlie Cameron (Four Goals) and Lachie Neale (28 possessions and eight clearances) were among the best for Brisbane. Nat Fyfe (24 possessions, three goals), Michael Walters (28 possessions, two goals) James Aish (26 possessions) were the best for Fremantle.

What the Coaches Said.

Justin Longmuir admitted to mixed emotions post match. “We came here to win this game of footy and to not get the job done is really, really, disappointing,” he told reporters. “On the other hand we took some really good steps forward with our game. We got our system going, I thought, for parts of the game. Clearly we have some areas to work on but we had plenty of chances to win that game of footy.”

Chris Fagan expressed a sense of relief upon his team claiming their first premiership points of the season. Acknowledging the ‘interesting period of time’ preparing for the game he told reporters he wasn’t sure what would happen on game day and that he would take a win of ‘any sort’.

“I felt scoreboard wise we held ascendancy for most of the game.” he told reporters before admitting he felt Freo were the better team in the second quarter. Though full of praise for Fremantle, he explained that he thought his team were better in the second half but didn’t take their opportunities.

“They were bold and brave in the last quarter and we knew they’d keep coming at us,” he said. “They put up a great show and then I was really pleased at our last couple of minutes where we controlled the ball and had it in our half. We probably had a few opportunities to ice the game but we kept having a crack.”

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BRISBANE      4.2     8.2    11.5    12.9 (81)
FREMANTLE    3.0     7.3    8.5    10.9 (69)

Brisbane: Cameron 4, Neale 2, McInerney, Zorko, McStay, Hipwood, Ah Chee, Zorko
Fremantle: Fyfe 3, Taberner 2, Walters 2, Matera, Schultz, Banfield 

Brisbane: Cameron, Neale, McInerney, Zorko, Andrews, Robinson
Fremantle: Fyfe, Walters, Aish, Taberner, Ryan

Brisbane: McStay (ankle)
Fremantle: Darcy (knee), Wilson (back) replaced in selected side by Hayden Young

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