AFL 2020: Brisbane – Midseason Report Card

The Lions have spent much of the season safely in Queensland and in the Top Two. What has Bozza made of their start to the 2020 season?

After their top two finish last year, the Lions have spent much of the season to date occupying the same segment of the AFL ladder. Their high status a byproduct of not getting much wrong since the restart. Yet what they have done wrong, in losing badly to Geelong and Richmond, rings alarm bells.

Can’t get enough footy? Check out more of our Pinch Hitters Mid Season Report Cards here.

What’s gone right

It feels a little petty to say, given the reason for it, the pause after Round One and the opportunity to play a large number of games in Queensland have been of great benefit to the Lions. Luck is still only the meeting of ability and opportunity and they can really only benefit if they are good enough to get the results. Which they have been for much of the season to date.

Their game plan has paid dividends too, with their territorial based, high pressure approach being rewarded on the scoreboard. They are second in the competition for time in forward half and for inside 50s but it is the pressure they apply when it is there that is their strength.

Number one for causing forward half turnovers, they score more points from this source than any other team. Straight out of the Richmond playbook, these numbers are the envy of most other coaches.

What’s gone wrong

While they create plenty of scoring opportunities, they waste many with their abysmal kicking for goal. The Lions are 18th in the competition for goal kicking conversion. In 2020 they score goals from just 51% of their scoring shots which is down from 56% in 2019, and is well below the competition average of 59%.

Their form against the very best sides has been well below that they’ve displayed against the rest of the competition. If we give them a mulligan for their round one clash against Hawthorn, which seems fair given the form lines both teams have taken since, they have saved their worst for the best opposition. Richmond and Geelong able to blow the Lions out of the water with a pair of withering bursts that left them looking decidedly second rate.

Standout player

Lachie Neale

Many judges believe the former Docker is already across the line for the Brownlow Medal and it easy to see why. Neale has had a blistering restart to the season and leads the competition in possessions and contested possessions whilst sitting top six for clearances. He has a massive lead in the AFLCA Player of the Year award which begs the question why none of them feel compelled to tag him. Whatever the reason, it is a bonus for the rest of us who continue to see the 27-year-old at his absolute best.

Run home

Rd 11BulldogsThe Gabba
Rd 12North MelbourneMetricon Stadium
TBCGold CoastTBC

With just two games left against current or expected Top Eight opposition, a Top Two position would seem theirs for the taking.

Final Grade


Haven’t done much wrong but improvement still required if they are to go all the way.

Can’t get enough footy? Check out more of our Pinch Hitters Mid Season Report Cards here.

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