‘Angry’ Lions send out statement against Tigers

The Brisbane Lions have sent out a statement to the rest of the AFL after a convincing win over Richmond extended its winning streak to six matches.

After the reigning premiers threw the first punch, the Lions roared to life in the final three quarters, eventually running out 15. 12. (102) to 11. 8. (74) winners at the Gabba.

The Lions’ aggressiveness seemed to catch Richmond off-guard, particularly in the second half, with midfielder Rhys Mathieson repeatedly getting under the skin of his opponents.

Richmond’s emotions eventually boiled over in the fourth quarter, with Marlion Pickett reported for striking Brandon Starcevich in the final quarter, sparking a scuffle with Mathieson and reigning Norm Smith Medallist Dustin Martin in the thick of the action.

Following Brisbane’s win, St Kilda great Nick Riewoldt noted the Lions’ aggressive style.

“They didn’t just perform, they served it up to Richmond,” he told Fox Footy.

“I thought the feeling in the game was a really interesting storyline to take out of it. It was almost like they played with an edge.

“They’ve been criticised in the past about taking on the persona of their coach, Chris Fagan, who is a lovely man and is very calm, (but) there was an anger about Brisbane tonight.

“They seemed to take the light, particularly late, in the fact that they were beating up on the Richmond Football Club. Physically, verbally, there was mocking, they were getting in their face, they were tough.”

Three-time Lions premiership winner Jonathan Brown noted that Brisbane’s aggressiveness continued a theme of challengers going at Richmond this year.

“They did do that in the final last year and I thought they were willing to go at them,” he said.

“Hopefully now that continues on against (other) opposition teams as well. Maybe they’ve stood up to the bully, and by bully I mean in a football sense.

“A few other teams have done it well and that’s obviously the question mark that is getting posed towards Richmond now. Top eight teams are starting to throw the punch and continue to throw it.”

With reigning Brownlow Medallist Lachie Neale still out injured, the midfield trio of Jarryd Lyons (26 disposals), Dayne Zorko (28 disposals) and Hugh McCluggage (27 disposals) ran riot in the middle against an undermanned Richmond midfield.

Eric Hipwood and Zac Bailey took full advantage of the Lions’ midfield dominance, kicking four goals straight between them, as the team had nine individual goalkickers.

Jack Riewoldt was electric early for Richmond with three goals in the first quarter, but failed to add to his tally for the remainder of the contest, while his running mate Tom Lynch also kicked three goals.

Currently third on the ladder, the Lions will aim to extend their streak when they host the GWS Giants at home next week, while Richmond will host Adelaide at the MCG.

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