STAR CAT: Geelong Cats star Patrick Dangerfield (left) fends off a tackle by Nick Robertson of the Lions. Dangerfield gathered 38 touches, won nine clearances and kicked three goals in his side's win.
STAR CAT: Geelong Cats star Patrick Dangerfield (left) fends off a tackle by Nick Robertson of the Lions. Dangerfield gathered 38 touches, won nine clearances and kicked three goals in his side's win. Glenn Hunt

Zorko shines but Dangerfield leads Cats to thumping win

WATCHING Dayne Zorko battle the great Patrick Dangerfield for Brownlow votes may have been worth the price of admission for Lions' fans at the Gabba.

But when Dangerfield slotted his third goal after the siren to push the Cats to the season's highest score 25.13 (163) 11.12 (78) they would perhaps have wished they stayed home instead.

Every Lions fan will watch with interest on Brownlow night how the umpires saw the duel.

Dangerfield, the reigning Brownlow medallist, gathered 38 touches, won nine clearances and kicked three goals, his two in the last quarter probably edging him ahead of Zorko.

However, Zorko's 36 possessions, four goals, 10 clearances and 12 tackles would, in Lions' fans eyes, deserve the three votes.

But it glossed over a terribly disappointing performance by the Lions.

Brisbane were the toast of the footy world last week after upsetting Essendon at Etihad Stadium but were brought back to earth with a thud by the Cats.

The Lions don't use the ball well enough to let their effort areas slip but that's what happened in the 85-point loss.

Their contested work was well down, their defensive set-ups especially out of stoppages was poor and so was their two-way running.

The pressure in the forward half and around the middle of the ground was not good enough and it led to a free-wheeling game.

It suited the Cats who were happy to engage in a shootout.

Brisbane Lions player Dayne Zorko (left) and Stefan Martin celebrate a goal in their side's game against the Geelong Cats.
Brisbane Lions player Dayne Zorko (left) and Stefan Martin celebrate a goal in their side's game against the Geelong Cats. GLENN HUNT

The Cats have to endure the Dangerwood tag but it ignores Mitch Duncan, who matched Dangerfield with 38 possessions.

No Lion laid a finger on Harry Taylor all night and the veteran set-up the Cats' offence off half back.

Mark Blicavs was dangerous, especially in the first half when the win was set-up while Tom Hawkins booted four goals.

It was hard to find too many good Lions players although captain Dayne Beams' leadership to play through the pain of a shoulder injury should be applauded.

One positive for Brisbane was their centre-clearance work but it only served to highlight how damaging their turnovers can be.

Breaking even in clearances but having 20 fewer inside 50 entries is a problem coach Chris Fagan has to fix.

Brisbane's determination to use the corridor has been at the root of their turnover problems all year.

Too often they push the high risk, centring kick and it doesn't come off.

But it is also their most effective avenue to score which is why Fagan wants his players to persist.



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