NEAFL Championship Match REVIEW!
Roy Jaques played his last game for the Tigers against the Lions and will be sorely missed. You will always be a Tiger Legend!
Tired Tigers Tamed by Lions by Michael Niesen
Brisbane Lions came out on top in a classy display to defeat a flat looking Tiger outfit by 69 points at Manuka Oval to win the NEAFL Championship.
Led by some seasoned campaigners with over 230 AFL games between then in Amon Buchannan and Cheynee Stiller, the Lions dominated from midway through the first term to run out comfortable victors.
The Lions had 9 changes to their Northern Conference Premiership team bringing in replacement players for those omitted from the team due to off season player preservation requirements of the AFL.
Into the team came a number of players who had played in the Northern Conference with the Lions during the season as top up players. They had completed their season once their original club was bundled out of the premiership race.
They obviously had fresher legs having not played for a few weeks and in the end that was the difference between the two teams.
The Lions had a comfortable grand final win while the Tigers had a tough encounter with the Swans in their premiership win. A six day turnaround did little for the Tigers as they battled to contain a much fitter, fresher and obviously more talented opposition.
Queanbeyan also missed the pace and desperation of Will Griggs (suspended), Alex Overs and Paul Franchi (both injured) and then lost Jeremy Kirkwood early after a strong encounter from which the Lions player was reported.
With both sides having impressive Grand Final victories it was always going to be interesting to see which side would be able to lift themselves for another battle and it was the Tigers who started the stronger kicking the first 2 goals of the match.
The Tigers were up and about and playing some impressive football however as the term grew longer Buchannan and Stiller began to stamp their authority by getting the ball out of the middle and providing opportunities for their forwards with Jordan Lisle in particular looking very dangerous.
It was a free flowing game which suited the fresh legs of some of the newer Lions players as they controlled the tempo of the opening quarter.
Full credit to Queanbeyan who rallied and a smart snap by Brett Fruend saw the Tigers go into the break only 8 points down.
¼ time – Tigers 4-1-25 Lions 5-3-33
The 2nd term belonged to the Lions as they dominated the clearances. They were well on top in the midfield with Sam Michael getting on top in the ruck and Buchannan and Stiller still seemingly having the football to themselves.
Time and time again the Lions out numbered the Tigers at contests and began sending wave after wave of football into their forward line with Lisle continuing to be a threat as his marking a kicking for goal becoming a feature of the match.
It was looking like the brutal Grand Final against the Swans had taken its toll on the Tigers as they were 2nd to the ball and continually having to chase their opponents who dominated the term kicking 6 goals to 2.
To make matters worse the Tigers were down one rotation after Jeremy Kirkwood was flattened by a late bump by Amon Buchannan and would take no further part in the game.
The umpires were also playing their part with many questionable calls being loudly unpopular among the Tiger faithful.
½ time – Tigers 6-3-39 Lions 11-5-71
A similar pattern greeted us during the 3rd term as Brisbane again dominated the clearances and continued to out number the Tigers at most contests. The “top up” players from Brisbane used their fresh legs to run the tiring Tigers around just when the Tigers needed to play contested football.
But the team in Black & Gold did fight the quarter out and scored 3 goals to their opponents 4 to trail by 38 points at the last break.
Another pattern which also did not change was the confusing decisions of the men in “green” with many of their calls leaving players and spectators scratching their heads in amazement.
¾ time – Tigers 9-7-61 Lions 15-9-99
The final term could not end quickly enough for the sore and sorry Queanbeyan players. They had endured a heavy workload during their local finals campaign and you sensed that they were keen to see the end of this game and celebrate what was a remarkable season.
Brisbane however stuck to their plan and continued to run the Tigers ragged. Their ball use in tight and spread was a pleasure to watch as they piled on another 7 goals to 2 to run out convincing 69 point winners.
Best for Brisbane was Amon Buchannan who seemed to bring his own football to Manuka, closely followed by Cheynee Stiller who knocked up getting possessions. In ruck Sam Michael continually gave these 2 first use of the football and their work was confidently finished by Jordon Lisle who kicked 9 goals.
As for Queanbeyan they were best served by Kade Klemke who battled vigorously at every contest, Jarrod Atkinson showed flashes of brilliance and several of his runs and carry excited the crowd.
Ryan Quade again battled manfully, James Kavanagh continued to run and present but unfortunately most of his kicks were from well outside the 50 metre arc and Toby Conroy did what he does best in finding the football on numerous occasions.
So season 2012 is over and the Tigers are Eastern Premiers.
A fairytale season that very few would have predicted. All at Tigerland can take a well earned break and reflect on the journey that has reaped 3 sides in the finals, a Club Championship and a first grade flag.
Queanbeyan 4 1 6 3 9 7 11 9 (75) Brisbane Lions 5 3 11 5 15 9 22 12 (144)Queanbeyan Goal Kickers: B. Fruend 2, K. Stevens 2, B. Klemke 2, R. Jaques , R. Quade , D. Campbell , K. Klemke , J. KAVANAGH Best Players: N. Kerlin, J. ATKINSON, J. Bryce, B. King, K. Klemke, M. Daniher Brisbane Lions Goal Kickers: J. Lisle 8, C. Bartlett 3, S. Clarke 2, B. Fuller 2, B. Gambale 2, J. Clarke , J. Fox , S. Michael , J. HAWKSLEY , C. Stiller Best Players: S. Michael, J. Lisle, A. Buchanan, C. Stiller, N. McKeever, J. Clarke