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Coach slams Lions for letting game slip

Brisbane Lions players show their disapointment as the Bombers celebrate their win at the Gabba on Saturday night.
Brisbane Lions players show their disapointment as the Bombers celebrate their win at the Gabba on Saturday night. GLENN HUNT

AFL: Brisbane coach Chris Fagan has slammed his side for a second-quarter shocker that cost them victory over Essendon at the Gabba on Saturday night.

Essendon kicked the first six goals of the second term to turn a six-point quarter lead into a 42-point advantage late in the quarter.

Brisbane stormed into the lead early in the fourth quarter but used up too much petrol to get there and the Bombers booted the last five majors to claim a 27-point win.

The Lions reverted to bad habits when under pressure in the second quarter and Fagan did not sugar coat his displeasure.

"I mean we got smacked up in contested possessions and clearances in the second quarter. We won both those areas for the game but in the second quarter it was a disaster for us," Fagan said.

"I was just really disappointed with their effort in the second quarter, the fact that Essendon were able to get some ascendancy. They might have got to a seven-goal lead.

"Unfortunately we had to play catch-up from point onwards and we did a great job to get back in front and then couldn't sustain it. That is a lesson for us.

"Our players are really disappointed about that because we came to the game tonight with a really high expectation that we could actually get out there and win that game and we didn't.

"We aim to win every time that we play. We didn't get the job done tonight. To a degree, I'm not being disrespectful to Essendon, but we've only got ourselves to blame.

"We need to become better when our bodies get tired. We just need to learn how to play a little bit more composed and get some uncontested marks and take the sting out of the game. That's a learning for us."

 

Lions player Dayne Zorko celebrates after scoring an important goal during the third quarter against the Bombers.
Lions player Dayne Zorko celebrates after scoring an important goal during the third quarter against the Bombers. GLENN HUNT

Fagan said it was still a great effort to hit the front in the fourth term.

"Don't get me wrong, I was proud of the way that we fought back in the third quarter. It was a fantastic effort but if we want to become a really good team we can't put ourselves in that position," he said.

"It's very, very hard to play with the effort required to catch back up again and then go with it. It doesn't happen often.

"We did have our chances early in the fourth quarter, definitely, but couldn't quite make the most of them.

"Every week I see things that make me and the coaching group pleased. They will be incredibly disappointed that we muffed up some things in that second quarter."

Fagan said captain Dayne Beams got his foot stomped on in the fourth quarter which forced him to leave the field and get medical attention. Beams returned to the action and finished with 33 touches.

Topics:  afl brisbane lions chris fagan essendon bombers the gabba

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