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Giants down Lions to notch first away win

Highlights: Brisbane Lions v GWS The Lions and Giants clash in round 13
Giants player Lachie Whitfield during the 2014 AFL Round 13 match between the Brisbane Lions and the GWS Giants at the Gabba, Brisbane on June 14, 2014. (Photo: Patrick Hamilton/AFL Media)
Like many young Giants Lachie Whitfield is starting to find his footballing feet


ANOTHER sickening head knock to Jonathan Brown ensured a Bugg made a bigger impact than the Brisbane Lions’ "Mozzie squad" as Greater Western Sydney grabbed a historic 45-point win on Saturday night at the Gabba.

The Giants claimed their first away win on their 28th attempt, sixth victory overall in 56 starts, and their maiden triumph over the Lions.

But wait, there’s more - the 19.11 (125) to 12.8 (80) scoreline was also their biggest winning margin, eclipsing the 37-point victory over Melbourne in round 19 last year.


And it was their most points in a game, nudging the 124-point total in the same match against the Demons.

The Lions' pride might have been damaged but, arguably, veteran forward Brown was hurting the most after suffering his third head injury in 12 months when he ran into Tomas Bugg early in the third term.

A brave Brown again ran backwards into the contest before his head connected with Bugg's hip, leaving the triple premiership winner dazed and confused.

Alarm bells were ringing when he was escorted off the ground and quickly substituted, but he was later diagnosed with a heavy concussion.

Greater Western Sydney kicked the next two goals - and five straight in total - and did not look back as it largely silenced the 12,700 Gabba crowd.

The Giants stood tall despite the threat of the local Mozzie squad - small forwards Josh Green, Lewis Taylor and Dayne Zorko.

The trio had been the catalyst for the Lions’ mini-revival of two straight wins.

Taylor, Zorko (both three goals) and Green (one major) were again impressive, but nothing could stop the Giants nabbing a win that will go a long way towards them avoiding another wooden spoon.

The Lions lost key man Daniel Merrett (throat infection) before the match.

The Giants only led by one point at the first break - 4.3 (27) to 4.2 (26) - and by the same margin at half-time, 9.4 (58) to 9.3 (57).

Then Brown went down, leaving a gap in size, experience and leadership that was heightened by the pre-match withdrawal of Daniel Merrett.

The Giants jumped to a 21-point buffer at the final break and were never headed.

"To win on the road is a significant moment for our footy club," Giants coach Leon Cameron said.

"We've been trying for the last two and a half years, so to win in that style is really good."

On Brown's departure, Cameron said: "I reckon it would be disappointing if they thought that was the turning point.

"Yes, he is a quality player and when he went down they were a bit stunned, but for us to continue on was really pleasing."

Lions coach Justin Leppitsch played down Brown's injury, saying he did not even think his star forward would require scans.

"Hopefully there is enough metal in there now for it to hold together," he said.

"I don't know if we were shellshocked. But I would like to think we could overcome something like that to perform well."

Jeremy Cameron and Tom Rockliff contest on Saturday night. Picture: AFL Media



BRISBANE LIONS         4.2   9.3   12.3  12.8  (80)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 4.3   9.4   15.6  19.11 (125) 

GOALS
Brisbane Lions: Zorko 3, Taylor 3, Brown 2, Close 2, Gardiner, Green
Greater Western Sydney: Cameron 4, Patton 3, Treloar 2, Tomlinson 2, Shiel 2, Palmer, Scully, Hoskin-Elliott, Hunt, Wilson, Whitfield

BEST 
Brisbane Lions: Taylor, Hanley, Zorko, Redden, Paparone
GWS: Whitfield, Shiel, Mumford, Treloar, Ward, Scully

INJURIES 
Brisbane Lions: Merrett (throat infection) replaced in selected side by Close, Brown (face).
GWS: Corr (shoulder) replaced in selection side by Bugg, Kennedy (shoulder) replaced in selected side by Wilson.
 
SUBSTITUTES
Brisbane Lions: Zac O'Brien replaced Jonathan Brown (face) in the third quarter
GWS: Stephen Coniglio replaced Jacob Townsend in the third quarter
 
Reports: Nil
 
Umpires: Stephens, Nicholls, Harris
 
Official crowd: 12,700 at the Gabba