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New forward hopes put their hands up for the Lions

Jono Freeman could be another piece in the puzzle of the Lions' forward line - ${keywords}
Jono Freeman could be another piece in the puzzle of the Lions' forward line

THE BRISBANE Lions may just have a few more forward options than first thought, with a trio of Queensland youngsters shining at Friday's intra-club.

While No.2 draft pick Josh Schache has been all the rage this pre-season, it was Jono Freeman (two goals), draftee Eric Hipwood (two) and rookie Matthew Hammelmann (three) stealing the limelight at Burpengary.

Schache had a quiet day, missing two set shots in blustery conditions and kicking another into the man on the mark.

But Freeman was spectacular early on, kicking his brace and taking a towering pack mark in the first quarter.

He should have had three goals, missing another sitter.


Hipwood was strong in the air and on the ground, while second-year Hammelmann kicked his trio in an energetic second-half display.

"All the key forwards were good," coach Justin Leppitsch said.

"It's nice to have a few to pick from. They were good and gave a target and that's important."

The hitout was split into two distinctly different halves, with the first half a virtual probables versus possibles that turned into a landslide.

After the main break, a few players switched jumpers, making for a more competitive second half.

Off-season recruits Tom Bell and Ryan Bastinac were tireless and won plenty of the ball, while Mitch Robinson showed he has come back stronger than ever after winning the best and fairest last year, putting in a relentless four quarters.

Stefan Martin, Ryan Harwood, Pearce Hanley and Ryan Lester also impressed.

The Lions open their NAB Challenge account against Gold Coast at Burpengary on Sunday, February 21.