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Berry sweetens the Lions' sour loss

Michael Whiting  July 9, 2017 12:11 AM

Fagan: 'They were bigger and stronger' Chris Fagan looks at the positives despite a crushing loss to the experienced Cats
AFL 2017 Round 12 - Brisbane v Fremantle

Young Lion Jarrod Berry performed admirably on Cats captain Joel Selwood

Joel Selwood's a great leader as well as a great footballer, so we thought Jarrod could learn a fair bit by playing on him and it was a really honest performance by him. That was a great effort by a young fella.

AMONG the wreckage of his team's biggest loss of the season, Brisbane Lions coach Chris Fagan found two positives.

One was Dayne Zorko, whose 36 disposals, four goals, 12 tackles and 10 clearances was about as good a showing as you'll ever see in an 85-point defeat.

WATCH: Great Dayne continues to impress

The other came from a 19-year-old playing just his 13th game.

So highly does Fagan rate Jarrod Berry, he assigned the first-year midfielder the task of running with Geelong skipper Joel Selwood for the night.

Five talking points: Brisbane Lions v Geelong 

Yep, Joel Selwood, the 242-game, triple premiership Cat that Fagan described as the toughest player he'd ever seen just 36 hours earlier. 

It's not the first time Berry's been given a run-with role, having also followed the likes of Port Adelaide's Brad Ebert earlier in the season.

Against Selwood, he acquitted himself superbly, collecting 18 disposals of his own, while keeping the opposing captain to 24 (including six free kicks).

"We wanted to stop Joel, he's a great player and when he plays well they play well, so that was the first reason," Fagan said.

"Secondly, we chose Jarrod for his education. 

"Joel Selwood's a great leader as well as a great footballer, so we thought Jarrod could learn a fair bit by playing on him and it was a really honest performance by him. 

"That was a great effort by a young fella." 

Full match coverage and stats 

Unfortunately for the Lions, there were too many players having off nights, as Geelong bullied them in the contested ball (158-116) and feasted on their 72 turnovers. 

"They've got a lot of experienced players in their side, bigger bodies," Fagan said.

"(In the) second quarter, blown away, particularly on turnover, and a lot of it unforced.

"That's guys taking the game on. Last week we were terrific in that area, tonight not so good.

"We'll live and learn and grow from that."

WATCH: Chris Fagan's full post-match media conference

Even when they got the ball forward, it was disjointed, with young talls Eric Hipwood, Archie Smith and Matthew Hammelmann battling against vastly experienced opponents Tom Lonergan, Harry Taylor and Lachie Henderson.

Geelong took 26 marks inside 50 compared to the Lions' four, many of which came uncontested following a turnover. 

Josh Walker's early departure with a calf injury didn't help either. 

It might be getting closer to the return of former No.2 draft pick Josh Schache, who has not played in the seniors since being dropped following round eight. 

He kicked another five goals in the NEAFL on Saturday – the second such haul in three weeks – in the Lions' 20-goal victory. 

"I haven't looked at the tape, but on the surface five goals looks like a good result," Fagan said.

"We'll just have to have a look and see how well he played. It's good to hear he did that."