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Five talking points: Brisbane Lions v North Melbourne

Sarah Black  August 26, 2017 5:25 PM

Rd 23, 2017: Match highlights All the match highlights from North Melbourne's 51-point defeat of Brisbane.
AFL 2017 Round 23 - Brisbane v North Melbourne

Ben Brown fell just short of an overnight Coleman lead

1. And the 'winner' of the wooden spoon is…
It's the one match of the year where the losing team wins a prize, of sorts. The surprise loss consigns the Brisbane Lions to finish a promising season at the bottom of the ladder, earning its first wooden spoon since 1998. They also gain the prized No.1 draft pick, meaning Vic Metro's Cam Rayner could be heading north after the draft. A bit of hope for Lions fans to go into the off-season with - the last time the club won the spoon they won their first flag just three years later in 2001.

Full match coverage and stats

2. Brown's late Coleman dash
If there was going to be a challenger to Josh Kennedy's Coleman Medal chances it was expected to come from Joe Daniher. But Ben Brown came from the clouds to kick a career-high seven goals, falling just one short of Kennedy's tally of 64 goals (before facing Adelaide). Brown was just too tall for Harris Andrews, and as the focal point of the Kangaroos' forward line, got plenty of the ball. While quiet in the first term, he came to life after the break, kicking seven goals in three quarters. Brown had two late shots on goal, but hit the post and then pulled his snap too tightly. The seven-goal tally was a fitting end to Brown's best season yet.

GAME BREAKER: Big Ben notches career-best

3. The Roos' costly win
Some North Melbourne fans will be disappointed in the team's second win in its last 12 matches, as the Roos are now likely to finish in 15th position, rather than 18th. The players were certainly intent to close the season on a high, peppering the goals in the first quarter. They struggled to kick accurately, finishing the term with one goal and eight behinds and the Lions scored with ease on the rebound. Once the Roos straightened up they broke away from the Lions in devastating fashion. It leaves them likely to take pick four in the draft, rather than one.

4. North's out-of-contract players show some fight
With North Melbourne in rebuild mode and on the hunt for a big star or two, several senior players remain unsigned for next year. Keen to prove their worth to either North or another club, they certainly weren't going to die wondering. Scott Thompson, in his 200th match, was solid in defence although the Lions' forward line was undermanned after the late withdrawal of Eric Hipwood. Sam Gibson was among the Kangaroos' best, reading the play well and setting up forward forays. Lachie Hansen and Aaron Mullett were both steady without being outstanding.

5. Dayne Zorko, one more time with feeling (and a broken finger)
It's been an eventful week for Brisbane Lions' star Dayne Zorko. The dangerous midfielder developed an infection in a graze on his leg and spent a couple of days in hospital. But that wasn't going to stop Zorko from taking to the field for the last match of the season, especially as the Lions were desperate to avoid the wooden spoon. He even carried a broken pinky finger into the match, which didn't stop him from smothering a kick in the second term. Zorko finished a fine season with 26 disposals, six tackles, two goals and, after a quiet game from Dayne Beams, potentially a third straight best and fairest.