BRISBANE has outclassed Hawthorn in a dominant second half to run out 27-point winners on Sunday afternoon.
It was an unhappy reunion for former Lions Greta Bodey and Emily Bates, who despite strong performances, couldn't get their new team over the line. Brisbane ran out victors, 8.11 (59) to 5.2 (32) in the swirling wind of Kinetic Stadium.
HAWKS v LIONS Full match coverage and stats
Dakota Davidson's presence up forward was a welcome inclusion for Brisbane after missing last week with suspension. The spearhead kicked three goals and took eight marks in a crucial attacking role. Meanwhile Breanna Koenen was her ever-reliable self, playing both in defence and at the contest, amassing 13 disposals, three clearances and four inside 50s in the process.
A huge tackle on Kaitlyn Ashmore from Belle Dawes on the goal line to win a holding the ball free kick directly in front goal just four minutes into the third quarter completely shifted momentum in Brisbane's favour, with the Hawks owning the opening half.
Hawthorn's defend first mentality was immediately on show as it won the tackle count 75 to 71. The Hawks laid some big opening-quarter tackles and made the game highly physical, preventing the Lions from finding the space they so crave. Kristy Stratton set the tone, winning two holding the ball free kicks in the opening minutes and ultimately finished with 12 tackles.
The home side took an unexpected lead into the half-time break as a result of that pressure, generating repeated turnovers through the middle of the ground and sending the ball into space in attack. They took advantage of their speed up forward, with Bodey (one goal), Bridie Hipwell (two goals) and Ashmore (one goal) all finding that space ahead of their trailing opponents.
Brisbane's inefficiency inside 50 early in the game kept the Hawks in it, registering just two goals from eight scores in the opening half. This was partly a result of the significant wind swirling around Kinetic Stadium, but more thanks to Hawthorn's numbers in defence and frenetic pressure.
But once the Lions had settled into the game, and adapted to the conditions, they were able to run over the top of the Hawks.
Jasmine Fleming's class shone through with 15 disposals and three clearances, stunted slightly by an injury scare at three-quarter time but she was able to return to the field, while Emily Bates' efforts against her old side were impressive as the star midfielder had 17 disposals, 14 tackles and five clearances for the day.
Koenen the destroyer
For two weeks running Craig Starcevich has looked to his captain to switch things up after the half-time break. Koenen was thrown into the midfield to start the second half in an effort to unsettle Hawthorn's midfield group, and to provide some defensive pressure through the middle. And it was to great effect, with the Lions generating consistent attack for the duration of the quarter, kicking 2.3 (15) while keeping the Hawks scoreless.
A sweet start for Bodey
No doubt nervous coming into her first game against her old side, Bodey landed the first blow. As the Hawks pressed forward early in the match, Fleming sent a long ball inside 50, Bodey gathered, spun expertly out of a Natalie Grider tackle and slotted the first goal of the game.
Hawthorn will head to Moorabbin to take on an up-and-about St Kilda, with the latter having won its last two games, while Brisbane returns home to host Collingwood in Springfield, in the 10th edition of the match-up.
HAWTHORN 1.1 4.2 4.2 5.2 (32)
BRISBANE 1.2 2.6 4.9 8.11 (59)
Hawthorn: Hipwell 2, Bodey, Ashmore, McDonagh
Brisbane: Davidson 3, Dawes 2, Smith, Hampson, Conway
Hawthorn: Stratton, Fleming, Bates, Hipwell
Brisbane: Anderson, Davidson, Ellenger, Koenen, Hickie, Dawes
Crowd: 1,755 at Kinetic Stadium