1. And the No.1 draft pick goes to …
We still don't know! The Lions' win snapped an 11-game losing streak and in the process tightened up both the race for the wooden spoon and the resulting top picks in the NAB Draft. The 64-point victory edged them past the Blues (three wins) on percentage and into 17th place with three rounds remaining. Gold Coast (three wins and a draw) plays Richmond on Sunday and is still in contention to finish bottom. The Lions finish with Adelaide (away), Hawthorn (away) and Western Bulldogs (home), while Carlton face Melbourne (home), GWS (away) and Hawthorn (away) in the run home. Not only is the home of the wooden spoon still up in the air, but that of prospective top draft picks Josh Schache and Jacob Weitering, who could go to any of the above three clubs.
2. Mad Mitch Robinson right in the thick of it
He talked it down on match-eve, but Mitch Robinson was all fire-and-brimstone against the club that delisted him last year. The former Blue was in the middle of everything and the major catalyst for the Lions' comfortable victory. He finished with 33 disposals, a career-high 15 tackles (which makes it a whopping 67 in the past six weeks) and a goal in a terrific display. From early in the first term when he flattened Marc Murphy to give away 50m, Robinson was the centre of attention. His pressure was maniacal around the contest and he set the aggressive tone others lacked. His kamikaze tackle of Clem Smith that won a free kick was a perfect example. It was another first-rate performance from a player having an outstanding first season in the maroon, blue and gold.
GAMEBREAKER: Lively Robinson ruffles old side
Mitch Robinson gets into a tussle with former teammate Michael Jamison. Picture: AFL Media
3. The Blues are looking for the finish line
What started so positively for the Blues, just finished a mess. They cut the Lions apart in the first quarter, with Andrew Walker kicking two of his four goals, Marc Murphy running into space and Patrick Cripps looking every bit the Rising Star winner. But after quarter-time they looked like a team that had lost six straight. Checking became loose, the pressure went out of the game and the Lions kicked 12 successive goals in what at times amounted to little more than a procession. Carlton battled on from late in the third term, but the damage was done. Round 23 can't come quick enough.
Blues reach 'tipping point', says Barker
4. Looking for a forward? Look no further than Jono Freeman
All season the Lions have been crying out for a focal point in the forward 50, and against the Blues they got a good glimpse of the future. After a year cruelled by injury, academy product Jono Freeman reminded everyone of his limitless potential with three goals from six marks (three of them contested). Back surgery in the pre-season and an ankle injury on the eve of his return meant he didn't play seniors until round 18. Freeman has played just seven career games, and although the 21-year-old still has a lot of areas to develop, his hands are like a vice and he's a sound shot at goal. A full season in 2016 and Freeman should be one piece to the Lions' forward puzzle.
5. Second quarter does the damage
After Carlton cut the Lions to ribbons to take a 19-point lead to quarter-time, the contest flipped on its head in the second term. Daniel Rich was streaming through the midfield, Jono Freeman was clunking everything in the forward line and Harris Andrews was spoiling like a 10-year veteran in the back half. The Lions kicked 5.5 to 0.4 and it was no wonder when you look at the stats. They won the disposals 120-58 – Rich had 11 – contested possessions 37-30 and clearances 13-7. It was only a 12-point lead at the main change, but the momentum was all with the Lions. They kicked the first seven goals of the third quarter to put the game to bed.