RICHMOND 5.2 7.3 10.4 12.7 (79)
BRISBANE LIONS 3.3 4.5 6.10 7.12 (54)
Goals: Richmond: T Vickery 4 J Riewoldt 2 S Edwards 2 J Batchelor M Arnot R Conca R Petterd. Brisbane Lions: D Zorko 2 J Green L Taylor M Close R Bewick S Mayes.
Best: Richmond: Ellis, Rance, Cotchin, Edwards, Vickery, Martin. Brisbane: Rockliff, Hanley, Clarke, Martin, Zorko, Maguire
Injuries: Richmond: Nil. Brisbane Lions: D Zorko (ankle)
Umpires: Robert Findlay, Craig Fleer, Leigh Fisher.
Official Crowd: 34,560 at MCG.
For a young list, AFL football has to be as much about learning as winning and losing. Which is what Brisbane coach Justin Leppitsch must be hoping his charges have at least got out of Saturday's loss to Richmond, a lesson in not taking chances while an opposition nails theirs.
Last week, the Lions had three pretty ordinary quarters against North Melbourne, but one good enough to earn them a stirring victory. Against the Tigers, Brisbane's effort was much more consistent across the afternoon. But effort without efficiency equalled little other than a 25-point defeat.
Richmond, whose fifth win of the season was the first time it had strung two victories together, will hardly be turning cartwheels over the quality of its performance, either. But, unlike the Lions, the Tigers made their chances count, always seeming to find an answer via a goal, or a couple for that matter, when Brisbane seemed be coming.
Key forward Ty Vickery, who kicked four goals, was a good example. He had two on the board in under three minutes, a third late in the first half just when the Lions had nudged within four points, and another at critical stage in the third term when Brisbane had closed within two points and had all the momentum.
He might have looked ungainly and clumsy at times, but he got the job done, even with a few hiccups along the way. Like his second goal, when he and Jack Riewoldt almost managed to collide in the square as they raffled an open goal. Or in the second term, when Riewoldt had popped a handball over the top for Vickery to run on to, the big man instead preferring to wait for the bounce and Brisbane's defenders pouncing on him instead.
Yet, with Riewoldt very effectively held by Brisbane defender Justin Clarke, Vickery gave Richmond some sort of forward presence. Which was more than the Lions could boast, with both Daniel Merrett and Michael Close both failing to get warm, indeed Merrett beaten pointless in a terrific performance from Tiger key defender Alex Rance.
Six of Brisbane's seven goals came from smaller types. And even they had enough trouble hitting the scoreboard. The situation came to a head early in the final term when, the Lions, desperately needing a goal to stay in touch, couldn't buy one.
Brisbane had completely dominated the first seven minutes of play, Ash McGrath hitting the post, another behind added besides, and the Lions having had no fewer than eight inside-50 entries to Richmond's zero for the return of 0.2. Sure enough, the first time the Tigers got close to goal, Vickery shot a handball over to Riewoldt, and with the margin now 22 points in a low-scoring contest, that was effectively that.
In some respects, the Lions' efforts deserved better. After being jumped at the start, Brisbane had ground its way back into the contest, its army of willing runners looking more and more dangerous, Pearce Hanley racking up the touches enough for Richmond eventually to have to send Daniel Jackson to mind him, Tom Rockliff as conspicuous as ever, and Matt Maguire winding the clock back more than a couple of years with a great game out of defence.
The Lions looked just as good around the ground as their opponent for large chunks of play, but that toil ended up counting for little. In the second term, they successfully turned what had been a free-scoring contest for a quarter into a dogfight.
They'd score the only goal in 23 minutes of football. But then undid the work by allowing Richmond two goals in four minutes. And again after half-time. Brisbane came out looking much the better team.
Close dragged down one of his two marks for the day, converted from 45 metres, and the gap had been reduced to single figures. Then the always-bustling Dayne Zorko slammed one through on the run and it was just two points the difference. But again Brisbane gave up two goals in a matter of a few minutes.
And as if to underline their capacity to do so at the wrong times, another to Reece Conca shortly before the three-quarter time siren, a bouncing ball that Hanley tried desperately but failed to touch just before it crossed the goal line.
You might be able to afford that sort of largesse if you're kicking enough goals of your own. Not when you're banging the ball in there more in desperation than hope, let alone any sort of realistic expectation that you're going to make those opportunities count for something other than just wasted energy,