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Lions thrash hapless North by 108 in AFL

Brisbane have mauled North Melbourne by 108-points at the Gabba to continue their perfect start to the AFL season.

Led by a career-best five-goal display from small forward Lincoln McCarthy, the Lions were relentless against the Kangaroos as they claimed a 23.18 (156) to 7.6 (48) victory.

Others to get amongst the goals in the rout included Zac Bailey and Joe Daniher (three each) while Charlie Cameron, Daniel McStay and Jarryd Lyons had two apiece for the hosts as 11 players booted majors.

It is not only the highest score kicked by the Lions under Chris Fagan but the winning margin eclipses a 91-point win over Gold Coast in round 21, 2019 as the biggest win of his tenure.

“It’s pretty embarrassing,” Kangaroos coach David Noble said.

“It’s really poor on our standards that we’re trying to create.

“There’s got to be consequences around training. There’s got to be consequences around skill errors. Close to 80 points on turnovers, it’s just unacceptable. So no, not happy.

“We’re trying to work hard and today we got out worked, it’s pretty simple.”

Nick Larkey, on the back of his six-goal haul in last weekend’s win over West Coast, kicked two to be the only multiple goalkicker for the visitors.

Captain Dayne Zorko showed little sign of his troublesome calf issue as he picked up 28 disposals and 10 marks in an impressive display.

Hugh McCluggage (29 disposals, four tackles and four clearances) was also busy while key defenders Harris Andrews and Marcus Adams were dominant at the back.

Despite the heavy defeat, Kangaroo Jy Simpkin led the disposals count for the match with 31 touches to be the visitors’ best.

Having been somewhat below their best in two hard-fought wins in the opening two rounds of 2022, the Lions came out of the blocks roaring.

Joe Daniher’s shot on the run from outside 50 in the opening minutes began a seven-goal barrage in the opening term to have the hosts up by 30 at the first break.

Their tails up, Brisbane charged into a 55-point lead during the second term before three late goals before the break by North got them back.

As good as the Lions were in the opening term, a moment of ill-discipline by Jarrod Berry had the Brisbane midfielder reported for striking Larkey with a swinging arm behind play.

Brisbane resumed their charge in the third quarter but despite several impressive marks by Cameron, the Lions’ forward failed to kick a goal, scoring four behinds in the quarter.

A nine-goal final term by the Lions piled on the pain for North who have a 1-2 record heading to the SCG next weekend to face Sydney.

“I said to them at three-quarter time, you’ve got a choice to make now, you can just let the game peter out or you can try and press home the advantage, your choice,” Fagan said.

“And they made a great choice.”

The Kangaroos also lost Ben McKay in the fourth quarter with a corked thigh after a heavy collision with Josh Walker meant he had to be subbed for Aiden Bonar.

Brisbane travel to Geelong to face the Cats in their next fixture.

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