VFL Match Preview: Frankston awaits undefeated Lions
The undefeated Lions play away for the first time in two weeks and do so with strong momentum after knocking off both Essendon and Coburg by big margins.
Top of the ladder after nine rounds, the Lions will now shift their focus to the Dolphins who have recorded just two wins so far in 2023.
Coming off the back of a 117-point win, the Lions have been able to kick big scores in the last few weeks, but it is their defence which has been a source of pride for coach Ben Hudson.
“Obviously we’ve shown our ability to score but I’m proud of the way the boys have stopped the opposition scoring,” he said.
“We pride ourselves on a team-first mentality and the six guys who line up in defence epitomise that each week.
“Guys like Frog (Ryan Lester) and Cal (Ah Chee) who are now getting their chances at AFL level after some really good form in the VFL shows that mindset of the team.
“We threw Buzz back there after some really good weeks forward and he’s shown the same thing and has gelled really nicely with Harry (Arnold).
“Dizzy (Darcy Gardiner) since he’s come back, Darragh (Joyce) too when he came back for us.
“It has been really pleasing to keep teams to low score, but we are able to use it to our advantage with Jimmy Madden and (Jaxon) Prior bouncing off half back and then hitting the scoreboard too."
Players to Watch
One of the five Irish players on the Lions list across AFL and AFLW, Madden has been pivotal off half-back this year.
His speed and toughness make him a tricky match up for opposition teams, with his ability to bounce out of defence.
Madden’s rebounding ability has provided the Lions with a strong scoring source off turnover.
A key offensive weapon, Madden is also solid defensively with his chase down tackling and intercept marking.
Another member of the Lions young core, Tunstill is beginning to prove himself as a valuable inside/outside midfield.
Lining up on the wing traditionally, Tunstill has attended several centre bounces in the last few weeks, culminating in a 26 disposals performance against Coburg.
Tunstill’s ability to hit the scoreboard too has been crucial as part of a midfield brigade with plenty of attacking power, averaging just under a goal per game.
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Last time we met
An almost identical fixture greeted the Lions in their previous match up with the Dolphins.
Kinetic Stadium played host to a tight, low-scoring affair where the Lions prevailed by six points.
Former Lion, Tom Berry kicked two goals and 28 disposals in a complete performance while Jimmy Tunstill collected 27 possessions to go along with a goal.
Bruce Reville was the match winner on that occasion, kicking a goal in the last 10 minutes to seal victory.