Coach’s warning after AFLW smashing
Brisbane are set for some soul searching after a 39 point thumping by Melbourne at Hickey Park on Sunday.
The 9.6 (60) to 3.3 (21) margin was the second heavy defeat in a row for the Lions who look to be a shadow of the side that made grand finals in the first two seasons of the AFLW.
Melbourne ripped the game from the Lions' grasp with a 5.2 second quarter and although Brisbane outscored the visitors by a point in the second half, the damage was done.
Brisbane lost four of their better players to expansion side North Melbourne and coach Craig Starcevich said it was unfair to compare the Lions of 2019 to the foundation side.
The Lions had five teenagers playing on Sunday and Starcevich said they were like any side that was forced to put too much responsibility on first year players, but admitted it was compounded by some senior members performing below par.
All Australian centre-half-forward Sabrina Frederick Traub is one senior player who has had a quiet start to the season.
Starcevich said the introduction of Gold Coast next season would lead to more player movement and Brisbane had no choice but to continue searching for new talent.
"This competition is all about the long game,'' he said.
"We have built a rod for our own back by being an ok side in the first two years.
"We gathered all the best talent in Queensland and we grabbed a couple from interstate and all of a sudden we are right up there.
"In reality, by the time you get your ten or 14 teams it ain't going to be like that.
'It is going to spread it right out and like everyone else we have to find enough young talent, maybe some players from other sports, or players from the state leagues.
"There's another mob coming in next year so look out, here it goes again, so we are going to be a different team year on year.''
Brisbane lost skipper Leah Kaslar to a calf injury in the second quarter and vice-captain Sam Virgo was helped from the field in the final term.
The Lions reported Virgo was merely winded and was expected to take her place next week however Kaslar is in doubt for the trip to Melbourne for the grand final re-match with the Western Bulldogs.
Three weeks into the competition's third season and it is clear the AFL's decision to base the conference system on last year's finishing positions was flawed.
Melbourne (2-1) are equal third in the stronger A conference while Brisbane who are now 1 - 2 with a percentage of 58.4 hang onto third in their conference.
Carlton, who lead B conference, have only managed one win but have a percentage 86.
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