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Five talking points: R9

R9: Sicily from a long way out James Sicily sends one home from outside 50.

1. Charlie Cameron takes Mark of the Year contender  

Did Charlie Cameron take mark of the year in the first few minutes of the game? It will surely be a contender. Running back deep in the Lions’ defensive 50m, Cameron leaped onto teammate Darcy Gardiner’s back to pluck a great two-handed screamer. It’s been a tough start to the season for the Gabba faithful this year with several narrow home losses, but Cameron has certainly provided Lions fans with plenty of highlights. This afternoon was no exception. 

Read: Match report - Round 9

2. Lions restore pride with first win of the season

The Lions stormed home for their first win of 2018, finally capitalising on the promise they’ve shown several times in the first eight rounds. When the Hawks jumped out to a four-goal-to-one lead 10 minutes into the first quarter, it felt like the Lions – who have been the worst first-quarter team all year – might be jumped again. But from there they completely turned it around, bullying the Hawks in each subsequent quarter to run out 56-point winners. It was a morale-boosting, crowd-pleasing win for the home team.

3. Hodge haunts Hawks

Hodge was a talking point for this match ever since way back in October last year when he joined the Lions in a shock trade week move. After 305 games, four premierships and two Norm Smith medals with the Hawks, this was the first time Hodge lined up for the Lions against his former side. There wasn’t the fireworks many might have expected but Hodge continued his role as a steadying influence in the Lions’ back half, particularly lifting his intensity in the third quarter when the home side made its charge.

4. Hawks wasteful with forward entries

Last week coach Alastair Clarkson lamented his team’s ability to turn inside-50m dominance into a win, with the Hawks going down despite registering 62 inside 50s to the Swans’ 39. The Hawks were looking to be more ruthless with their forward entries in this game but it didn’t eventuate – narrowly beating the Lions 52 to 51 in the stat, but losing by 56 points. Gunston (four goals) and Roughead (two) battled well for the Hawks but strong games from Hipwood and Hodge curtailed the Hawks’ attacking potency. 

5. No tag but no win

After a few tricky weeks trying to negotiate a tag at every turn, Tom Mitchell was allowed some space to roam free and hunt the Sherrin. He finished with 46 disposals and a goal in a respectable performance, but it wasn't enough to spur his side onto victory. While vice captains Liam Shiels and Isaac Smith had some influence (with 28 and 25 touches respectively), the rest of the midfield group was quiet, with Henderson (15 touches), Morrison (15) and Cousins (eight) struggling to work their way into the contest.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs