Brisbane have beaten St Kilda by three points in a gripping finish to their AFL round-six clash in Wellington on Friday.
Brisbane AFL coach Justin Leppitsch reckons he might have behaved like a bit of an idiot in the final stages of Friday’s three-point win over St Kilda.
Starting the season with a five-match losing streak can do that to you.
First-year mentor Leppitsch’s breakthrough win came in Wellington of all places, as the mistake-prone Lions held on 12.10 (82) to 11.13 (79) in front of 13,409 fans.
The Saints had been out-worked and trailed by 25 points at halftime in the round-six clash.
However Lenny Hayes and Leigh Montagna, with a combined tally of 71 possessions, dragged the home side back into the contest.
With seven second-half goals to Brisbane’s four, the Saints were making all the running but couldn’t quite get the win.
Jack Redden and No.7 draft pick James Aish were prominent for Brisbane, while Joel Patfull held four-time All-Australian forward Nick Riewoldt to one goal.
The last score of the game was a missed shot at goal on the run from St Kilda’s Farren Ray, followed shortly afterwards by a 50-metre penalty against Saints’ defender Shane Savage for not throwing the ball back properly to his opponent.
“I carried on like an idiot in the last quarter,” Leppitsch grinned.
“The competitive edge definitely gets to you.
“Halfway through that last quarter the game was probably only heading one way.
“They were really running on top of us.
“One thing our guys have struggled to do in the first five weeks is when we’ve been challenged just hold the fort a bit and I thought we did that better and didn’t leak as many goals so that was one good sign.”
Leppitsch said the Lions still have much to learn about handling pressure situations.
“We still made a lot of errors in those last 15 minutes,” he said.
“But it’s just good to crawl over the line.
“I was worried because we started kicking the ball out on the full and made silly mistakes.
“But the guys were able to grind it out, probably not with skills but with a little bit of heart.”
Young midfielder Eli Templeton suffered a broken arm, adding to the Saints’ woes.
“It’s one that got away because we were so poor early and we clearly showed that when we came with the effort in the second half you’re a chance to win the game,” St Kilda coach Alan Richardson said.
“To the players’ credit they responded really strongly after halftime and gave themselves an opportunity to pinch the game. It probably would have been that.”
Brisbane host Sydney at the Gabba for a night game on May 3, while St Kilda face Hawthorn at the MCG earlier that day.