Not too much significance should be attached to the win by the Brisbane Lions over the Western Bulldogs in a recent JLT Community Series match. It was pre-season, after all, but for a Brisbane side unaccustomed to much in the way of good news; it must have felt as close to a Grand Final win as they are likely to see any time in the near and intermediate future.
The Dogs did not lie down peacefully, but came on strong near the finish to make it close, after the Lions roared in the first half to take a 23-point advantage.
What would have made the win feel even better is that it took place on the Bulldogs Etihad Stadium home ground.
The Bulldogs could take nothing positive away from the game, with the most egregious slight being the late knee injury to promising youngster Roarke Smith, who was on the ground for the first time since an ACL injury in the middle of last season.
The final score was 66 – 58 in favour of the Lions.
The two sides will meet for real in round 5 and round 20 of the home-and-away season, with the first again at Etihad and the latter at the Lions’ Gabba home ground.