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Bruce Matthews

Lions roaring toward AFLW finals

Ally Anderson was in fine touch as her Lions side easily accounted for Hawthorn in the AFLW. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

Brisbane reaffirmed their premiership credentials with a dominant 54-point win against Hawthorn at Skybus Stadium in Frankston.

The Lions controlled the contest from the opening minutes to pull away for the 9.7 (61) to 1.1(7) victory that cements their position atop the AFLW ladder.

A lopsided 39-16 inside forward 50 count emphasised the ruthless manner in which the visitors boosted their already healthy percentage to prepare for another finals campaign.

Hawthorn fought hard right to the final siren, but had no answer for the onball skills of Lion Ally Anderson, with a career-high 30 possessions, and Emily Bates, with 22.

The Lions also had a far more functioning forward set up where Jesse Wardlaw stretched her lead as the league's leading goalkicker with three goals.

It's another leap forward for Wardlaw's transition from netball since coming from New Zealand and she's poised to play a pivotal role in the Lions' finals push.

"I think having my teammates give me so much confidence, they back me to take those marks and kick the goals has let me grow in confidence year after year," she said.

The Lions perform an unusual ritual of dancing together during the pre-game warm-up in the dressing rooms before running onto the ground.

"It feels so good, everyone's your best friend. We just love to muck around before games and that's what gets us up and about and gives us that energy," Wardlaw said.

It was a disappointing final home game for Hawthorn vice-captain Jess Duffin who's retiring at the end of the season, although it was fitting that the 2019 All-Australian kicked her team's only goal.

The Hawks had tireless triers, like Jasmine Fleming, Akec Makur Chout and Lucy Wales, but the home team were outclassed by a slick opposition that will be hard to stop in the finals in two weeks.

Hawthorn have been haunted by slow starts in their inaugural season and it proved costly again.

The Lions' forwards are the most lethal in the competition and goals to Ruby Svarc, Wardlaw, Dakota Davidson and Emily Bates in the opening quarter virtually put the contest to bed before the first break.

While the Hawks matched the ladder leaders in possessions and contested ball, it was the Lions' teamwork and cleaner ball handling that provided the decisive edge.

Hawthorn won the second quarter and had numerous opportunities inside their forward 50. But they managed only a single goal from a timely Duffin mark, the home team's first score only six minutes from halftime.

So often, the Hawk attacks were easily repelled by a well-organised Brisbane defence marshalled by captain Breanna Koenen and the rebounding Kate Lutkins.

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