Lions' eyes on AFLW leaders after Sydney belting


Brisbane have set the stage for a huge AFLW clash with unbeaten ladder leaders North Melbourne in round four with a 55-point thrashing of Sydney.

Courtney Hodder and Sophie Conway kicked three goals apiece as the Lions posted the second-highest score in club history in their 14.3 (87) to 4.8 (32) victory at Brighton Homes Arena on Sunday.

After a shock first round defeat to Richmond, last season's beaten grand finalists have posted convincing wins over Port Adelaide and the Swans by a combined 105 points.

But they face a far more difficult challenge against North Melbourne in Launceston.

"That one's been earmarked for a while actually," Lions coach Craig Starcevich said.

"We're looking forward to going down there and coming up against a fellow contender.

"We've always had great games against North, it's always been tight.

"They've got a particularly strong midfield and a lot of height in their forward line, so we've got a lot of things to contend with."

Starcevich rated Brisbane's pressure and work rate "pretty good" against Sydney but highlighted the fact they lost hard-ball gets by 10 during the third quarter.

Ally Anderson (27 disposals), Isabel Dawes (20 touches, 11 tackles, seven clearances), Orla O'Dwyer (17 possessions, two goals) and Cathy Svarc (15 touches, one goal) were among the Lions' best.

"We're happy with the scoring as a result of that pressure but there's still little moments in games where we switch off a bit defensively," Starcevich said.

"But I've got to temper all that because we are rolling through with a lot of new personnel as well.

"Getting people playing together and knowing what's required at certain times is still a bit of a work in progress."

Sydney's Laura Gardiner had a game-high 41 disposals and nine tackles and Rebecca Privitelli kicked two goals for the visitors.

The Swans' tough night on the road grew worse when former top draft pick Montana Ham went off during the third quarter with "awareness" in her troublesome left foot.

Ham was on return after missing the opening two games of the season because of a stress reaction.

"We don't think she's had a setback, it's just that she had an awareness," Sydney coach Scott Gowans said.

"We were behind in the game, so why risk it.

"We probably would've pushed through if we were up or the game was in the balance but I just didn't see the need to."