The Lions' Lewis Taylor protects the ball last Sunday as the Magpies close in.
The Lions' Lewis Taylor protects the ball last Sunday as the Magpies close in. DAN PELED

Sting operation: Taylor, Zorko regain top touch

FEW were happier to see Dayne Zorko regain top form than fellow member of the Lions' Mozzie Squad, Lewis Taylor.

After a lean patch when restricted by the efforts of opposition taggers, vice- captain Zorko hit back with a stunning display in the seven-point loss to Collingwood last Sunday.

The popular three-time club best and fairest winner tallied 34 disposals, 10 tackles and four goals.

"It's been challenging for him - been a tough few weeks," " Taylor said.

"He's going out there every week and getting tagged. They're not easy to break. Most of the blokes can run well and body up well.

"But to his credit, he played an absolute blinder and almost won us the game

"We've just got to try and help him as much as we can. Anyone that's getting a bit of attention we've got to try and look after.

"For us to win games, we need Zorks playing well."

Zorko, 29, has been a mentor to Taylor since the now 23-year-old was drafted in 2013.

Alongside the now departed Josh Green, they formed the fleet-footed Mozzie Squad - jokingly limited to players no taller than 180cm and who added plenty of sting in the attacking half.

"Zorks and I have been pretty close since I first got to the club," Taylor said.

"He started out in a similar sort of role as me, in the forward line and he's pushed into the midfield

"I get a bit of advice from him every now and then."

Lewis Taylor goes on the attack. Picture: AAP
Lewis Taylor goes on the attack. Picture: AAP

 

Lewis has endured his own ups and downs since starting on the absolute high of being crowned the competition's Rising Star of 2014.

He too was at his lively best against the Magpies, slotting an equal career-best four goals of his own to go with his 18 touches.

"It wasn't too bad," Taylor said. "But there's things I could've done better ... defensive things. I get caught ball-watching a bit every now and then."

While one-time partner in crime Green has moved to Essendon, Taylor has welcomed the arrival of Queensland product Charlie Cameron from Adelaide. The dangerous small forward leads the Lions' goalkicking with 12.

"He's a character around the club that's for sure - a spot-on pick-up by the club this year.

"He's had a great start to the year. I thought he was a good player, but playing with him and seeing all the things he does off the ball ... it's good to have him down there."

 

Lewis Taylor celebrates scoring a goal.
Lewis Taylor celebrates scoring a goal.

Taylor has backed in promising tall Eric Hipwood, who has endured a lean couple of weeks on the scoreboard - one goal for a 2018 haul of nine from seven games.

"He's just still so young," Taylor said. "There's obviously still a lot of development there to go for him

"Our talls competed really well on the weekend. It's not always about the goals.

"He's just got to keep training hard. As we know he's a very good player, so just got to give him time."

And that goes for the entire side, Taylor says.

Despite their 0-7 record, the Lions continue to show improvement, and fancy their chances of beating the Bulldogs at Etihad today.

"We go all right at Etihad. It'll be pretty chilly down there so the roof will be handy," Taylor said.

"We're definitely heading in the right direction.

"It's just a shame we haven't been able to get the wins early.

"It's about learning how to finish off. We just need to keep our composure.

"We're not too far away."



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