Lions' Ash McGrath battling injury - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lions' Ash McGrath battling injury

By Jim Morton 07/04/2008 02:06:29 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane's desperate quest to find more goal kickers has suffered a blow with potential crumbing solution Ash McGrath battling injury.

Nimble goalsneak McGrath sustained an ankle injury late in the Lions reserves match on the weekend which is set to delay is much-needed return against Port Adelaide on Saturday night.

Coach Leigh Matthews is lamenting the Lions' inability to convert a decent percentage of their forward 50 entries, relying heavily on tightly-marked big guns Jonathan Brown and Daniel Bradshaw.

Bradshaw (five) and Brown (one) were two of just five goal scorers as Brisbane managed 10 majors in their three-goal loss to Sydney at the Gabba on Saturday night.

Matthews knows he needs more scoreline contributors against the Power at Adelaide's AAMI Stadium, particularly from ground-level players.

"We only had six scorers and the goals that we got were from marks," he said on Monday.

"We virtually got almost no crumbing goals and you need to do that to supplement your score because you can't depend on having nine or 10 goals from marks and that was the area of the game (that cost the Lions).

"Ash McGrath is a player with a proven history of being able to snaffle a goal or two, and he's kicked six in a league game once.

"We think Ash provides a lot of value to the team when he's fit and well."

While McGrath has been listed for a fitness test, Matthews indicated it was highly unlikely he would make his first senior appearance in 2008 against the Power.

The hard-chasing 24-year-old, a 2003 premiership player, was impressive in his second reserves match back from minor knee surgery before rolling his ankle.

"He got a couple of games under his belt and he'd played well so he was getting close to being considered for senior selection so that's unfortunate," Matthews said.

Cheynee Stiller is also in the mix for a promotion from the reserves with Troy Selwood, who must come through a test on a quad injury.

Port Adelaide has won four of its past five matches against the Lions, including the 2004 grand final, but Brisbane did score a 69-point thrashing at AAMI Stadium in 2006.

Matthews admitted it might be a good week to meet the Power after their brutal showdown loss to Adelaide on Sunday night.

"Probably in a way, the showdowns and the (western) derbies are gigantic emotional events," he said. "It's more than a normal home-and-away game.

"But their situation (0-3) is pretty similar to ours (1-2, and) they have been pretty competitive."

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