Lions lick wounds after loss to Dockers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lions lick wounds after loss to Dockers

By Jim Morton 09/05/2010 11:02:56 AM Comments (0)

Brisbane's legitimate AFL top-four hopes have all but disappeared with the massive collateral damage of their third straight loss.

Suspected season-ending injuries to key duo Josh Drummond and Jared Brennan in the Lions' brave 13-point loss to Fremantle at the Gabba brought the club's injury dramas to crisis point.

Within the space of a nightmare 15 minutes in the third-quarter on Saturday night, Drummond ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, before Brennan collapsed on his right ankle.

While they must wait on scan results, the sickening nature of Brennan's failed landing in a ruck contest has Brisbane fearing he will also be sidelined for the rest of 2010.

A first-ever loss to the Dockers at home almost faded into insignificance with the fallout from the thrilling encounter that featured a spirited but ultimately unrewarded last-quarter revival.

The already injury-ravaged Lions must search for a new backline "quarterback" to replace radar-boot Drummond, while the mercurial Brennan is invaluable for his amazing skill and versatility.

They are among Brisbane's most influential half-dozen players and were again two of their best in the first half when Fremantle dominated.

The loss of Drummond exacerbates the club's defensive curse with their three tallest defenders - Daniel Merrett (hamstring), Matt Maguire (suspended) and Joel Patfull (hamstring) - all missing on Saturday night.

Ruckman Mitch Clark (groin) and wingman Andrew Raines (calf) were also late scratchings and Voss is not confident of any bar Maguire returning for Saturday night's home clash against Geelong.

He dodged questions about who could take Drummond's rebounding role, which could be given to Ash McGrath with vice-captain Jed Adcock still far from fully fit.

"I would like some defenders back, that would be handy, some over six-foot-one would be even better," Voss said.

"They had 22 marks inside 50, so that pretty much equates to 22 shots almost and you can't afford to have that, it's an enormous workload for everyone else to carry the slack, but it's something we had to do."

Brent Staker was switched to defence and tried gallantly, but struggled to contain Dockers skipper Matthew Pavlich who could have easily finished with more than his three goals if he kicked straight.

Despite their misfortunes, Voss isn't looking for excuses and is resolute in his belief the Lions will still be a force in 2010.

"We're 4-3, so we're definitely around the mix, we've lost the last three ... but form is easily able to turn if we're committed to doing it," he said.

"Despite the fact we have injuries, our setup is still the same, our structures are exactly the same, our roles don't change, and our attitude should not move.

"I don't believe in using the injuries as a reason and I won't because that would be an excuse."

Simon Black once again showed his immense class with a game-high 36 disposals as he and Luke Power dragged the Lions back from 27 down in the final term to within one kick.

Voss heaped praise on sole ruckman Matthew Leuenberger, 21, who improved throughout the night to match it with Dockers giant Aaron Sandilands.

"I thought he took a really significant step in his development," he said.

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