Silver lining to dark cloud over Qld AFL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Silver lining to dark cloud over Qld AFL

Laine Clark 04/04/2011 02:37:34 PM Comments (0)

A dark cloud may hang over Queensland's AFL clubs - but at least budding Brisbane Lions leader Tom Rockliff could find a silver lining.

Smarting from the Lions' 78-point hiding at the hands of Western Bulldogs, Rockliff couldn't even get any joy out of arch rival Gold Coast Suns' nightmare debut on Saturday night.

While their rivalry is set to explode when they clash in round seven, Rockliff couldn't help but feel for ex-teammates Jared Brennan and Michael Rischitelli as Carlton pounded the Suns by 119 points at the Gabba.

"I have got a few mates at the Suns," Rockliff said in Brisbane on Monday.

"I spoke with Jared Brennan the other day and he seemed to be in good spirits.

"He had a tough night as well - it hasn't been a great weekend for Queensland AFL."

Rockliff - thrust into the Lions leadership group this year at just 20 - could at least find some positives amongst the weekend carnage.

He said there were exciting times ahead - but Lions and Suns fans will have to be patient.

"I think it is exciting for the state that there are two teams up here," Rockliff said.

"They are going to see some exciting times over the coming years, especially us.

"You look at Ryan Lester, Rohan Bewick and Claye Beams - we've got some real good kids.

"And the more games we get into them, there are going to be some real exciting times in the next two to three years at the club."

In the meantime, the Lions have some work to do.

Still win-less for the season, Lions coach Michael Voss admitted he faced a challenge trying to find a key forward in the absence of captain Jonathan Brown (facial fractures).

The Lions' top draft pick Jared Polec looks set to fill the gaping hole left by Brown following his sickening collision.

But Rockliff also tried to remain upbeat about Brown's absence.

Asked if the result against the Bulldogs added fuel to the argument the Lions can't win without Brown, Rockliff said: "I don't think so.

"Brownie is one of our best players and take the best player out of any team and it is going to be tough.

"We've been without him all pre-season (due to groin surgery) and we have strategies in place.

"And who knows, Mitch Clark might explode this week and kick a big bag (against Melbourne on Sunday).

"It's not the end of the world.

"We have got plenty of things we can do and kids knocking on the door (in reserves).

"There's some good depth ready to come in."

But Rockliff added: "I think everyone got a pretty big wake-up call yesterday."

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