Riewoldt looms as big job for Patfull - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Riewoldt looms as big job for Patfull

Darren Cartwright 17/06/2011 02:43:22 PM Comments (0)

Key defender Joel Patfull is Brisbane coach Michael Voss's starting point to shut down Richmond's lively Jack Riewoldt at the Gabba on Saturday night, but he's not the only option.

Patfull must take up the mantle as the Lions No.1 backman in the absence of highly respected fullback Daniel Merrett and guarding Riewoldt, the AFL's second highest goal scorer this season, is no mean feat.

The Tiger spearhead could wreak havoc against the Lions' leaky defence which has conceded 36 goals in the last two matches.

If Patfull fails then the responsibility will be handed to either Matt Maguire or veteran Josh Drummond, but by then the game could well be in the Tigers' keeping.

"Matty Maguire, Joel Patfull's there too and Drummo is going to be there at different times so we can play different players there," Voss said.

"With `Rog' (Merrett) missing there are options there."

Adding to the Lions' defensive woes is the loss of vice-captain Jed Adcock, who was at training on Friday with his right hand and lower arm in a cast.

He will miss the best part of a month after requiring surgery on a broken finger.

In the absence of the Lions' two defensive generals, a lot of responsibility falls on the shoulders of Drummond.

He is lacking match fitness after missing a number of games this season because of injury.

Voss said Drummond had the ability to control the tempo of the game out of defence and he would be looking for him to fill the void in the absence of Merret and Adcock.

"Rebound, use the footy well, be able to control the ball speed and he (Drummond) does that very well, and he's obviously a very good player (at that)," Voss said.

The Lions coach said the two huge losses to Sydney and Carlton exposed the gulf between top-four aspirants and teams languishing at the bottom of the ladder.

The Tigers have only won two more matches than Brisbane, although Voss views them as being on the way up in their transition from a struggling side to one that commands respect.

When the two sides met in round six at the MCG this season, only eight points separated them at three quarter time before the Tigers won by four goals.

"We learnt a lot of things out of that (the last time we played them)," Voss said.

"Our midfield has to make sure it gets its hands on the footy.

"The last two weeks we've played against a couple of top four sides or (teams) certainly on the brink of that and it shows we have work to do in those areas.

"They (Richmond) are around us, but they have certainly showed some really good upside.

"That's going to be our challenge, to nullify their best players and maximise ours."

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