Coach – Chris Fagan
Points For – 13th
Points Against – 18th
Top 5 Best and Fairest
- Dayne Zorko
- Dayne Beams
- Tom Rockliff
- Stefan Martin
- Sam Mayes
2017 Rising Star Noms
Eric Hipwood (Rnd 5)
Hugh McLuggage (Rnd 14)
Alex Witherden (Rnd 17)
Ins – Luke Hodge, Charlie Cameron, Cameron Rayner, Zac Bailey, Brandon Starcevich, Toby Wooller, Connor Ballenden, Jack Payne,
Outs – Tom Rockliff, Ryan Harwood, Jarrad Jansen, Jonathan Freeman, Josh Clayton, Blake Grewar, Michael Close, Reuben William, Matthew Hammelmann, Josh Schache
Here we are again looking at the bottom of the pool and predicting what they will throw up again this year. There is finally a sense of some sort of optimism at Brisbane this year. Despite losing Rockliff, their team looks stronger than the year before. It has been a while since you could say that.
The backline copped a hiding last year and is probably an area that they havent imrpoved. They will be relying on the improvement from a young list to carry them a bit further. They conceded over 200 points more than the next worst defense. Hodge has been brought in with the task of pulling the backline together. He is certainly capable of (courageously) coaching from on the field but this is a massive task. They look really light on with KPD talent and not too much in the wings. Andrews and McStay though are a good place to start and they have some decent small talent back there with Mayes and Witherden looks fantastic.
I don’t mind the midfield. Beams, Zorko and Robinson give some hardness, they probably lack polish but they will be hoping Cameron will give them some outside run. I am far from sold on Cameron who I think may struggle away from the Crows but at least the thought is there. Zorko was brilliant last year although he too may dip without Rockliff. Zorko looked very tagable last year and his numbers plummeted when he was paid close attention. McLuggage should be better for the run and Mathieson is a bull, if he ever learns to kick then watch out.
The forward line has room for improvement but they have some talent. Hipwood is a massive talent. The question mark I guess is that four of their top five goal kickers are midfielders. They need some others to stand up. Walker is progressing nicely and Rayner will give them a boost but again like their backline, they lack KP depth. If they lost Hipwood to injury then they are sunk.
The ruck department is good. Martin is still a quality ruckman and Archie Smith showed enough last year to suggest he will be handy when the time comes.
The coach I cant get a read on yet. If he can continue to stop players leaving then he will be a success. He looks to be focused a lot more on building a team culture than winning games which I guess will come. The race for the spoon genuinely looks like a race in two this year with the Roos and Brisbane the main contenders. For what it is worth, I think the Lions will finish 17th.