NT News

Daniher’s time to stand up as Lions field small forward line in final

- CHRIS HONNERY

LIONS coach Chris Fagan has made just the two changes to his starting side ahead of Saturday’s all-important battle with the Bulldogs but all eyes will be on the forward line.

With key forward Dan McStay ruled out through the AFL’s concussion protocols, plenty of questions have been asked on the make-up of Brisbane’s forward line, who are now missing two of their key goal kickers in McStay and Eric Hipwood.

Plenty of responsibi­lity now rests on the shoulders of 201cm tall Joe Daniher with the club naming second-year midfielder Deven Robertson and key defender Jack Payne in the starting side this week.

Payne’s inclusion could potentiall­y see a late reshuffle at the Lions but one thing remains the same, Daniher is the last of Brisbane’s trio of tall forwards they’ve relied on for much of the year.

If Fagan does opt to keep Daniher as the one big forward, surrounded by high-pressure smalls, it would be in a similar vein as Richmond in 2017.

Midfielder Zac Bailey said Daniher will be crucial for the Lions to succeed in advancing to next weekend’s preliminar­y final.

“He’ll be massive for us,” Bailey said. “Apart from last weekend, he kicked a goal in almost every game. He’s shown he’s an important player for us.

“With Macca going down, he’s going to have to stand up this week and create that contest we know he can.

“He brings a lot of x-factor to our team. “For a big man, he brings that x-factor alongside guys like Charlie Cameron and Linc McCarthy.”

 ?? Pictures: Getty Images ?? The burden falls on Joe Daniher and Charlie Cameron for the Lions in the absence of the injured Dan McStay (above).
Pictures: Getty Images The burden falls on Joe Daniher and Charlie Cameron for the Lions in the absence of the injured Dan McStay (above).

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