Brisbane were hit with a serious injury early in their clash with Richmond, with ruckman Oscar McInerney leaving the field after less than three minutes.
McInerney was clearly groggy as he was helped off the field in the opening period before being sent off after a brutal head clash.
The big man tried to get a boot on Tiger Jack Ross early in the opening period when disaster struck the Lions.
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Bowling with Tiger Toby Nankervis, McInerney’s head landed heavily on the Gabba turf after falling off the back of Ross.
The only Lions ruckman selected for the do-o-die final was visibly shaken and bleeding from the nose.
“McInerney is down!” Commentator Hamish McLachlan said.
He was the latecomer and he was the second best.
Commentator Luke Hodge said the big Lion “doesn’t look good” after a tough fight.
A fortuitous header saw the Lions go unrecognized as forwards Joe Daniher and Dan McStay were forced to step up.
“This setup will disrupt the way you want it,” said analyst Brian Taylor.
“You’d be surprised how the McInerney exit will throw Brisbane off balance.”
Before McInerney stepped down, Daniher He did not appear in the 2022 tournament.
“Among the players on the ground, McStay has 50, Hipwood has seven and none at rest,” McLachlan said of the 2022 tally.
“It’s the first time Joe Daniher has come into the fray since coming back from his shoulder injury. They normally use Daniel McStine as a back-up ruckman,” added Hodge.
“He missed a lot of tackles with both shoulders earlier in the year, so you probably don’t want to put him in the running back to take that risk.
“You can’t get that guy (Danher) down.
McInerney enters Thursday’s clash as one of the Lions’ most in-form players, averaging 13.8 ratings over the past four weeks – up from 11.4 in the first 19 rounds.
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