'News to us': Brisbane Lions hit back over ugly sledge claims

Andrew Reid
·3-min read
Seen here, Lions captain Dayne Zorko chats to an umpire on the left and Geelong coach Chris Scott addresses his players on the right.
Lions captain Dayne Zorko denies suggestions one of his teammates sledged Geelong about their grand final loss. Pic: Getty

Brisbane Lions captain Dayne Zorko has denied suggestions that a sledge from one of his teammates sparked an angry exchange involving Geelong coach Chris Scott, during last week's controversial AFL showdown.

Friday night's match exploded after Gary Rohan's off-the-ball strike on Lachie Neale that left Brisbane's Brownlow Medallist fuming.

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Rohan on Monday accepted a two-match suspension for the incident, which preceded Scott's angry war of words with several Brisbane players at quarter time.

The Cats coach had to be dragged away by a number of his players after becoming involved in a slanging match with several Lions players that centred around the toughness of both teams.

AFL Media’s Damian Barrett claimed one of the Lions players told Scott they were "not as soft as you pricks in the grand final," referring to Geelong's defeat against Richmond in last season's decider.

Barrett dropped the name of defender Harris Andrews as one of the players who may have delivered the sledge, but Zorko denies any such comments were made.

“What has come out today in regards to Harris, that‘s news to Harris and news to a lot of us,” he told reporters.

“Nothing like that was said. You could see the passion in both teams.”

Whatever was said certainly had Scott fired up, with the Geelong coach dragged away by Cats players Cam Guthrie and Joel Selwood.

Scott claimed after the match that Neale was the one to speak first during the quarter-time break.

"I was walking onto the ground and Lachie said to me something I couldn't understand exactly, but something about Gary Rohan.

"And I said I'm happy to have that conversation if you like, I've seen the vision and I'm comfortable with it. That's all that was said.

"They (Lions players) weren't paying me compliments."

Geelong coach Chris Scott is seen here arguing with Brisbane Lions players.
Geelong coach Chris Scott was seen engaging in a slanging match with Brisbane Lions players. Pic: Ch7

However, Brisbane coach Chris Fagan said Scott's actions were unacceptable.

“Personally I would not choose to speak to opposition players, I don’t think it is appropriate,” Fagan told 3AW.

“I don’t know how often it happens, pretty rarely I guess.

“I wasn’t there to see how it all started, but I think from a coaching perspective you just need to restrain yourself no matter how you feel at that moment.”

COVID-19 drama leaves Lions stuck in Victoria

Fagan has bigger issues on his plate after the Lions were forced to stay in Victoria due to the Covid-19 outbreak in Queensland.

The AFL also moved Brisbane's Thursday night blockbuster against Collingwood from the Gabba to Marvel Stadium after the Queensland government announced a three-day lockdown for the greater Brisbane area, starting at 5pm AEST on Monday.

The Lions have been in limbo since last Friday night's defeat to Geelong.

They trained at Port Melbourne on Monday morning and will now stay in Melbourne for at least another four nights.

Extra players will have to fly down from Brisbane for the Collingwood clash.

Ruckman Oscar McInerney needs to be replaced after injuring an ankle against the Cats, and there may be further changes to Fagan's team after two straight losses to start the season.

Brisbane are scheduled to meet the Western Bulldogs at Mars Stadium in Ballarat in round four (April 10) and could conceivably stay in Victoria until then if the situation in their home city worsens.

with AAP

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