Chris Fagan cops Lions' AFL loss sweet

·2-min read

Brisbane Lions coach Chris Fagan has refused to weigh into an umpiring controversy late in his team's one-point AFL defeat to Geelong.

The Lions almost pinched their first win in Geelong for 18 years after producing a spirited final term charge from 21 points down at the last break on Friday night.

Brisbane hit the front at the 21-minute mark of the last quarter but veteran recruit Isaac Smith came to the fore by snapping the game-sealing goal.

The drama was not done there, with speedster Zac Bailey laying a fierce tackle on Mark Blicavs metres out from the Lions' goal in the dying seconds.

Blicavs appeared to get rid of the ball illegally but the umpire called play-on and the Cats held on in a thriller.

Injured Lions defender Darcy Gardiner tweeted, "just throw it. No worries" but Fagan refused to comment on the umpiring.

"I haven't in the four years I've coached so I'm not going to start now; I don't think it's constructive," he said.

Geelong counterpart Chris Scott said he felt for umpires trying to make tough calls in the heat of battle.

"I haven't had a good look at that, I'll reserve my opinion on that one until I have a look at it," Scott said.

"I got caught up in the emotion right towards the end.

"I'm a big subscriber to the theory that the game is very hard to umpire."

Meanwhile, the Lions have backed their call to medically substitute Oscar McInerney out late in the game despite the ruckman suffering an ankle injury in the first quarter.

Speedster Keidean Coleman was activated into Friday night's match against Geelong for McInerney - who was hurt early in the one-point loss - in the final quarter.

Fagan remains hopeful the lumbering big man will be fit to take on Collingwood at the Gabba on Easter Thursday.

"(McInerney) rolled his ankle. I'm not sure whether there's ligament damage and that will become obvious in the next few days," Fagan said.

"We haven't got long to get ready so our medicos will be on to it.

"That's not necessarily the case with the rules. You can come off because you can no longer continue to play but still play the next week.

"We probably could've brought Oscar off right from the moment he did it.

"We and him decided to tough it out but there came a point in the last quarter that he couldn't keep going."

The contentious new substitute rule has already led to North Melbourne selecting Aidan Corr this week despite the defender being taken out of the Kangaroos' round-one game with a toe injury.