‘Greatest ever’ win comes with a downside

AFL Rd 8 - Brisbane v Gold Coast
It was a bittersweet win for Brisbane coach Chris Fagan. Picture: Russell Freeman/AFL Photos via Getty Images

A public holiday in Brisbane on Monday will only delay the inevitable, with Lions coach Chris Fagan all but conceding to losing both Lincoln McCarthy and Darcy Gardiner to season-ending ACL injuries after a night of “carnage” and courage.

While lauding the grit of his team to take care of the Gold Coast Suns and record just a third win of the season, despite a slew of pre-game and in-game injuries, Fagan couldn’t cast a positive light on the prospects of the key duo.

“When I saw them, they just had that look about them. There’s a certain look about ACL injuries, I reckon,” he said.

“The doctors pretty much think that’ll be the case.”

With a public holiday in Brisbane on Monday, both will be scanned on Tuesday, with confirmed ACLs adding to the same injury suffered by defender Keidean Coleman in the opening round and Adelaide recruit Tom Doedee on the eve of playing his first game for the club.

AFL Rd 8 -  Brisbane v Gold Coast
Lincoln McCarthy goes down. Picture: Chris Hyde/AFL Photos/via Getty Images

Zac Bailey is also sidelined with an ankle issue and Cal Ah Chee a hamstring strain.

That injury scenario, and with last year’s grand finalists having struggled to produce their best so far this season, made the 34-point win over the Suns one of Brisbane’s “greatest” according to Fagan.

“I think it’s the most amazing and courageous win I’ve ever seen by any group of players I’ve had anything to do with,” Fagan said.

“I’m just so proud of them. They were out on their feet.

“It’ll go down in our club as one of our greatest ever wins is what I believe. I don’t think you can look at it any other way.”

With their season now rolling, Fagan said win could be the catalyst for a turnaround in fortunes.

“We’ve probably been struggling to find our belief and our confidence this year,” he said.

AFL Rd 8 - Brisbane v Gold Coast
The Lions celebrate. Picture: Russell Freeman/AFL Photos via Getty Images

“The record of 2-5 didn’t look good, but I didn’t think it was as bad as that.

“We’ll take a lot of heart from that.”

Brisbane’s next five games are against teams outside the top eight, starting with the Adelaide Crows next Sunday.