Lions hope to free Berry for AFL prelim

·3-min read

Brisbane are clinging to hope of an AFL tribunal reprieve for Jarrod Berry after the midfielder unlocked his full potential against Melbourne on Friday night.

Berry dominated the second half of the Lions' hoodoo-busting defeat of the Demons at the MCG, amassing 22 of his 26 disposals once moving to Demons star Clayton Oliver.

"I haven't seen a Lions player play a better half, probably," captain Dayne Zorko told SEN on Monday.

"He's had an indifferent year; we've been trying to find where Jarrod's best position was and Friday night he really stood up in the midfield and delivered in one of, in our time, our club's biggest games."

However, Berry could miss Friday's preliminary final against Geelong at the same venue after being cited for unreasonable or unnecessary contact to the eye region in a third-quarter scuffle.

Oliver had pinned the Lion to the ground when Berry appeared to make hand contact with the Demon's face.

Match review officer Michael Christian offered a one-game ban, assessing the incident as intentional conduct, high contact and low impact.

The Lions will fight that at Tuesday's tribunal, with a downgrade to unintentional conduct enough to reduce the suspension to a fine.

"I'd like to think it'll get overturned and you'd love to see him take his spot," Zorko said.

"I'm sure our lawyers in the football department will be hard at work.

"It didn't look like there was anything in it for mine, but everyone sees it differently."

Geelong present another stern test for the Lions, who have surprised critics with defiant displays to eliminate Richmond and the defending champions, having started September with a 1-5 finals record through the last three years.

"They're in an incredible vein of form; all of their players are at the top of their games and they'll be refreshed and ready to go" Zorko said of the Cats.

"But we match up well ... and if we can bring what we brought on Friday we'll be in the game. If you hang in long enough you just don't know what's going to happen."

Key forward Joe Daniher will be available after his late withdrawal last Friday to witness the birth of his first child.

Zorko revealed Daniher had called him for advice before informing coach Chris Fagan of his need to return to Brisbane.

"I said, 'Mate, at the end of the day, it's a game of football, this is the birth of your first child; get home, we've got this'," Zorko said.

Brisbane's forward line held up admirably without Daniher, with Charlie Cameron (three goals) enjoying room higher up the ground and Eric Hipwood (four) and Daniel McStay (two goals, three tackles) lifting.

"Everyone contributed at different times throughout the night just when they needed to," Zorko said.

"It was a real moments game and all the boys played theirs perfectly."