He's been given a tick of approval by his coach following one of the biggest ruck tests in the AFL, now Brisbane's Oscar McInerney has the opportunity to shine in Stef Martin's absence.
Martin has been sidelined for up to eight weeks due to a stress fracture in his back, elevating 26-year-old McInerney to No.1 ruckman status at the Lions.
McInerney and inexperienced Archie Smith were matched with Melbourne's three-time All-Australian Max Gawn on Sunday at Metricon Stadium.
While Gawn dominated the hit-outs, it was the Lions who took out the points with a four-point win and coach Chris Fagan felt McInerney had held his own against the Demons' big man.
"Max had a lot of taps, but in terms of him being able to mark long down the line or get behind the play and mark the ball, he wasn't able to do that," Fagan said.
"I thought Oscar did a terrific job playing him one on one.
"I'm not surprised. He's a young ruckman on the up who's just starting to believe in himself."
The challenge now for McInerney is continuing to deliver in Martin's absence for the Lions, who have moved level on points with Port Adelaide at the top of the ladder.
Brisbane face sixth-placed Essendon on Friday and Fagan is challenging McInerney to make the most of his new-found importance to the team.
"It's definitely an opportunity for him to step up," Fagan said.
"Sometimes that's all you're looking for as a young player."