No missing Linc in Lions' AFL form surge

·2-min read

The absence of good mate Lachie Neale has only spurred on Lincoln McCarthy as the once injury-plagued forward's AFL rise continues at Brisbane.

Brought to the Lions just prior to Neale's arrival in 2019, after playing just five games across two seasons for Geelong, McCarthy has enjoyed a clean run of health to flourish among Brisbane's evolving forward line.

With Neale due to miss at least another five weeks with an ankle injury, the Lions (4-3) have called on their troops to lift a notch as they attempt to make up ground on the top four.

Three consecutive wins, including a 49-point thumping of Port Adelaide on Saturday, have shown their depth and ability before Sunday's date with Fremantle.

McCarthy has been a big part of Brisbane's resurgence - averaging a goal and doubling his goal assists from last season, while managing nine contested possessions among 14.57 per game in comparison to 5.4 and 9.7 in 2020.

The 27-year-old's slick handling in wet conditions has also stood out with defensive star Harris Andrews among those able to admire McCarthy's influence.

"He's been sensational; he's so dangerous in the air and at ground level and is such a presence in the forward line, certainly goes under the radar I reckon but internally we're all about it," Andrew said.

"We are going to miss him (Neale) big time for the next few weeks so there's a clear understanding we all need to lift a bit.

"Not do too much, just play your role and guys like Linc and those younger boys all just contributes."

Missing the help of fellow tall defender Darcy Gardiner (concussion), Andrews overcame a rare humbling against Carlton last week to put the clamps on a dangerous Port forward line.

"It was nice to get back to playing the footy I can play," he said.

"Guys are going to go out wit injury but the ability to fill in their roles but guys like Deven Robertson, Jaxon Prior and Jimmy Madden debuting can get the job done.

"It's important we build that tough and resilient reputation ... the fact guys can come in from the VFL and play a role is really encouraging."