A serious-looking knee injury to Cam Rayner has overshadowed Brisbane’s 28-point win in Monday’s AFL pre-season match against Gold Coast.
The 2017 No.1 draft pick suffered a suspected ACL injury midway through the second-quarter of the Lions’ 18.9 (117) to 13.11 (89) win over their Queensland rivals.
Rayner collapsed in agony after jarring his right knee before limping off the field in tears.
The 21-year-old will have scans on Tuesday but Lions coach Chris Fagan said the suspicion is Rayner has suffered a season-ending ACL injury.
“I saw it happen, I thought that’s an ACL. That’s what our physios think,” Fagan said.
“Obviously we have to get scans and all that done but that’s the way it’s looking at this time which is a real pity.
“I reckon he was about to take off, Cam Rayner, as a player. He’s had a such a good pre-season … so it’s disappointing for him that this has happened.”
Rayner’s heartbreak appeared to spark his teammates to life as they ran over the Suns in the second half of Monday’s game.
Trailing by 23 points at the main break, the Lions piled on 7.8 in the third term to turn that deficit into a 25-point lead going into the final quarter.
Key recruit Joe Daniher finished the game with three goals, with small forward Charlie Cameron topping the goalscoring for the Lions with four majors.
Zac Bailey, Dayne Zorko and Tom Fullarton also kick multiple majors for the visitors with two goals apiece.
The Suns dominated the opening half, with Sam Day and Alex Sexton having three goals each by halftime.
Sexton finished the game with six majors while Day (three) and Ben King (two) were the other multiple goalkickers for the Suns.
The Lions, having kicked the final goal of the second quarter, booted 11 unanswered goals before King found the Suns’ first major of the second half in the fourth quarter.
Gun youngster Matt Rowell got through all four quarters to show he’s ready to make his much-anticipated return to the AFL when the Suns start their season in Perth against West Coast.
The 19-year-old finished with 20 possessions and seven clearances.
Suns midfielder Brandon Ellis topped the disposals count with 31 touches, one ahead of Touk Miller.
Jarrod Berry was the leading possession-getter for the Lions with 28 touches while Brownlow Medallist Lachie Neale finished with 25 touches after playing a key role in Brisbane’s second-half revival.
Suns coach Stuart Dew said his team’s Jekyll and Hyde performance would give his coaching staff plenty to work with heading into next weekend’s clash with the Eagles.
“It’s a good example for us to have a look at it when we’re at our best and when we let the opposition back in,” Dew said.
“Clearly a quality side, if you open the gate one inch they’re going to come straight through it and that’s what happened.
“Fair bit to work on but also some real positives for us.”
While the Suns face the Eagles in round one, Brisbane begin their campaign at home against Sydney.