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 Lions said at halftime they suspected a potentially season-ending ACL issue, though scans on Tuesday will confirm the full extent of the 21-year-old’s injury.
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.
Defender Sam Collins did a tremendous job on Daniher in the opening half but was withdrawn at the break as he was managed with foot pain.
Collins’ absence was keenly felt as 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.
Brandon Ellis topped the disposals count with 31 touches, one ahead of Touk Miller with Jarrod Berry 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.
While the Suns face the Eagles in round one, Brisbane begin their campaign at home against Sydney.