Brisbane star Lachie Neale (pictured). Picture: Joshua Davis

Brisbane star Lachie Neale (pictured). Picture: Joshua Davis

Brisbane may have missed Lachie Neale in the pre-season Q-Clash against Gold Coast, but came away 47-point winners.

Both teams missing some key players none bigger than Brownlow medalist Lachie Neale who the Lions will be taking it easy with this pre-season. While the Suns were missing two of their first round picks Jed Walters and Jake Rogers.

The match was a good opportunity for both clubs to show growth from last season, with the Lions looking to go one step further and the Suns looking to make the finals for the first time under new coach Damian Hardwick.

Brisbane gave Cam Rayner notable midfield minutes where he looked powerful giving Chris Fagan something to think about for the Lions’ opening round match against the Blues.

Charlie Cameron looked at his best, kicking five goals in the first half matching up on Suns young defender Bodhi Uwland, Eric Hipwood ended up with three goals in what was a good performance all-round by the Lions forwards. 

Harris Andrews led the very impressive defensive backline unit, intercepting almost everything that came down the defensive 50, James Madden added dash to the backline as someone who could fit in the Lions’ best 22 this year.

For Gold Coast, Matt Rowell looks ready to get back to his best for a big year, Bailey Humphrey and Sam Flanders were the big improvers.

Players to lookout for in 2024

The Gold Coast suns electric forwards will be something to look out for in 2024, names such as Bailey Humphrey, Sam Flanders and Ben Ainsworth looked classy, something to get the Gold Coast fans excited about this year.

James Tunstill looked very clean, would be looking to be a third wing option behind Hugh McCluggage and the absent Jarrod Berry. Wouldn’t be surprised to see his name pop up for an opening round selection.

Position changes 

Alex Sexton moved from forward down to the back line, looked really impressive and could see him cement a spot in that backline, a big change up from his regular forward position.

Darcy Gardiner played down forward as he was impressive in the Lions intraclub match kicking three goals, However wouldn’t expect him to stay down there most of the year but good to test something new out.

Something to look forward to

Damian Hardwick will have his selection of key forwards to pick from this year. The Suns without pick 3 in the draft Jed Walter last night who will look to take the competition by storm alongside Ben King, looking forward to see how these two will grow together.

The Lions will be looking forward to the return of young gun Will Ashcroft and new recruit Tom Doedee. They were so close last year to the ultimate success so this could be the edge they are looking for and they will want them to fit in nicely.

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