Brisbane utility Tom Cutler says the Q-Clash now feels like a genuine AFL rivalry in the wake of Steven May’s monster hit on Stefan Martin.
Gold Coast defender May is facing a lengthy ban for his bump which knocked Martin out cold in Brisbane’s boilover 13-point win on Saturday.
The incident sparked a melee and Cutler said there was a real sense of hostility out on the ground, a sign the Queensland derby had graduated from a contrived, manufactured AFL showpiece into a game that really matters.
“It’s great to win any time but the Q-Clash, there’s a little bit more to it as you probably saw out there,” said Cutler.
“I think it’s at that point now where it’s built up.
“They were on top of the ladder, we were down the bottom. No one gave us a chance.
“There was a bit of feeling out there and that incident added a bit more to it.
“The crowd was very vocal every time May touched the ball, we sort of let them do that as the 19th player for us – that was fantastic.”
Cutler was a major contributor to Brisbane’s seventh win in 11 meetings with the Suns, kicking two key second-half goals – including the one that put the Lions ahead late in the final term.
It was also Brisbane’s first victory of the season.
Martin passed a concussion test on Monday, with the Lions hopeful the ruckman will be right to play in Saturday night’s clash against the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium.
Concern for Martin’s welfare has been heightened by the recent spate of concussion-related retirements in the AFL, and particularly in Brisbane, where Justin Clarke was recently forced out of the game at age 22.
Clarke, coincidentally, also passed a concussion test on Monday – his first major step on the road back to 100 per cent recovery from the symptoms that, several months on, still render him unable to perform any exercise beyond a brisk walk.
Cutler shares a house with Clarke and admitted his situation rushed through his mind when Martin was hit.
But he stopped short of saying May, who has a bad record at the tribunal and was suspended for a high bump on Lions captain Tom Rockliff last year, should have the book thrown at him.
“We’ll let the MRP (match review panel) deal with that, that’s their role,” Cutler said.