Rockliff shows courage for AFL’s Lions

Skipper Tom Rockliff has ensured there is no shortage of inspiration in the Brisbane camp after playing the majority of Sunday’s 22-point AFL loss to St Kilda with three broken ribs.

Now all they need is a bit of luck.

It has been revealed Rockliff was nursing the same three ribs that were broken in round one against Collingwood after a collision in the first 10 minutes of the Gabba clash with the Saints.

He is expected to be sidelined for a month.

“He put a brave face on. He’s a tough bugger,” Lions defender Marco Paparone said.

“I didn’t even know he did it and he played the whole game out.”

Rockliff may have showed plenty of courage but it was still not enough to reverse the Lions’ fortunes – on and off the field.

Brisbane let an early 29-point lead slip to crash to the Saints while Rockliff added to an already long Lions injury list.

The omens weren’t good on Sunday when Darcy Gardiner (calf) withdrew before the match while Jed Adcock (calf), Claye Beams (knee) and Ryan Harwood (concussion) all went down during the disappointing defeat.

Besides Rockliff, Adcock, Beams and Gardiner are expected to miss Sunday’s clash with Greater Western Sydney but Harwood may play.

“Hopefully it (fortune) does turn because we need all our key players back, and that will improve the team and get confidence within the team,” Paparone said.

“We’re very young still. We need to get our good players back to settle things down.”

Not that the Lions would use the string of injuries as an excuse, Paparone said.

“We just have to adjust each week,” he said.

“We all know the game plan and what we need to do in each position so we just need to go out there and play our roles.”

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