According to Brisbane coach Justin Leppitsch, alarm bells were sounding from the outset in the Lions’ AFL clash with Greater Western Sydney.
So one shudders to think what Leppitsch thought when inspirational veteran Jonathan Brown was escorted from the field early in the third term with yet another heavy head knock.
Brisbane were hotly tipped to extend their winning streak to three against a dead-last Giants who were still without an away victory in their third AFL season.
However, Leppitsch admitted the signs were ominous from the opening minutes of their 45-point loss to Greater Western Sydney at the Gabba on Saturday night.
“I could tell from the first minute,” Leppitsch said.
“Five minutes in you think ‘wow, what do we do?’
“It took until halfway through the third quarter before I think we ran out of options of things we could structurally try to get them back into the game…to find a way to get them sparked, but it just wasn’t there.”
Then again Brown leaving the field after his third head knock in 12 months did not help.
But Leppitsch added: “I don’t know if we were shellshocked (after Brown’s departure).
“But I would like to think we could overcome something like that to perform well.”
Brown appeared cleared of structural damage to his face despite leaving the field with a bloody nose and a “shiner” after he ran backwards into a contest and his head collected Giants defender Tomas Bugg’s hip.
“I don’t think there’s anything long-term,” Leppitsch said of Brown who kicked two goals.
“Obviously everyone was a bit concerned because of that (Brown’s head knock history).
“Hopefully it’s nothing too big. I think there’s enough metal in there to hold together.”
Perhaps more of a concern was the fact that the young Giants led the Lions in the disposal count (392-312), clearances (52-30), inside 50s (61-41), contested possessions (132-122) and tackles (73-47).