HomeFootballAFLBrisbane Lions star Jack Payne racing clock to be fit against Carlton...

Brisbane Lions star Jack Payne racing clock to be fit against Carlton Blues

“In years gone by we’ve probably been a bit more match-up based. We’ve gone away from having those tight match-ups to playing a system.”

The Lions’ ability to call on the next man up and maintain their winning has been crucial, as epitomised by the season-ending injury to Will Ashcroft.

A Rising Star favourite prior to his ACL rupture in Round 19, the wunderkind’s loss in the midfield raised alarm bells as the likes of Lachie Neale were shut down the following week by the Suns.

Will Ashcroft’s season-ending injury highlighted the Lions’ huge ‘next man up’ mentality shift in the back end of the season.Credit: AFL Photos / Getty Images

Since then, however, the men in the middle have been formidable – the likes of Hugh McCluggage moving from his wing and imposing himself more on the contest.

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Harris lauded the efforts of the midfield in restricting the danger…

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