Joe Daniher’s form for the Brisbane Lions needs to improve but he’s not alone, says coach Chris Fagan


“As a key striker, you want to know what you’re getting. You need to be able to crash a pack to get the ball on the ground for your little forwards. I’d like to see him score more points within the Forward 50 by leading on the ball. Taking a pack brand is the icing on the cake.”

Instead, Black said Daniher “sometimes had a desperate air about him”, which was reflected in his erratic decision-making on the pitch. “Compare him to Tom Hawkins, just this unselfish approach to bringing others into the game,” Black said.

But Black also turned the spotlight on Cameron and McCarthy. McCarthy, who has 71 goals in the last two seasons, has scrounged two in the first three rounds. “I see small forwards flying towards the ball when there isn’t enough representation on the ground.

“As a percentage, they’re not going to mark it too regularly. They have some very talented guys up there, no doubt about that, but it’s not about Joe Daniher finding the right balance. It’s the entire forward line.”


If Daniher and Hipwood competed more and got the ball down more often, McCarthy (who is frankly very good overhead) and Cameron might be more apt to stay on their feet – and keep their composure.

In particular, Cameron’s body language towards Daniher against the Bulldogs boded badly for Black. “When Charlie waves his arms in the air and berates teammates, it doesn’t look good. Frustration is natural, but there’s a bit of disconnect there.”

As small forwards fly towards the ball, they are also less able to keep the ball in their half if the team loses the ball. But that defensive responsibility also depends in part on Daniher and Hipwood’s ability to ground, if not tag, the ball.

Fagan agreed that he was unhappy with the competitive efforts of his two big forwards against the Bulldogs, both when the ball was aimed at them and on the ground. “We talked about it this week in our pre-game preparation,” he said.

“I was happy with them against Melbourne, but last week we were a bit down in that area. The stats will tell you this season that we haven’t been very good when the ball hits the ground on our attacking line.

“We were good against Melbourne until the lights went out but we weren’t there in the other two games and that was certainly one of our focuses. That hasn’t been a weakness in the past, so in those situations we just want to get back to our best.”

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Ryan Sederquist

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