BRISBANE experienced a costly domino effect due to the injury sustained by key defender Darcy Gardiner in the opening term of Saturday night’s loss to Collingwood.

Gardiner had been handed the unenviable task to man Jordan De Goey in the Magpie’s first game back since missing a fortnight due to bone soreness in his lower leg. 

And the Lions defender had kept De Goey to just two disposals and seemed to be the perfect match up to contain the 22-year-old’s X-factor.

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But 17 minutes into the first quarter, Gardiner dislocated his right shoulder when he attempted to spoil De Goey on a lead. 

Gardiner played no further part in the game and the severity of the injury is unknown.

"He dislocated his shoulder, but I don’t know the extent of the damage," Brisbane coach Chris Fagan revealed post-game.

"That was a bit of a blow to us because he was a good match up for De Goey, who played a terrific game tonight.

"Who knows (what would have happened) if ‘Darce’ had been able to stay on. Ifs, buts, and maybes, but that was a blow for us."

Up until the incident, the Lions had dominated all areas around the ground and restricted the Pies to just one inside 50 for one behind.

But following his side's 31-point loss, Fagan explained the follow-on effect from losing one of his best defenders early.

"(Gardiner’s injury) meant Tom Cutler had to be pushed down back," Fagan said.

"It upset the balance, but it wouldn’t be the reason why we lost the game. Collingwood was just better at the contest than us."

De Goey (four goals from 12 disposals) was the clear beneficiary of Gardiner’s injury as Nick Robertson was then sent to the Pies’ forward livewire.

The Magpie was far too good for Robertson and on numerous occasions, was able to use his brute strength to brush the Lions tagger aside.

Gardiner has played every game this season and is one of the more experienced Brisbane defenders, but could now be sidelined for the rest of the season.

Meanwhile, Dayne Zorko was hampered by an ankle injury after being accidentally stomped on in the third quarter.

But Fagan assured his skipper would be available to play in next weekend’s Q Clash against Gold Coast.