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Fagan proud of Lions' efforts without Andrews

Fagan: 'Competitive until Harris smashed' Chris Fagan believes his side suffered heavily after star defender Harris Andrews was stretchered off, but refused to comment on the hit by Jeremy Cameron
Luke Hodge played his best game for the Lions - AFL,Brisbane Lions,GWS Giants,Chris Fagan
Luke Hodge played his best game for the Lions

BRISBANE coach Chris Fagan was proud of his team's performance after being "disadvantaged" by the loss of vice-captain Harris Andrews for most of its contest against GWS.

Andrews was taken out 10 minutes into the game by a Jeremy Cameron hit that could land the Giant in hot water with the Match Review Officer, leaving the Lions one man down.

Despite the loss of arguably the club's form player of 2018, they got within 15 points early in the last quarter before losing by 27.

COSTLY WIN FOR GIANTS Full match coverage and stats

They also played without Andrews' defensive sidekick Darcy Gardiner for a part of the first half after he was helped off with an ankle injury.

Gardiner returned to play the match out, but it left Brisbane's back 50 temporarily in disarray, with Josh Walker shuffled from attack to defence and Nick Robertson used as a key defender for a short period.

"I'm pretty proud of our blokes," Fagan said.

"I like the character of our players to hang in there. The effort was there again tonight. I thought our ball movement at times was fantastic."

HIT TO THE CHIN Five talking points

In Andrews' absence, the Lions got Luke Hodge's best game for his new club, with the veteran compiling an equal game-high 30 disposals, grabbing the mark of the match and slotting his first goal in the maroon, blue and gold.

Daniel Rich (also 30 disposals) played his best game for the season, providing great run from the Lions' defensive end.

Fagan said after trailing by 36 points early in the third term, Brisbane lifted in a number of areas to tighten the contest up.

WATCH Chris Fagan's full post-match press conference

The Lions had 36 more disposals, just one less inside 50 and lost the clearance count against the Giants' all-star midfield by six.

"We started winning the ball around the contest and used it well going forward," Fagan said.

"I thought all night one of our battles was we got it into the forward line 59 times … but I thought that last kick in there, our decision wasn't as good as it could have been.

"Credit to GWS's defence too … a combination of our ball use and their very good defence.

"I thought we did a lot of things right tonight and didn't get the points but played in a good manner."

Fagan said Andrews was "sick and sorry" post-match and would be assessed throughout the week.

He said losing his best defender was a hindrance.

"I think it disadvantaged us quite a bit," he said.

"Harris is probably the best key defender going around at the moment and he'd started the game pretty well, and then it meant we had to move Josh Walker out of our forward line, and in that second quarter they were able to take a lot of marks in our forward line.

"We got the ball in there but couldn't get the contest we were after."