WHILE we wait for play to resume, and with the little bit of knowledge we've gleaned from round one, we're taking this opportunity to put the microscope on every club.
THE PRESSURE GAUGE Which coach is under the most heat?
This is Brisbane's Shutdown Report Card. >> LISTEN IN THE PLAYER BELOW
The biggest lesson from round one was …
Brisbane can't expect last year's form spike to just happen again. Hawthorn was far too good for the Lions in round one, rising to the intensity of the home and away season much quicker. Granted, the clubs were playing while the AFL halted the season across the town, but it was a reminder for Brisbane that, with a shorter season planned, every game means a little more. They are determined not to 'Do a Melbourne' after one good season, but it was a flat start.
What's their weapon in 2020?
Chris Fagan has one of the strongest midfields in the competition at his disposal. The addition of best-and-fairest winner Lachie Neale last season gave Brisbane real star factor in that area, while Hugh McCluggage and Mitch Robinson are perhaps the AFL's best one-two punch on opposite wings. Captain Dayne Zorko, ball-winner Jarryd Lyons and competitive beast Jarrod Berry round out the excellent midfield unit that gets things going for the Lions.
What could be their downfall?
Brisbane's list looks strong in all areas. Defensively the Lions have good coverage for all types of forwards, the midfield matches up with anyone's and the forward line has goalkickers of all sorts. Brisbane chased Collingwood small forward Jamie Elliott during last year's free agency period but came up short, so may see that area as something to be bolstered. Whether they also have the tall firepower beyond the talented Eric Hipwood is another possible question mark on their flag hopes.
Who missed out on round one and what does it mean for them?
Recruit Callum Ah Chee was ruled out of round one with illness, but his speed and ball use should see him win a regular spot in the Lions' back half. Cam Ellis-Yolmen's spot looks less assured, after Fagan publicly, and bluntly, said the former Crow needed to lift on the track. Ryan Lester is in Brisbane's best 25 players but was left out of the side in round one, with youngsters Keidean Coleman and Connor Ballenden pushing for their debuts. Midfield options Rhys Mathieson and Allen Christensen sit behind others in the on-ball pack.
Which players benefit from the break?
The Lions once again have an incredibly fit list, and headed into round one with no injury concerns. A hamstring niggle meant Grant Birchall was a late withdrawal against the Hawks, and then Stefan Martin suffered a torn PCL in his knee during the clash. The injury means the important ruckman would have missed 8-10 weeks of the main season had things progressed, but with the gap between games he should have recovered by the time the AFL hopes play resumes.
Who looked set for a breakout season?
The Lions have high hopes for Brandon Starcevich, who they used a first-round pick on at the 2017 NAB AFL Draft. He was selected in round one as a rebounding, tall half-back with good game sense. There's also plenty of hopes around the improved fitness of Cam Rayner and how he may be able to take his power and burst into the midfield more.
The market place
Brisbane's list management team has done a strong job of securing the large portion of its exciting young list beyond 2020 already. Martin is the highest-profile Lion without a deal after this season, while youngsters Cedric Cox, Jacob Allison and Toby Wooller are others in the same boat.