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Unfinished business as usual for stable, hungry Lions

3 minute read

Darcy Gardiner played as a forward and draftee Logan Morris impressed in an internal Brisbane trial which also featured an encouraging Will Ashcroft appearance.

DARCY GARDINER. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Brisbane have tried veteran defender Darcy Gardiner up front, with success, in their first true hit-out since their gutting AFL grand final loss to Collingwood.

But don't expect things to get too funky at Springfield as the Lions tend to their "unfinished business".

Adelaide recruit Tom Doedee was running laps on Friday and could be back in round three from an ACL tear, while second-year talent Will Ashcroft was completing lateral drills with a ball as he eyes a mid-season return from the same injury.

Gardiner started in the goal square and kicked two first-quarter goals in Friday's internal trial at Brighton Homes Arena, one month out from the first round.

The 28-year-old played only four games in his 10th AFL season last year, two after being parachuted in to replace key defender Jack Payne in the preliminary final and grand final.

And after his dynamic start on Friday, Gardiner then took a contested mark on Payne to snare a third goal in as many quarters.

Logan Morris, the club's first selection at pick 31 in the draft, took a great mark and kicked three first-quarter goals against the Lions' best defenders.

Star midfielder Lachie Neale, who had minor off-season groin surgery, was excused to attend a wedding but will be fit to play in another internal game next Friday.

Otherwise it was business as usual for a Lions team that will rely on careful player management, a stable list and unquestionable hunger in their quest to improve on their four-point grand final loss last year.

"You've seen the Brisbane Lions have a really fit and fresh group and plenty of numbers to pick from," assistant coach Cameron Bruce said.

Bruce was on the Hawthorn staff with Lions head coach Chris Fagan when the Hawks won three-straight flags from 2013-15, having lost a grand final a season earlier.

"We all know there's an absolute desire and determination after what happened last year to go again," he said.

"We've got unfinished business."

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