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Ex-Sun shines for Lions in AFL drubbing

Brisbane midfielder Jarryd Lyons’ best on ground display in Saturday’s AFL derby win over Gold Coast would only have compounded the hurt for Suns’ fans.

Lyons has established himself as a key component of the Lions midfield ever since making the switch from Metricon Stadium to the Gabba at the end of 2018.

Back on his old stomping ground, the 28-year-old was hugely influential as the Lions demolished their Queensland rivals in a 73-point hiding.

Lyons finished with 38 touches, six marks, nine clearances and nine tackles to be a worthy winner of the Marcus Ashcroft Medal.

Lions coach Chris Fagan admitted earlier this week Lyons had exceeded his expectation since arriving at the club, and was again full of praise following Saturday’s display.

“He just won so much of the contested ball,” Fagan said.

“Works so hard around clearances and serves the ball forward for us.

“Just played a really creative team game and he’s a good organiser of his teammates as well.

“His leadership was really strong tonight.”

Lyons’ influence was shared by that of midfield partners Dayne Zorko and Hugh McCluggage, who again made light of the absence of Brownlow Medallist Lachie Neale to guide the Lions to the edge of the top four with a fifth-consecutive win.

Fagan couldn’t be happier with how his team have handled long-term injuries to key performers such as Neale, Cam Rayner and Jarrod Berry.

“It’s been good. There’ll be more tests to come but you know Rhys Matheson’s come in and stood up and Dev Robertson is only a young bloke taking his opportunity,” Fagan said.

“A lot of these young blokes have been starved of opportunity the last 18 months or so because we haven’t actually had a lot of injury. They’ve been working away in the reserves, putting their hand up every week and not getting picked.

“They’ve had to do it the hard way and you can see that they are really enjoying the opportunity and the challenge that they’ve had to face up to the last two or three weeks and hopefully they can keep going.”

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