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AFL: McInerney and Fort a huge factor in Brisbane’s flag bid

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Oscar McInerney has welcomed the addition of fellow giant Darcy Fort to the Brisbane Lions’ rucking ranks.

It’s the one-two rucking punch which could prove the difference in the Brisbane Lions’ bid for their first AFL flag since 2003.

Dubbed the “Twin Towers”, Lions pair Oscar McInerney and Darcy Fort have made an impressive start to a giant ruck partnership which looms as the final piece in Brisbane’s premiership puzzle.

With both standing at an imposing 204cm, rival teams have no respite from tall Brisbane timber anywhere on the park.

McInerney was the Lions’ only genuine top-flight ruckman last season, with star forward Joe Daniher lending a hand when the “Big O” needed a rest.

This year it’s a different story following the Lions’ off-season acquisition of Fort from Geelong.

Fort only made eight AFL appearances in three seasons with the Cats, but Lions coach Chris Fagan knew the 28-year-old big man could do a job for Brisbane.

“Darcy’s at a good age for ruckmen; he’s a handy forward and he’s going to help us a great deal,” Fagan said in January.

It’s a prediction that has so far proven correct, much to the delight of McInerney.

“I’m absolutely loving it – I’m the most biased bloke in the business about having two ruckmen in the team,” McInerney said.

“With his ruck knowledge, Darcy is a class above, and being able to exchange ideas on the field and switch around, I’ve been really enjoying it.

“Darcy has been phenomenal, really. Last year I carried a bit of the load but to be able to share that load and attack blokes, it can be a really good advantage for us.”

Fort said his move to the Lions had already been “vindicated”.

“All the guys have been really welcoming, and it’s great to go out there and play senior footy,” the Brisbane newcomer said.

“Having two rucks out there and being able to work over guys who want to do a solo job, it makes both of our lives easier and it shows in the way we play.

“I’m looking forward to a lot more games with him (McInerney) in the future.”

McInerney and Fort face a challenging assignment in Sunday’s QClash at Metricon Stadium, where they will come up against the 209cm Gold Coast Suns co-captain Jarrod Witts, who will receive valuable ruck support from 200cm forward Mabior Chol.

“Wittsy’s a big boy, and probably the in-form ruckman of the competition at the moment,” McInerney said.

“He’s really giving their midfielders first use of the ball, so we’re going to have to be on our game with our ruck craft and trying to slow him down.”

McInerney said the Lions, despite starting the season with a handsome record of four wins from five matches, needed to improve to challenge for the flag.

“Premierships aren’t won after five rounds, so we know we’ve got to keep improving. We’ll measure ourselves by that,” he said.

“This is a huge game for us. Going down the highway’s now a tough challenge and we’re going to have to bring our real ‘A game’ to beat them at Metricon Stadium.”

Originally published as ‘Twin Towers’ loom as giant boost for Brisbane’s AFL premiership hopes

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