Brisbane Lions v Geelong Cats, Joe Daniher, birth, first child, late withdrawal, Eric Hipwood, On the Couch, selection, forward line, preliminary final, teams - petsitterbank

Brisbane Lions v Geelong Cats, Joe Daniher, birth, first child, late withdrawal, Eric Hipwood, On the Couch, selection, forward line, preliminary final, teams

Could Brisbane make the “brave” call to leave out marquee forward Joe Daniher for the preliminary final against Geelong, given Eric Hipwood’s form?

Daniher was a late withdrawal from the semi final after rushing home to Brisbane to be at the birth of his first child.

Showers are forecast for Friday’s clash at the MCG, which could hinder the Lions’ tall attack end.

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Fox Footy’s Nick Riewoldt says given the way the Lions’ forward line functioned in the win over the Demons, it was worth asking the question on Daniher.

“What do they do this week?” he said On the Couch.

“Is there a world in which Joe Daniher doesn’t come back into that line up and you go with the two talls?

“I understand they had to have the three going up against the (Max) Gawn and (Luke) Jackson combination.

“I think Joe will play, but I wonder if they don’t just have the conversation at the match committee. Joe might not sleep this week with the new bub.”

Fellow panelist Jason Dunstall said there was no reason for Daniher not to walk straight back into the team.

“Given he just won you a final two weeks ago with the last kick of the game (against Richmond), it’s hard not to (rush him back). He’s one of their marquee players,” he said.

“He kicked the last goal, he didn’t win the final,” Riewoldt added.

“Because he had a poor game,” Dunstall said.

“The way it unfolded as your marquee forward, how do you sit there and say, ‘no we’re not going to play you?’”

Riewoldt said it would take a “brave” call by the Lions to leave Daniher out.

“They looked better on the deck (against Melbourne). Their forward pressure, the ball didn’t walk out of their forward line,” he praised.

“Charlie Cameron got more involved as a by-product.”

Host Garry Lyon questioned if Cameron was able to kick his three goals because there was more space in the Lions’ attack without Daniher.

While there was also praise for forward Eric Hipwood who, for the second straight week, stepped up when Brisbane needed to find a score.

“Joe Daniher out the morning of the game – Eric Hipwood has to stand up. He’s playing against the guy who destroyed Buddy Franklin the week before,” he said.

Cam Rayner and Eric Hipwood celebrate the win over Melbourne. Picture: Dylan BurnsSource: Getty Images

“He’s had his two highest rating games of the year when it’s been forced upon by the McInerney (early concussion in final one) and the Daniher shift.

Dunstall said it was the response of Hipwood that impressed him given opponent Steven May “dominated” in the opening term.

“This young man’s had 10 possessions, three goals in the second half and really got his confidence up,” he said.

“That’s what he has to do more of… he’s got pace, he can lead, all of a sudden he looked a different player.”

This finals series, Hipwood has kicked seven goals in two games – racking up 11 disposals and five score involvements against the Tigers and 17 disposals and 10 score involvements against the Demons.

Riewoldt said Hipwood had really stepped up for Brisbane in the past two games.

“I think he’s been a player in the past that has helped them win by more,” he said.

“He hasn’t necessarily been the one to stand up and drag them across the line.”

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