West Coast coach Adam Simpson is hopeful midfield star Luke Shuey’s ankle injury isn’t serious in the wake of the Eagles’ 53-point AFL thumping of Brisbane.
However, there were plenty of groans from Lions’ fans as last-placed Brisbane remained win-less with no end to their suffering in sight.
Simpson’s only anxious moment at the Gabba on Sunday came when Shuey hobbled off the field midway through the third term.
It was the last thing the already injury-hit Eagles needed.
But Simpson sounded upbeat after West Coast bounced back from last round’s derby drubbing by Fremantle to move to a 2-2 record with the 17.16 (118) to 9.11 (65) win.
“He (Shuey) rolled his ankle. We don’t know too much more but we think it is on the better side,” he said.
Otherwise Simpson liked what he saw from a West Coast side that punished an inexperienced Brisbane for a string of early turnovers.
“We are still a work in progress with players to come back but if we turn up with that intent we will give ourselves every chance,” he said.
Lions coach Justin Leppitsch urged supporters to be patient, saying Tom Cutler’s day summed up their club right now.
Cutler’s clangers gifted early Eagles goals in his first game of the year but the youngster refused to drop his head and finished with a career-high 32 touches.
“That sums up our football club at the moment,” Leppitsch said.
“You see good things then bad. Each week we have to keep eradicating the bad.
“We had all these second-year players out there, you just have to give them some time.
“We would all like it to happen tomorrow. Don’t worry I do too more than anyone, but we have to keep persisting. It will get better.”
The Eagles appeared vulnerable ahead of the clash after their defence was ravaged by the unavailability of Mitch Brown, Eric Mackenzie and Jeremy McGovern.
However, the Lions showed why they are ranked last in the league in defence, and offense too for that matter, by failing to apply any pressure.
Even the return of captain Tom Rockliff (16 touches) three weeks early from broken ribs could not inspire Brisbane.
Brisbane will get their best chance to finally break their season drought next round away to the only other win-less side – derby rivals Gold Coast.
For West Coast, Josh Kennedy and Josh Hill kicked three goals while Sam Butler notched 28 touches and two majors.
For Brisbane, Daniel Rich had two majors and 20 disposals.