Rockliff salutes cousin in Lions’ win over Gold Coast

By Laine Clark,

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    An emotional Tom Rockliff has fought back tears while paying tribute to his cousin, after helping Brisbane to thump Gold Coast by 58 points and boost their hopes of avoiding the AFL wooden spoon.

    Rockliff was a standout with 24 touches in Saturday’s 22.10 (142) to 12.12 (84) Gabba win, kissing a black armband after each of his three goals.

    Every Lions player wore an armband to salute former Fitzroy player Eric Moore.

    But Rockliff had a second in honour of his cousin and almost broke down post-match when asked about his inspiration.

    “I lost my cousin earlier in the week – he was only 27,” a teary Rockliff told the Seven Network.

    “It’s been a pretty tough week for the family.

    “To get the result and get on the end of a couple (of goals), I know he is watching up there, down on us.

    “It’s been a tough week but we will fight through it as a family.”

    Rockliff combined with skipper Dayne Beams (four goals, 32 touches) and midfield livewire Lewis Taylor (25 touches, two goals) to help Brisbane seal their fifth win of the year.

    Lions coach Chris Fagan praised Rockliff for his mental toughness after his inspirational display in such a tough week.

    “He had a great game. He is a clever forward,” Fagan said.

    “He was quite upset about it. The fella who passed away was only quite young.

    “It hit home pretty hard but he held himself together and had an effective game for us.”

    Gold Coast led by 22 points in the second term before Brisbane kicked 17 goals to four.

    The Lions (5-15 tally) are equal last on 20 points with Carlton and North Melbourne, but have played an extra game.

    Since the round-11 bye, Brisbane are 4-6.

    “We are hell bent on trying to get off the bottom,” Fagan said.

    “If you look at the ladder after the bye, we are nowhere near the bottom – that’s exciting for us.

    “The belief is growing. It’s a slow process; every now and again it takes a hit.

    “By and large, they are seeing themselves as a team that can compete, with an attitude of refusing to be beaten or downtrodden.

    “Hopefully, that keeps us in good stead as we try and rise up the ladder and, hopefully, our fans can see there is something to get excited about.”

    © AAP 2018
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    The Crowd Says (2)

    • August 13th 2017 @ 8:24am
      David C said | August 13th 2017 @ 8:24am | ! Report

      Brissy on target to avoid the spoon. Carlton and NM would be favourites from here.

    • Roar Guru

      August 13th 2017 @ 10:18am
      DingoGray said | August 13th 2017 @ 10:18am | ! Report

      I have to give Tommy massive wrap.

      If I’m honest last season I truly believed he wasn’t the type of character Lions needed while in our build process.

      But clearly have some coaching direction and slate wiped clear has done wonders.

      I now really hope he stays on. His maturity this year has been 1st class. He’s clearly playing injured by like Beams puts his body on the line each week.

      I wouldn’t begrudge him though if he was to take up an offer to Adelaide. I just hope the Lions can get him resigned!

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