Stefan Martin will play in the Q Clash. Picture: Getty Images
Stefan Martin will play in the Q Clash. Picture: Getty Images

Fagan fires back over Martin criticism

TESTY Lions coach Chris Fagan has bristled at questions over the form of veteran ruckman Stefan Martin and declared him a certain starter for the Q Clash.

Brisbane are desperate for atonement in the derby after the gloss of a promising 3-0 start to the season was erased with poor performances against Essendon and Collingwood in the past two rounds.

This is the first Q Clash where the two clubs have positive records and have re-engaged the interests of their supporter bases and both are desperate for four points.

Fagan was far from his usual jovial self in the press conference and his mood darkened when he was quizzed over the potential of bringing emerging ruckman Archie Smith into the side to counter the threat of giant Sun Jarrod Witts.

Basketball convert Smith, who signed a new deal with the club this week, has elevated his game this season and was pushing for selection in the Round 1 side after a standout pre-season and JLT series.

Fagan persevered with veteran Martin who had missed much of the pre-season due to knee soreness.

Oscar McInerny has overtaken Martin as the club's best performing big man this season.

Fagan has talked up the veteran's form this year but he was trounced by Collingwood's Brodie Grundy in the Lions' heavy 62-point loss on Easter Thursday.

Stefan Martin will play in the Q Clash. Picture: Getty Images
Stefan Martin will play in the Q Clash. Picture: Getty Images

Fagan has floated the possibility of team changes based on form but has firmly declared Martin was in no danger.

"No,'' he said.

"Stef's been in great form, and Oscar.

"On the back of one game against Grundy, who is probably the hot ruckman in the competition at the moment, you get beaten from time to time.

"You wouldn't have asked me that question after the Essendon game, so one week's not going to make any difference there."

News Corp Australia


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