AFL Selection – Round 14

Zorko’s untimely absence. By Peter Blucher.

Dayne Zorko’s campaign to overhaul David Armitage as Queensland’s No.1 ball-winner in the AFL has suffered an untimely setback.

Zorko will miss the Brisbane Lions clash with Richmond at the MCG on Saturday for family reasons, giving Armitage a chance to take back a lead he surrendered to Zorko last week when St.Kilda had a bye.

The title of Queensland’s No.1 ball-winner has been fought between this pair since Brisbane’s Dayne Beams ran into injury problems last year and again this year.

Armitage finished at the top of the 2015 possession list with 597 ahead of Zorko (505), Beams (451) and Tom Bell (465).

Heading into Round 14, the prolific Armitage, who will play against Geelong at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night, heads the 2016 Queensland possession count with 293 from 12 games.

Zorko, who missed Round 1 through suspension, has 279 possessions from 12 games. But after his self-imposed rest this weekend he will also sit out Round 15 when the Lions have the bye.

Other Queenslanders above 200 possessions this year are Fremantle’s Lee Spurr (240), St.Kilda’s Nick Riewoldt (223), Brisbane’s Bell (205), Gold Coast’s Jarrod Harbrow (205) and Melbourne’s Josh Wagner (201).

Zorko’s absence might also prove a blow to his prospects of winning the 2016 Merrett/Murray Medal as the Lions club champion.

One game past the halfway mark it looks like a two-way battle between Zorko and Mitch Robinson, who were part of an historic four-way tie with Stefan Martin and Dayne Beams last year.

In Queensland selection news for Round 15 on Thursday night:-

  • The Lions will field five Queenslanders against Richmond on Saturday despite Zorko’s absence and the omission of Claye Beams, with Harris Andrews returning from injury to join debutant Matthew Hammelmann, second-gamer Eric Hipwood, Daniel Merrett and Ben Keays.
  • Nick Riewolt will return for St.Kilda after a one-match injury layoff.
  • Clay Cameron, out of the Gold Coast Suns side since Roun 10, was bracketed on an extended interchange squad as a possible inclusion for their Sunday clash with Hawthorn in Launceston.
  • Brendan Whitecross, three times a Hawthorn emergency without playing at senior level this year, was bracketed on the Hawthorn bench.
  • GWS omitted Sam Reid for Saturday’s home clash with Carlton after he played the last two rounds.

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