Brisbane captain Dayne Zorko claims the reason why he screamed at teammate Mitch Robinson post-game was to ensure all players were adhering to the COVID-19 protocols, but says he was relieved the popular Lion was only going to see close family.
After Brisbane players had broken from a mini post-game huddle, Zorko was seen giving a spray to Robinson, who’d run to the Gabba boundary line to celebrate the Lions’ memorable qualifying final win over Richmond with family, friends and the Lions’ reserves players.
Zorko’s attempt to catch Robinson’s attention failed due to the noise from the crowd at the Gabba, which had just witnessed the Lions qualify for their first preliminary final since 2004.
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Speaking on Channel 9’s The Sunday Footy Show, Zorko said he’d just received advice from the club’s health officer and was initially concerned Robinson could commit a breach of the AFL’s COVID-19 protocols.
“I wasn’t happy with Mitch there,” Zorko told The Sunday Footy Show.
“Being the ‘chief health officer’ up here at Brisbane, it was very important for me to make sure our players didn’t go to the boundary. Obviously we were able to have such a large crowd there on Friday night and they were extremely close to the boundary.
“Just with the COVID rules, we weren’t allowed to get that close, so I wanted everyone to stay inside the square to thank our fans and supporters. But Mitch rushed over to the family. Thankfully it was only to the family and he didn’t go around the ground, but that was the spray there.
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“I’d just been informed by our health officer to not let anyone go outside the square. (But) he sprinted off so there were actually a few of us screaming at him to get him back.”
Zorko, who’ll lead the Lions into a preliminary final against the winner of the Geelong-Collingwood semi-final, heaped praise on star forward Charlie Cameron after his three-goal haul against Richmond.
“I thought his defensive pressure on the night was exceptional,” Zorko said. That’s an area to his game he’s always had but he’s focused on it a lot more in the past month and a half to get himself into the game.
“To kick three goals against Dylan Grimes, who’s a fantastic defender and probably had the wood over him the past couple of times they’d played, I’m glad Charlie identified his area of improvement and he worked on it really hard.
“He was able to hit the scoreboard and have a massive influence for us in that game.”