Cometh the hour, cometh the veteran.

When Keidean Coleman ruptured his ACL in the Opening Round, and Conor McKenna tore his hamstring the following week for the second time in 2024, Brisbane's attacking half-back stocks looked thin.

At the time, the bold selection choice was to re-purpose veteran Dayne Zorko from half-forward to half-back.

He'd played spot minutes there previously, even the odd game, but had been primarily used as a harassing defensive force in the front half of the ground that was a damaging kicker of the ball going inside 50.

Coach Chris Fagan decided Zorko's zip and exquisite skills could be best used in the defensive half, but the choice was not a slam dunk.

Now 35, Zorko has had a niggly body for the past three seasons and asking him to be the Lions' attacking architect was potentially a heavy burden.


There were younger options, and leaving the former skipper forward of the ball was not a bad thing.

"I haven't hidden from the fact I do like playing in the backline," Zorko said prior to his move.

"Defensively at times I've probably let myself down, but I do enjoy seeing the game from that point of view."

Brisbane took the punt, and three matches in, the decision looks like a home run.

The five-time best and fairest winner has gathered 30, 28 and 29 disposals, but more than that, he's given opponents reason to worry when Brisbane has the ball behind the centre circle.

It's the most possessions Zorko has gathered in a three-game stretch since the Lions stormed into the top four in rounds 21, 22 and 23 of the 2021 season with victories over Fremantle, Collingwood and West Coast.

He is using the ball superbly, going at 78 per cent efficiency over the three-week stretch, and gaining an average of 478m a game.

McKenna is available again this week, but whether Fagan ushers the Irishman in against Geelong or waits five more days to unleash him against Greater Western Sydney, another tricky selection is coming.

Leave Zorko where he has added life, or return him to the forward line? Either choice would mean an unlucky omission elsewhere.

Like he has for much of his 255-game career though, Zorko has stepped up when his team needed him, and wherever he plays for the remainder of 2024, still looms as a vital cog in the Lions' machine.