IN THE blink of an eye, Oscar McInerney has become one of Brisbane's most indispensable players, and the 'Big O' is delivering the goods.
McInerney was catapulted into a virtual solo ruck show following the back injury to number one choice Stefan Martin and the subsequent ankle injury to Archie Smith.
And he's thrived, particularly against the Western Bulldogs on Saturday night where he outpointed young tyro Tim English and gave the Lions' midfield silver service at centre bounces.
The challenges keep coming for the 204cm giant though, with North Melbourne's Todd Goldstein next on the agenda at Metricon Stadium on Saturday.
McInerney was all praise for the red-hot Kangaroo, saying it was a match-up he looked forward to.
"Goldy has been in incredible form," McInerney said.
"I guess the lead-up of having to play great players such as (Max) Gawn and Nic Naitanui means you're continually learning and trying to apply the trade they've developed in their ruck craft.
"Hopefully some of those tips and techniques can hold me in good stead against Goldstein."
One thing making McInerney's job easier is the midfield he works with.
The trio of Lachie Neale, Dayne Zorko and Jarryd Lyons combined for 29 clearances against the Bulldogs, and the 26-year-old said their knowledge of stoppages had helped him immensely.
"The way they see the game, pull apart the game and understand what's happening. It's like having on-field coaches," he said
"I love how they explore all the possibilities and encourage me to go after the ball and get up after it.
"Their wisdom and understanding is first class.
"I think I'm extremely lucky to walk to a centre bounce and see those guys around me. It's such a thrill."
McInerney has taken on a huge workload, with Connor Ballenden and Matt Eagles playing as his back-ups in the past three weeks, but he is thriving with the responsibility in a condensed fixture.
"The adrenaline gets you through," he said.
"It's so exciting being able to play footy every four days.
"You're just buzzing when you wake up the next day and it's already two days before the next game."