Alex Witherden celebrates Brisbane’s win with the fans.
Alex Witherden celebrates Brisbane’s win with the fans.

‘Extraordinary’ Lion claims Rising Star nod

BRISBANE teen Alex Witherden is the Round 9 Rising Star, rewarded for a star showing in his team's breakthrough win over Hawthorn on Sunday.

The ex-Geelong Falcons junior had 24 disposals, a touch over his average of 23 from his first 17 outings.

The nod will please Lions coach Chris Fagan.

"I hope at some point they do nominate him for the Rising Star," Fagan said on Sunday. "What's he played, about 20 games and I reckon he's averaging 22, 23 touches. That's pretty extraordinary for a 19-year-old."

It comes after Brisbane teammate Cameron Rayner admitted he resorted to YouTube to hear the club's song but says there will now be no more stumbling over the words.

 

Alex Witherden and Adam Treloar get acquainted.
Alex Witherden and Adam Treloar get acquainted.

The Lions' No.1 draft pick was one of six in the middle of the traditional Gatorade shower after Sunday's thumping of Hawthorn.

Four-time premiership player Luke Hodge and The Recruit winner Matt Eagles were among them in one of the more surreal scenes at the Gabba.

Rayner was able to bellow out the words thanks to the wonders of the internet, but says fellow first-time winner Charlie Cameron had some work to do.

"Yeah I'd been practising for a while hoping it was going to come," Rayner said on Monday.

"I'd seen it a couple of times, watched some video clips on YouTube, it was good fun.

"I got in the middle, I think Charlie Cameron was just humming along a bit but as the wins start to come the boys will know more of the words."

The victory was a long time coming for the Lions, who had lost 10 straight and eight to start this season despite being close in six of those.

Fagan described the result as the "nourishment" they needed after several brave efforts and Rayner did look well fed at the team's recovery session on Monday.

"It felt like the wins were going to come eventually," he said. "We just had to get the top off the first one."

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