Brisbane backman has template for match-up on star Crow

Steve Larkin |

Adelaide star Izak Rankine will present a threat to Brisbane’s defenders.
Adelaide star Izak Rankine will present a threat to Brisbane’s defenders.

Brisbane backman Brandon Starcevich says he has the perfect template for his likely duel with Adelaide livewire Izak Rankine in Sunday’s AFL fixture.

Starcevich believes training on Lion king Charlie Cameron affords him the ideal preparation for meeting Rankine in their clash at the Gabba.

While Rankine is spending increasing time in the midfield this season, Starcevich expects to match-up on the Adelaide dynamo when he drifts forward.

“It’s something I look forward to, taking on those small forwards,” Starcevich said on Saturday.

“When he (Rankine) is forward I will probably see a bit of him.

“He starts in the midfield a bit and does some good work around stoppages so that’s on the mids there and then I will take him when he goes forward I think.

“I love the challenge. The competitive side of me really enjoys it, it keeps me on my toes week to week.

“At training I get to play on some of the best as well in Charlie … they keep me on my toes during the week as well.”

Brandon Starcevich (r) will relish the challenge of negating Adelaide’s Izak Rankine on Sunday. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS)

The Lions (eight wins, six losses, one draw) entered the round in eighth place with four consecutive wins bolstering their finals chances.

“The energy is pretty high at the moment,” Starcevich said.

“Every game is pretty important for us and we’re sticking with that mentality that we want to win every game from here until to the end of the year.”

In contrast, the 14th-placed Crows (five wins, nine losses, one draw) are set to miss the finals for a seventh-straight season.

But Starcevich noted Adelaide’s strong last-start win against GWS. 

“They played really well against the Giants last week so we’re expecting their best tomorrow and their strengths are really hard to stop,” he said.

“But we know our best is capable of taking on anyone.”

The Crows have replaced half-back Will Hamill (finger) with veteran Brodie Smith while the Lions have summoned Jack Payne to replace the axed Darragh Joyce.