Dayne Zorko has finally broken the shackles against taggers, says Brisbane coach Chris Fagan.Brisbane coach Chris Fagan believes Dayne Zorko has finally broken the shackles against taggers.
Lions deputy Zorko had a running battle with Melbourne’s Bernie Vince before cutting loose in the second half of Saturday night’s AFL round two clash at the Gabba.
Zorko’s 20 touches, a team-high nine clearances and match-high 11 tackles sparked a fightback as Brisbane reeled in a 42-point third term deficit to draw level with 20 minutes left.
It wasn’t enough as Jesse Hogan and Jeff Garlett combined to help Melbourne hold on to a 26-point win – the Demons’ first of the year.
While frustrated by their second straight tight loss, Fagan believed 2017 All-n Zorko had claimed a major win after becoming frustrated by taggers.
“I loved the way Zorko fought off his tag,” Fagan said.
“That’s a good breakthrough game for him.
“That’s a good sign.”
Zorko had his concerns about being tagged last year after being limited to five touches by Greater Western Sydney in round 14 and just 11 by Richmond three weeks later.
And alarm bells were ringing for the 2017 All-n after he was restricted to 14 disposals by St Kilda’s Koby Stevens in their season opener last week.
It prompted Zorko to have a heart to heart with Fagan before Saturday night’s Demons clash.
“I talked about the fact that once you become a really good player, that’s the next stage – they try to tag you,” Fagan said of his conversation with the livewire midfielder.
“You have to work your way through that because if you can’t they will tag you all the time.
“But I thought that was a big step forward for him.
“He was honest about it. He wanted to get better at it because it had become a bit of a trend but he bucked the trend I think.”
Even Demons coach Simon Goodwin liked what he saw from Zorko.
“It was a great duel,” he said of Zorko’s battle with Vince.
“Zorko is a really talented player. He can impact on the scoreboard and really drives through energy.
“We saw that again in the second half when he started to find the ball he really excited the Lions team.”
Brisbane next face a daunting trip away to Port Adelaide on Saturday.