Lions to host Bulldogs at the Gabba

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Brisbane Lions coach Chris Fagan has urged his side to display premiership-type intensity against the Western Bulldogs.

Having been shown the “level of intensity” required to win a flag by reigning premiers Melbourne, the Brisbane Lions are desperate for redemption against the Western Bulldogs at the Gabba on Thursday night.

The Lions’ premiership credentials took a severe battering in last week’s 64-point loss to the to the Demons, but Brisbane coach Chris Fagan was adamant there was time to recover, provided his side learnt its lessons from the Melbourne mauling.

“We’re not happy with the way we played, but it’s not the be all and end all,” Fagan said on Wednesday.
“The good thing about those performances is you get to have a good look at yourself and especially against a team like Melbourne who played out of their skins last week.

“That’s the level of intensity you have to be at to win the premiership.

“They showed us that in round 15, which is a good thing for us.”

Fagan said it wasn’t uncommon for teams that win premierships to have had “severe beatings” in the same season.

“This is not unusual stuff. We gave it perspective, we know we’ve got to improve this week, we’re not happy with the way we went last week but our season’s well and truly alive,” he said.

Fagan’s correct in saying the Lions remain in premiership contention considering they are just four points behind leaders Melbourne on the ladder.

However, Lions star Lachie Neale said such talk was “pretty cheap” unless the Lions responded un emphatic fashion against the Bulldogs.

“We played shocking last week and Melbourne were really good,” Neale said.

“They taught us a lesson on contested ball and probably premiership standards, to be honest. It was probably a good reminder for us.

“I’d expect a lot more workrate and a lot more ferocity at the ball – two pretty simple things.

“Words are pretty cheap now. We’ve got to get it into action. Hopefully you’ll see a better response rather than hearing me and ‘Fages’ talk about it.”

Neale, who has extended his Lions contract until the end of 2026. was adamant that with Brisbane he could achieve his dream of winning an AFL flag.

“This group is more than capable of winning a premiership, and that’s probably the main reason why I want to hang around,” he said.

“We’ve got to play a bit better to get to that premiership standard that I spoke about but I feel like this group can do it, for sure.”

Skipper Dayne Zorko and in-form midfielder Zac Bailey will return from injury and illness respectively to play on Thursday night.

Callum Ah Chee has also earnt a recall to the top 22, with veteran Mitch Robinson, Deven Robertson and Tom Berry all dropped.

Originally published as Brisbane Lions desperate for redemption at Gabba following heavy loss to Melbourne


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