'Wasn't thinking': Match-winner's apology to rival AFL fans

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·Sports Reporter
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Brisbane's Charlie Cameron is pictured celebrating after kicking a goal.
Brisbane's Charlie Cameron starred with three goals against Richmond, but had to jump on Twitter afterwards to ward off irritated fans of a rival club. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Brisbane Lions star Charlie Cameron should have been celebrating his side’s impressive finals win on Friday night - but instead he had to spend time fending off angry Collingwood fans on Twitter.

Cameron booted three goals as the Lions upset the reigning premiers at the Gabba in the first qualifying final against Richmond, sending Brisbane to their first preliminary final since 2004.

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The Lions will now enjoy a week off before their preliminary final which will be against either Geelong, West Coast, or Collingwood - but it was an unintentional omission of the latter that rankled Magpies fans.

Speaking about the upcoming break, Cameron said the Lions would be preparing for either West Coast or Geelong, but forgot to mention the Magpies.

“It’s excitement, bit of relief, but obviously we’ve got a week off now to focus on West Coast and Geelong,” he said.

“Obviously a week to recover and go again next week but we are excited and you’ve got to enjoy these moments. You don’t play in these moments for a long time.”

This prompted outcry from Magpies fans, who complained Cameron had simply dismissed their team - despite both West Coast and Geelong being more heavily backed to make it to the final four.

In a classy move, Cameron later jumped on Twitter to apologise to the fans in question.

“Sorry about the comments about the West Coast and Geelong and forgot about Collingwood,” he wrote.

“I wasn’t thinking at the time, was just excited about the win. Apologies to all.”

Cameron maintained that class after Collingwood’s Twitter account replied to his post, jokingly offering forgiveness.

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“Thank you and good luck for tonight,” Cameron wrote.

Confidence sky-high for Brisbane Lions

Brisbane coach Chris Fagan says his playing group will take tremendous confidence out of their breakthrough AFL qualifying final win over Richmond.

The Lions wrested control of the contest midway through the second term at the Gabba on Friday night and resisted their opponents' challenge in a tense finish.

The 15-point triumph was the club's first finals win since 2009, and came after Fagan's current Brisbane group exited last year's finals series in straight sets.

The coach praised his players' mental strength and composure under pressure.

"It will give our group a lot of confidence to win our first final," Fagan said.

"They've been working hard towards it over a number of years now and a lot of the learnings we've gone through over the last three or four years came to fruition tonight.

Charlie Cameron, left, and Brisbane Lions coach Chris Fagan, right, are pictured after their win over the Tigers.
Charlie Cameron and Brisbane Lions coach Chris Fagan celebrate after their victory over Richmond. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

"When you play in these big games you've got to win them several times, you don't just win them once.

"I'm just really proud of what they did."

The Lions' goal-kicking accuracy has been under the microscope after a string of high-profile failures over the last two seasons, including horror shows against Richmond in their last two meetings.

This time, early majors appeared to settle the nerves.

Daniel Rich launched a long-bomb to open the scoring, while Oscar McInerney and Daniel McStay converted set shots before quarter-time.

"No doubt it was good to kick a few straight early," Fagan said.

"The Rich one was a beauty.

"We always work hard on our goalkicking.

"We've taken the criticism on board and the last four or five weeks all the hard work is starting to pay off."

With AAP/Shayne Hope

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