AFL finals won't define Lions: Fagan

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The threat of another AFL finals exit does not scare Brisbane and the Lions' era will not be defined by this year, coach Chris Fagan says.

Brisbane will be seeking just a second finals victory during the past three seasons when they host the Western Bulldogs in Saturday night's semi-final at the Gabba.

The Lions experienced a decade in between finals series, before a breakthrough top-four appearance in Fagan's third season at the club.

But in 2019, they were bundled out in straight-sets with defeats to Richmond and GWS.

Last year, the Lions exacted revenge with a win over the Tigers in the corresponding qualifying final but were well beaten by Geelong in the preliminary final.

A loss to minor premiers Melbourne last week took the Lions' recent finals record to 1-4, creating pressure on them to respond - not that Fagan is feeling the heat.

"Both years we've been beaten by both the grand finalists," Fagan said on Friday.

"Two years ago we couldn't get ourselves off the bottom of the ladder

"Part of the process of becoming a great side is getting into finals and playing and doing your best to win them and letting those experiences build.

"Whichever way the game goes, we'll be a better club for it.

"I have a bigger picture, philosophical view on finals than just the immediate result."

Fagan believes Richmond's journey towards their 2017, 2019-20 premierships is a good indicator of how hard finals are to win as an emerging team.

The Tigers bombed out in three consecutive elimination finals (2013-15), had a disappointing season in 2016, before saluting the following year.

"Win or lose, that result doesn't define us, or have you (journalists) describe us a team who can't play well in finals," Fagan said.

"I look back at the Richmond team that became the fantastic team of recent times."

The Lions have made two changes to the team that lost against the Demons by 33 points last Saturday night.

Young midfielder Deven Robertson and key position player Jack Payne are in for Dan McStay (concussion) and Jaxon Prior (omitted).

Apart from Brownlow medallist Lachie Neale, who produced a record-breaking finals game with 46 possessions, the Lions' midfielders were well beaten against Melbourne.

It piled pressure on a struggling defence with backmen Harris Andrews and Darcy Gardiner playing well below their best.

The onball brigade will need to lift against the Bulldogs, who boast arguably the deepest midfield in the AFL.

Luke Beveridge's team broke a three-game losing streak with an elimination final victory over Essendon, powering away from the Bombers in the second-half to recapture some form.

The Bulldogs will take an unchanged line-up into the sudden-death clash, with Beveridge resisting the urge to play former Lions big man Stefan Martin despite their recent struggles in the ruck.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting