No panic as Lions’ Gabba ‘fortress’ looks under threat

Murray Wenzel |

Lachie Neale and the Lions were left were food for thought after another loss at the Gabba.
Lachie Neale and the Lions were left were food for thought after another loss at the Gabba.

Chris Fagan knows it “doesn’t look good” but there is no white flag from a Brisbane Lions coach who only has to remember back to last season for AFL inspiration.

The Lions were reduced to their lowest ever score at the Gabba in a 26-point loss to top-of-the-table Geelong on Saturday, beaten 9.9 (63) to 4.13 (37) in heavy, relentless rain.

It was a third-straight loss at the home ground where they won all 13 games last year and have traditionally been masters since Fagan took them back to finals in 2019.

Lions despondent
Lions players looked a bit forlorn after their latest home defeat against Geelong. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS)

At 2-4, last year’s grand finalists are under the microscope ahead of a Thursday clash with GWS Giants, the likely loss of concussed ruckman Oscar McInerney only compounding problems.

A one-point loss to Carlton was followed by an away defeat to Fremantle before Collingwood also came from behind to beat the Lions at the Gabba.

They took care of North Melbourne in Adelaide and victory at the MCG last week against Melbourne restored order, before a third setback at their home ground on Saturday.

Fagan said Geelong outsmarted his side in the wet but he doesn’t think it’s time to panic.

“We created a bit of a fortress for ourselves and right now that’s being challenged,” he said.

“We’ve got to stay positive, keep working and I know it’ll turn around.

“I don’t think there’s anything in particular teams are doing to us to make it occur, it’s just one of those things in sport.

“We haven’t put in any disastrous performances but we’ve found ways to lose, without taking credit away from our opposition.”

He said Carlton, Sydney and the Giants showed last season that it was premature to write off a team after six rounds.

“We exaggerate where teams are on the ladder at this point of time in the year,” the coach said.

“Go and have a look at the ladder after 13 games last year.”

“Swans and Giants had won five games, Carlton four-and-a-half.”

All three finished inside the top-eight while the Giants and Blues went on to play preliminary finals.

“We’re 2-4. It doesn’t look good, but there’s a lot of this season to go and I’ve got strong belief in our group.

“There’s some reasons for it; we have to stay positive and work our way out of it.

“We’ve got to find a way to win on Thursday, just have to find a way.”