Resurgent Lions vow to stay bold and fearless

Justin Chadwick |

Brisbane coach Chris Fagan has urged his team to maintain their “bold and fearless” mentality as the Lions attempt to keep their mid-season surge going.

The Lions made it two wins on the trot on Friday night with a 20-point triumph over St Kilda in an unexpected shootout at the Gabba.

St Kilda trailed by 37 points at three-quarter time, closed to within seven points with nine minutes remaining, before Brisbane kicked away late to secure the 19.12 (126) to 16.10 (106) win.

The Lions’ total was the biggest score kicked against St Kilda since coach Ross Lyon rejoined the Saints ahead of last season.

But Brisbane’s attacking mindset also opened them up at the other end, with St Kilda’s score their highest of the season.

“At times tonight we were probably a bit too bold and fearless. But that’s how I’d like us to play,” Fagan said.

“If we’re going to get back into the season, we’re not going to do it by defending our way to it.

“We’re going to have to attack. That’s what we’ll keep doing.”

Brisbane (6-6-1) have now posted four wins and a draw from their past six games, putting them within striking distance of the top eight.

Last season’s grand finalists started the year with five losses from the first seven rounds, but are now hitting form at the right time.

“We paid a price for a slow start … we’re starting to correct that,” Fagan said. “It’s a big game against Port Adelaide next week over there. The ball’s in our court. We are playing well at the moment.”

Joe Daniher was the star of the show on Friday night with five goals.

Gun midfielder Lachie Neale was restricted to just three possessions in the opening quarter by St Kilda tagger Marcus Windhager.

Neale fought back to finish with 20 disposals and seven clearances.

“I thought he won that job,” Fagan said of Neale’s display. “Windhager was probably on top a little bit early. But I thought after quarter time Lachie did a really good job and was quite influential.

“And I also thought Jarrod Berry (24 disposals) did a great job on Jack Steele (16 disposals).

“So I feel on the tagging stakes, we might have just got our heads in front on the line and got a bit more out of it than they did.”

St Kilda’s fluid ball movement and attacking mindset was in total contrast to their usual defensive style of play, which had been heavily criticised in recent weeks.

Lyon couldn’t help but have a bit of fun when asked how happy he was about his team’s ability to kick 16 goals against the Lions.

“I’m going to go light a candle. It’s fantastic. I’ll get a birthday cake out and go, ‘yippee’,” Lyon said with a smile.