Coach’s huge call after Lions’ latest win

Lions coach Chris Fagan says the 49-point demolition of Port Adelaide at the Gabba on Saturday was Brisbane’s best win of 2021.

And Power coach Ken Hinkley is confident the shellacking will sharpen the focus of his side heading into next weekend’s Showdown with Adelaide.

Without their Brownlow Medallist Lachie Neale, the Lions dominated the contest to claim their third-straight win this season and their fourth consecutive victory over Port Adelaide who fell to just their second defeat of the year.

The way Brisbane dismantled the Power was a shot across the bow of the competition with the Lions moving to seventh on the ladder with Hugh McCluggage, Harris Andrews, Joe Daniher, Charlie Cameron and Jarryd Lyons the key architects of the win.

But there was not a bad player in maroon, blue and gold. Brisbane will now monitor possible WA border closures due to recent COVID cases ahead of their planned trip to Perth to take on Fremantle next weekend.

The Lions could host the Dockers next weekend and flip the home game they had against Fremantle later in the year. They expect to hear from the AFL on Sunday.

The final margin flattered Port who – apart from Ollie Wines, Aliir Aliir and Willem Drew – had too little, from too few. But they were not allowed to play anywhere near their best by a rampant home side.

“I think so,” Fagan said when asked if the win was his side’s best of the year.

“I really rated the win against Carlton but I didn’t come here tonight thinking if we won, it’d be like that. I thought it’d be really hard fought all the way.

“But our blokes jumped out of the blocks well and continued it. The brilliant effort in that (first) quarter was from our defenders.

“We got that advantage to start the game and were able to maintain it.

“Charlie (Cameron) was the lucky one tonight and Joe’s (Daniher) made a big difference and making Eric (Hipwood) and Dan (McStay) more dangerous.’’

Fagan was proud of the way Andrews responded from having his colours lowered against the Blues while the Lions as a whole covered for the loss of Neale.

“That it was exactly what you’d expect from him (Andrews). He’s one of the finest characters I’ve met in football and was totally disappointed with his game last week. He responded like champion players do,” he said.

“If we had of lost it would be like ‘do you miss Lachie Neale?’ Of course we do.

“But this game last year, Dayne Zorko didn’t play or Stef Martin. We’ve been able to find a way to win. Hopefully we’re becoming a good team and that’s what is you do.’’

Hinkley’s Power have plenty of work to do before next week’s Showdown with the Crows. (Photo by Jono Searle/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)Source:Getty Images

Hinkley said Port did not “stand up in the contest for long enough” against the Lions but he was not about to panic with the Showdown looming.

“This team has been pretty consistent … most times they have been able to get the job done and they respond,’’ he said.

“They’ll respond. We look forward to it, it’s the Showdown next week so we’ll be up and about and ready to go … but both sides will be coming off a poor performance.

“Their (Brisbane) strength was their strength and we made it look even better tonight. We couldn’t handle some of the contest stuff, whether that was in front, or behind or in the middle, it was all over the ground.

“We were nowhere near our best and the opposition was at their very best at what they were trying to do.

“We go back to work, we learn. We take the lesson. We don’t’ like the lesson, we don’t like the taste of it, we deserved it.

“Simple message. We need to be better and start with ourselves.”

He said Travis Boak was a good chance to be fit for the Showdown.

“Yeah he should be. He was out this week with an injury, so you’re never guaranteed until you see them back,’’ Hinkley said.

“He’s been carrying it for a couple of weeks and we thought it could get worse and we don’t want it to get worse, Trav’s a pretty important player for us.

“It wouldn’t have mattered if you had 22 Travis’ out there tonight, we needed some support. Ollie I thought was amazing. He gave what he had. I think a few others could have jumped on with Ol.’’

Hinkley said Ryan Burton will be monitored by Port medical staff after being subbed out of the match with a rib injury.

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