Brisbane coach Chris Fagan is happy to draw on his side’s AFL finals failures at the Gabba last season if it means his players don’t get ahead of themselves this month.
The Lions began the first of at least four-straight home games with a nervy 12-point defeat of Fremantle on Saturday afternoon.
They host West Coast this Saturday night, before home games against Adelaide and Port Adelaide once the South Australian teams join their West Australian counterparts in the Gold Coast hub.
It’s an unprecedented run for the Lions that could enable a run up the ladder to rival last years second-place finish.
So far it’s been exploited by the Lions and Gold Coast, who upset the Eagles on Saturday night to leave their hub rivals winless.
But there are no assumptions from Fagan, who will continue to use last season’s straight-sets finals exit – after Gabba losses to Richmond and GWS – as motivation in 2020.
“You’ve got to look at it in little blocks and one of the traps for our team is just to think ‘oh good, we’re playing at home, we’ll win’,” he said.
“It’s not how it works; we played two finals here last year and, as well as we played, we didn’t win.”
The Eagles, considered among the flag favourites this season, were humbled by the Suns in a monumental upset at Metricon Stadium.
They’re likely to be without defender Jeremy McGovern against the Lions, who was handed a one-match ban for striking Gold Coast’s Alex Sexton during the loss.
Brisbane were powered by four Charlie Cameron goals, while midfield star Lachie Neale and fullback Harris Andrews ensured they got the points despite the Lions never hitting top gear.
“When you haven’t played football for three months and have a short preparation and you play a legitimate opponent… it was always going to be a really competitive game I thought,” Fagan said.
“So I was just happy to get away with the victory and we only look forward to next week, because we play West Coast and they’re a fantastic football side.
“So we need to improve a fair bit on our performance to really challenge them … hopefully we can and then we’ll look at the next week.”