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Playing on the edge

Michael Whiting, AFL.com.au  July 24, 2017 9:01 AM

Post-Match: Chris Fagan Watch the Brisbane Lions' press conference after round 18's match against the Blues

Don't expect to bully the Brisbane Lions.

Following Sunday's 30-point win over Carlton, Lions coach Chris Fagan said he wanted his team to "play on the edge" after several scuffles broke out around the 'Gabba.

Most notably Dayne Zorko was involved in two third quarter incidents that might draw the attention of the Match Review Panel.

Just seven days ago rugged midfielder Nick Robertson was rubbed out for his head-butt on Richmond skipper Trent Cotchin.

Although saying he didn't see the Zorko incidents, Fagan is happy for his team to push the limits.

"We don't want to be bullied by anyone, so we'll stand up to teams," he said.

"What Nick did last week we weren't pleased with, but as I said in my press conference (on Thursday), he fessed up himself that he thought he went a little bit too far.

"We want our blokes to play on the edge – all the good teams do.

"We’ve got to back our blokes in to do it and not chastise them when they show a little bit of aggression, that's what we want to see."

The feisty play was an intriguing subplot to an exciting win for the Lions, one in which they led by as much as 56 points and had to steady after the Blues had whittled it to 11.

After a poor showing from their leaders against the Tigers, the Lions' leading men stepped up big in their fourth win of the year.

While captain Dayne Beams (30 touches, three goals) and Zorko (26 and three) led the offensive surge, Tom Rockliff played a terrific negating role on Blues star Bryce Gibbs, restricting him to eight disposals.

Although getting just 10 himself, Rockliff's performance was lauded by Fagan, who said his team played with a "selfless" attitude.

"It was a theme we had at the club during the week," Fagan said.

"We thought last week against Richmond we weren't as selfless as a team as we should have been.

"That theme was driven by the players.

"I can't recall too many instances where we did things that we would say were selfish at all. I thought we played a really selfless game."

Fagan was quick to deflect praise for the move of putting Rockliff on Gibbs, saying assistant coach Danny Daly was the mastermind behind the move.

"It was his suggestion at match committee during the week, and I thought it was genius, because I thought Rocky was sort of out of form, and sometimes having a job like that is the thing that gets you back up and going again.

"I'll give Danny Daly the credit for that."

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