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Getting off the bottom

Michael Whiting, AFL.com.au  August 12, 2017 9:20 PM

Post-Match Press Conference: Chris Fagan Watch Brisbane Lions' press conference after round 21's match against Gold Coast

The Brisbane Lions are "hell-bent" on avoiding the wooden spoon, and it showed in their 58-point demolition of the embattled Gold Coast.

Coach Chris Fagan said his team had turned a significant corner since its round 11 bye.

"We're just trying to play a good brand of footy when we've got the ball and take what's available to us," Fagan said.

"We're trying to improve our defensive game as well. Tonight, we were able to keep a side under 100 points, so I think that's probably the fourth time since the bye we've been able to do that.

"Our points against has probably come down two or three goals since the bye, and it might even be better after tonight, so that's been a focus of ours as well."

The Lions' second half of the year has been more than respectable, recording more wins (four) than fellow bottom-10 sides North Melbourne (one), Fremantle and Carlton (two each), Gold Coast (three) and Collingwood (three wins and a draw). 

The win drew the Lions level on points with Carlton and North Melbourne (with North still to play this weekend), and also closed the percentage gap somewhat. 

"We've still got to rely on other results, but we're giving ourselves the best chance, that's all we can do," Fagan said. 

"We've got a tough game next week at the G against Melbourne, so we'll go down there and have a crack, and then obviously the North Melbourne game at the end might be really interesting.

"We're hell-bent on trying to get off the bottom, (I) had a chat to the players this week about motivation for winning this game, a lot of it was that. Probably if you look at the ladder after the bye, we're nowhere near the bottom."

Their tally of 22.10 (142) was the Lions' biggest score since round 17, 2007, when Jarred Brennan kicked seven goals and five behinds against Collingwood.

While Fagan doesn't have the luxury of a side containing triple-premiership players, he's pretty happy with the group he's got, including livewire forward Lewis Taylor who was busy against the Suns with 25 touches.

"I love Lewy's game. He's had a good year overall, he's had a couple of quiet ones, but by and large he's been a great player for us playing at high half-forward," he said.

"His possessions are high, he takes the game on, he's an instability player, he gets through the lines and out the back. His demeanour around the club – he's such an enthusiastic and happy young bloke, and he's a joy to coach." 

It was a fiery clash at times, and the young Lions showed they were more than up to the task.

"The game's played over two hours and we were able to play harder for longer than they were able to and we got the result we were after, which was really pleasing for our club and all our fans who turned up tonight," Fagan said. 

"There's a bit of noise around the Gabba now, they tell me. I haven't been here when it was really noisy, but the noise is starting to come back."

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