BRISBANE captain Dayne Zorko has put the onus on his team's midfield to "step up" should Lachie Neale again get tagged in Friday night's blockbuster against Melbourne.

Neale was targeted by James Harmes when the teams last met in round 15, keeping him to 14 disposals after quarter-time in the Demons' thumping win.

It's a trend other teams have since picked up on, with Jye Caldwell following Neale and restricting him to 21 touches in an Essendon victory in round 17, and Marcus Windhager limiting him to 16 for St Kilda last Friday night.

Zorko said it was a "battle for the whole team to face" when Neale was targeted.


"I don't think it's purely up to Lachie to win that battle," Zorko said on Tuesday.

"We've dealt with players doing tagging roles in the past.

"Although Lach didn't get the numbers on the weekend, he still contributed in a number of different ways, which was fantastic.

"If he does that again, the guys around him have to step up, myself included, and that's what we'll do."

Neale was still instrumental in the Lions' getting over the Saints, extracting eight clearances and effecting six tackles.

Zorko said Brisbane was in great shape entering the top-four shootout, winning four of its past five matches.


He said the Lions had to concentrate on their own game though, rather than bending to Melbourne's strengths as they have done in recent losses.

"We had some good success against them last year in that first half when we led by about 20 points.

"They changed up a few things and we weren't able to adapt to that.

"Then I think from there we've gone off our game a bit and focused on what they do, which just isn't our way.

"We need to get what we do really well and get that done at a high capability."

"We understand we need to get it done in big games," Zorko said.

"But we're building towards that, putting mechanisms in place to overcome adversity in games.

"Everything seems to be coming together and the boys are hitting form at the right time of the season."