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Fagan impressed with selfless Hipwood

Post-match: Chris Fagan Chris Fagan talks to the media post-match.

It wasn't Eric Hipwood's six goals that impressed coach Chris Fagan most about the key forward's game, but another trait that has become infectious in the Brisbane Lions' play this year.

Being selfless.

It's not as if the Lions have been a particularly selfish team over the years, but against the Blues it was another example of how players now look for better options no matter how close to goal they might be.

Whether it was Dan McStay squaring the ball to Tom Cutler when he could have taken a set shot or Allen Christensen finding Dayne Zorko when he was almost on the goal-line, the Lions just wanted to give goals to teammates.

Hipwood was no exception, finding 100-gamer Lewy Taylor with a neat handpass in the first quarter and then bombing long to hit Cutler over-the-back for another.

"I know he kicked six goals and everyone will make a fuss about that, but I look at his game and ask was he selfless or selfish, because that's the biggest challenge for a forward," Fagan said.

"I thought today he played a really selfless game and still kicked six goals, which is good feedback to him that you can do both.

"Every time the ball had to be given to someone else today, he did what he needed to do and sometimes when you're on a roll like that you can get a little on the selfish side, but to his credit he didn't, so I'm really pleased for him."

 

Zorko was credited with a staggering five goals assists – although you could argue two of those were shots on the run that were marked on the line – while Hipwood, Jarrod Berry and Cutler all had two each.

"It's not an easy thing to do (be unselfish) because opposition put pressure on you that sometimes makes you make a decision that sometimes make you look selfish," Fagan said.

"I think our players are embracing that idea and understand that when you play that way it's really enjoyable and it leads to good results."

Brisbane strung together successive wins for the first time in over three years with its 65-point hammering of the Blues, and Fagan said it was another important step in his team's progression.

The win pushed them to 16th on the table, two games in front of Carlton and percentage clear of Gold Coast, who play North Melbourne on Sunday.

"After a tardy start, I thought our first quarter was pretty average, after that I thought we played extremely well and deserved our win," Fagan said.

"I'm sure our players will get a bit of belief out of that, but we've got a test next week, Hawthorn in Launceston, they're pretty hard to beat down there.

"That's the thing I'm noticing with our group, they're starting to become more mature as men and as footballers.

"I can sense in them they're really growing up in terms of their understanding of what's required to win week after week."

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs