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Fagan: The will to win and the belief that you can

Round 18: Post-match: Fagan Fagan speaks to media following the Round 18 win over North Melbourne.

Games at the Gabba are starting to feel like they did in Brisbane's glory years.

The fans feel it. The players feel it. And now Lions coach Chris Fagan is starting to feel it. 

After his team added another chapter to a remarkable season on Saturday night with a gripping 12-point victory over North Melbourne, the Brisbane coach made a rare comparison to yesteryear, and it was well and truly justified.

For much of the night the 23,833-strong crowd was pensive as the home team trailed, but in a pulsating fourth quarter the intensity went up two levels inside the white lines and about three levels outside them.

"I'm starting to understand what it must have been like back when Brisbane were a powerhouse," Fagan said.

Of course he's referring to the Lions' 'glory years' of 2001-2004 when they won three straight premierships and contested four successive Grand Finals.

The last time Brisbane saw any action in September was 2009, but that might – don’t mention it to the coach – be about to change.

Fagan's quote was specifically referring to milestone man Daniel Rich's booming goal from outside 50m with four minutes remaining to put his team in front.

He could just as easily have been talking about the raucous noise when Oscar McInerney gave Brisbane the lead once-and-for-all inside the final minute with a calm set shot from 25m.

Fagan makes a habit of acknowledging the crowd in his press conferences after every home match.

This season Brisbane is averaging 23,522 spectators a match, up from 18,406 last year.

Players often mention the energy they get, although not being able to quite pinpoint why, with the Gabba's bowl-like stadium.

The Lions also continue to shatter records on the field, with the win over North Melbourne the club's fifth straight– a feat it has not achieved since 2007.

It has also broken long-standing droughts over West Coast, Port Adelaide, Sydney, Adelaide and Greater Western Sydney this year.

"No disrespect to North Melbourne, but we had 27 shots at goal to 15, they kicked everything that they got an opportunity to kick and we missed some we should have kicked," Fagan said.

"Our blokes just wanted to win tonight.

"I thought that was a good experience for the group tonight.

"Not everything went our way, but we found a way to get up when it mattered.

"It's the will to win and belief that you can, all those things you can't measure with statistics.

"This group has shown they're a tough group."

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