The opening game of the Chris Fagan era returned a range of positives despite a 24-point loss to the Gold Coast Suns in the JLT Community a series at Broadbeach.
Fagan's first game as Senior Coach produced a number of strong efforts across the ground from many players, some exciting passages of attacking play, and some dogged defensive efforts.
The Lions were super competitive in the first half, trailing by just two points, and despite being outscored six goals to three in the second, never dropped their heads as senior players Tom a Rockliff and Dan Rich were rested in the final term.
Rohan Bewick (28 disposals) was excellent on a wing, while Dayne Zorko (17 touches and 11 tackles) and stand-in skipper Ryan Lester (17 and two goals) battled hard.
No.3 draft pick Hugh McCluggage showed glimpses of his enormous talent, finishing with 14 disposals and having that extra split-second to make his decisions.
Ruckmen Stefan Martin and Archie Smith finished ahead of their opponents, while Harris Andrews negated the influence of star forward Tom Lynch after a running battle all day.
Coach Chris Fagan said there was plenty to improve on, but was generally pleased with his first game in charge.
"I thought for two-and-a-half quarters we were really competitive and then we lost our balance around contested situations," he said.
"We had too many players getting in after the footy and not handling it cleanly, it'd pop up and they got us on the outside with their ball use.
"We'll pick the positives out, we'll learn a bit from the game and come up against the premiers in the next game."
Finishing ahead in points scored from stoppages and being the better side in "red time" at the end of quarters were just a few examples of areas the Lions had impressed.
On the flip side, a range of areas for improvement had been identified and would be worked on as preparations continued towards the start of the premiership season.
GOLD COAST 0.3.4 0.5.8 0.9.10 0.11.15 (81)
BRISBANE LIONS 0.3.1 1.4.3 1.5.6 1.7.6 (57)
Gold Coast: Nil
Brisbane Lions: Freeman
Gold Coast: Grant 3, Ainsworth, Joyce, Lynch, Schoenfeld, Hanley, Barlow, Kolodjashnij, Miller
Brisbane Lions: Lester 2, Martin 2, Schache, Robinson, Robertson
Gold Coast: Hall, Hanley, Miller, Thompson, Barlow
Brisbane Lions: Bewick, Zorko, Lester, Gardiner, Taylor
Gold Coast: Day (hip)
Brisbane Lions: Nil
Official crowd: 2174 at Kombumerri Park (Mermaid Waters)