Asking the coach to nominate his favorite wins would be like asking him to choose between his wife and children so we’ll pick a few.
Round 15 2017 V Essendon at Docklands
It was the Lions first interstate win under Fagan. They trailed at every change and were 27 points down early in the last term but won by eight points after two goals from 99th-gamer Rohan Bewick followed by goals to Josh Walker, a red-hot Eric Hipwood, Ryan Bastinac and Ryan Lester wrapped it up. Lester took a huge pack mark and goaled two minutes from the end to seal the first time since 2013 that the club had won after trailing at each change. Dayne Zorko was best afield with 30 possessions and two goals.
A WIN IN THE WEST
Round 15 2018 v Fremantle at Perth Stadium
The Lions, second-last on the ladder with one win in their first 12 games, made their first visit to the new AFL stadium in Perth and banked their first win in the WA capital since 2009. They prevailed by 55 points after out-scoring the Dockers in each quarter, with Dayne Beams, Stefan Martin and Jarrod Berry picking up the Brownlow Medal votes.
THE LUKE HODGE CUP
Round 9 2018 v Hawthorn at the Gabba
The Lions were 0-8 and desperately trying to avoid equalling the club's all-time worst start to a season of 0-9 in 1991. It was dubbed the 'Luke Hodge Cup' as the ex-Hawk skipper played against his former club for the first time, and after trailing 1-0 to 4-0 the home side blew the Hawks away. Up 11 points at half time and 27 at three-quarter time, they banged on 7-3 to 2-4 in the fourth quarter to win by 56 points going away. It was a breakout game for Hugh McCluggage but the most memorable moment was the match-winning first goal from Matt Eagles in the closing minutes of his third game.
A BIG SCALP
Round 1 2019 v West Coast at the Gabba
Brisbane became the first side in AFL history to knock off the premiers in the first game of their premiership defence after having finished as low as 15th the year before. In a sign of things to come, the Lions were 27 points down at quarter-time but kicked 14-7 to 2-8 thereafter to win by 44 points. Lachie Neale, Jarryd Lyons and Lincoln McCarthy played their first game in Lions colors in what old-timers said was the best night of football at the Gabba in 10 years.
A TRIPLE CENTURY
Round 2 2019 v North Melbourne at Docklands
Significant because it was the 300th in club history. The Lions were 10 points down 10 minutes into the final term but kicked six of the last seven goals to win by 20 points. Lachie Neale was best afield with 43 disposals in a game which, quite succinctly, a club old-stager said was one the ‘old’ Lions would have lost. A positive sign for the future.
A BRILLIANT START
Round 7 2019 v Sydney at the Gabba
It was the Lions’ first win over Sydney since 2009. A shaky two points up at halftime after leading by 28 points at quarter time, they kicked 7-11 to 5-3 in the second half to win by 22. It gave them their best start to a season since 2004 at 5-2 and saw them fourth on the ladder – their highest position at Round 7 since 2004. Dayne Zorko was best afield with 29 possessions, 11 tackle, 11 clearances and a goal.
McCARTHY MAGIC: FOR HIS POP
Round 16 2019 v GWS at Sydney Showgrounds
A breakout win and the Lions’ first against GWS since 2013 after an 0-6 run. Billed as a huge test, it was 5th v 4th at the Sydney Showgrounds, where the Lions had never won. But after a brilliant 4-4 to 1-2 first quarter they were never headed and won by 20 points. Lincoln McCarthy put in arguably the best performance of his career as the side wore black armbands following his grandfather's death, and his good mate Lachie Neale was best afield in his 150th AFL game.
AGAINST THE OLD CLUB
Round 17 2019 v Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval
In shockingly wet conditions the Lions kicked the first seven goals of the game and won by eight goals. Ex-Crows Charlie Cameron and Jarryd Lyons starred, with Cameron kicking four goals in his 100th game and Lyons taking best afield honours with 36 possessions, nine tackles and nine clearances.
Round 21 2019
On an unforgettable weekend when it snowed in the Friday night game between Hawthorn and GWS, when North scored their lowest score ever (1-8-14) against Geelong, and when the Bulldogs kicked 21 unanswered goals to beat Essendon by 104 points, Brisbane scored the biggest ever Q-Clash win. Charlie Cameron kicked a career-best six goals to be best afield as four times in the final quarter the margin topped 100 points. Two late Suns goals meant the coach had to be content with a 91-point margin – still the biggest of his coaching career and in Q-Clash history.
TOP OF THE TABLE
Round 22 2019 v Geelong at the Gabba
It was the second-placed Lions against the ladder-leading Cats and pulled a sell-out Gabba crowd of 35,608 - the biggest ever against Geelong and the biggest overall at the Gabba since 2010. And that on a weekend in which the Broncos had pulled only 23,643 on the Thursday night. The Lions, on a seven-game winning streak, trailed at every change but kicked 6-7 to 3-7 in the second half and 4-3 to 2-5 in fourth quarter to win in the last minute. Down by 18 points with 18mins to play they kicked the last three goals via Jarryd Lyons, Charlie Cameron and, with about 87sec to play, Lincoln McCarthy after he soared over the back of Jack Henry to pull in a chest mark and converted from 30m. It put the Lions on top of the ladder for the first time since Rounds 1-2 2007. Charlie Cameron kicked five goals to earn three Brownlow votes as the Lions beat Geelong for the first time since 2013. So special was it that Leigh Matthews visited the Lions rooms after the match for the first time since he stepped down as coaching to give Fagan a huge hug.
THE BEST WIN
Qualifying Final 2020 v Richmond at the Gabba.
In a results business, it’s the most significant win of the Fagan era because it was a finals win. The Lions beat the 2017-19-20 premiers by 15 points to end a drought against the Tigers of 15 games over 11 years and complete the Fagan ‘kill sheet’ – a win against every opposition. Down by a goal at quarter time, the Lions won by 15 points to post the club’s first finals win since 2009 and put them into their first preliminary final since 2004. Daniel Rich was best afield from Hugh McCluggage, Charlie Cameron and Harris Andrews.