Coach Fagan lauds resilient Lions

‘‘That was our theme for the week. It was going to be a contested game, so let’s go out and compete.
‘‘You’ve got a way you like to play yourself, but you can’t always get it, so you’ve got to play in the other team’s environment a little bit too. That was pleasing for us, to be able to do that.


‘‘We’d been a bit off the mark for a couple of weeks in contested possessions and clearances and pressure, and today we got all that back, and when we do that we’re a pretty reasonable side.’’

He said Lachie Neale turned the game in the third quarter with his work out of the centre, setting up two goals and kicking one himself.

‘‘He set the game alight. They looked like they were starting to get on top, and suddenly they were three goals behind, all on the back of the great work that he and our rucks did at the centre bounce.

‘‘That’s the type of player he is. He prides himself on lifting in the big moments.

‘‘I don’t know if he knew that was the big moment, but it was in the game. It was the turning point.’’

Mitch Robinson starred for the Lions.Credit:AAP

But Neale was pipped for best-on-ground honours by veteran Mitch Robinson, who returned to centre-square duties and was a brute force throughout.

‘‘I’m going to be a bit sore tomorrow,’’ he said.

‘‘It was good to get back on the ball this week, I’ve been predominantly playing that wing role the first five games.

‘‘That’s my game, and today was a surge type of game, get the ball going forward and territory battle, and we did well in that regard.’’

Cameron Rayner also had an impact, kicking three goals, including one from a run-down tackle on Jesse Joyce.

‘‘Cam plays mostly as a forward,’’ Fagan said. ‘‘He’s a bit of a talking point at the moment, I’ve noticed.

‘‘He plays about 95 per cent of his minutes in the forward line, so he’s a forward. I think this year he might have kicked 10 goals nine, 10 goals 10 [behinds] in six games, so he’s had three shots a game.’’

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