Brisbane were undoubtedly the darlings of the AFL in 2019, enjoying a meteoric rise from 15th to 2nd after nine seasons out of the top eight.
Brisbane coach Chris Fagan has cautioned his side against getting too excited as they notched up their fifth win of the season, on par with last season’s total.
Brisbane might be on course for their first AFL finals appearance since 2009, but coach Chris Fagan isn’t allowing his side to think about September action just yet.
The Lions are now 5-2 after Saturday night’s 14.19 (103) to 112.9 (81) victory over Sydney, their first win over the Swans since that 2009 season.
But in a season that has thrown up plenty of surprises, the Lions included, Fagan said his team can’t afford the luxury of looking past their next game against the Western Bulldogs at Ballarat.
“It’ll be a tough game and we can’t afford to get too excited about where we’re at at the moment,” he said.
“Just keep our heads down and bums up and keep working hard and hopefully that will pay dividends at the end of the year.
“This competition is full of landmines and you never know when one is around the corner.”
Keeping his team’s focus away from finals will be easier than keeping a lid on fans’ expectations, with 20,075 braving a wet night to watch their team beat the Swans.
The winning margin could have been bigger if not for inaccurate kicking, particularly their 4.7 third quarter, which wasted Brisbane’s dominance around the ground.
Their five wins so far this season equals their season totals in 2018 and 2017 and is already better than 2015 (four wins) and 2016 (three).
Fagan said the Lions of 2019 were now playing with belief.
“That comes from preparation and a few more years’ experience together and not giving in, and once you do it a few times you think you can continue to do it,” Fagan said.
“It’s good to have a little bit of that (belief) because we haven’t had much of it for a few years at this club, and it seems to just growing ever so slightly.”
For Sydney, the loss means they remain with one win at the bottom of the table and with their finals hopes all but gone.
Coach John Longmire said he would continue to tinker with his young side until they find a winning formula.
“You can’t click your fingers and just go ‘this is going to be it’,” Longmire said.
“It’s something we’ve been working on all year. We still haven’t improved to the level that we need to and we’ve got to get it right.”