Brisbane Lions seeking redemption against Western Bulldogs after humiliating loss to Melbourne
Melbourne’s ability to bounce back from a hat-trick of losses to thrash Brisbane has given the Lions hope they can improve on a “B” grade effort in recent weeks to contend for the AFL premiership.
Still licking their wounds after an embarrassing 64-point loss to the Demons last week, the Lions will be desperate for redemption when they host the Western Bulldogs at the Gabba on Thursday night.
“The good thing in footy (is) it’s not the Olympics, (and) we get to rock up the next weekend and get stuck into it,” veteran Lions defender Daniel Rich said.
And while the Lions will require a turnaround of gold medal proportions after their worst performance in four years, they are taking solace from the manner in which the Demons last Thursday ended a poor run of form.
“It was credit to how they played first and foremost, and no matter who you play, if you’re off your game on the other side, you’re going to get shown up,” Rich said.
“They’re playing well, we did a lot of things wrong – it just compounds the scoreboard.
“They’d lost their past three games, and it can all flip pretty quickly.
“That’s footy – we’re lucky we get to do it every weekend as opposed to years apart.”
The Lions’ loss to Melbourne was their third defeat in five matches, with Rich saying his team had “learnt a lot” from what has been an unconvincing run.
“I’m not a teacher … but there are areas that we can definitely improve on, so I’d probably give us a B,” he said when asked to grade Brisbane’s recent form.
“There’s plenty of room to grow.”
The Lions are set to be boosted by the returns of captain Dayne Zorko and in-form midfielder Zac Bailey on Thursday night.
The explosiveness and impetus of Bailey, who was sidelined due to Covid-19 protocols, was sorely missed against the Demons.
“He’s a really important player to us, so it’ll be exciting to have him back out there,” Rich said of Bailey.
“He does a lot of things that a lot of people can’t do, which is pretty rare these days. You get those guys with that X factor who are pretty important in any team.”
The Lions would have bad memories from their most recent meeting at the Gabba with the Bulldogs, who ended Brisbane’s 2021 season with a one-point semi-final win.
“Irrelevant of who it is, losing those tight games sits in the back of your mind, but it’s not so much about a redemption game against them,” Rich said.
“No matter who we were going to play this week, it was one that we were really looking forward to bouncing back and getting back to our way of footy.”
Originally published as Brisbane Lions seeking redemption against Western Bulldogs after humiliating loss to Melbourne
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