Fagan hails Lions strength in depth

14 September 2020 17:32:56 GMTPlus10

Brisbane coach Chris Fagan says the 32-point win over Sydney proves the Lions are not over reliant on star midfielder Lachie Neale.

Neale is having another outstanding season and looks bang on course to win the Brownlow Medal, but he had one of his quieter afternoons on Sunday with just 15 disposals.

That was down to the fact Swans tagger Ryan Clarke had a fine game, but it did not affect the scoreline with the Lions still winning by 32 points to keep them second on the ladder.

Last week Fagan insisted his side have enough quality to cope without star defender Harris Andrews, who is out injured, and speaking after the win over the Swans, says the same applies with Neal.

"If we're reliant on Lachie Neale we're not going to go very far," Fagan said.  "We love it when he plays well but we've shown all year that at times when he gets stopped, which is not very often, we've got other guys that can step up to the mark.

"We need depth in the midfield and to be able to rely on a lot of guys and that's what we've had all year round."

The Lions are also without Jarrod Berry, so it was the turn of Jarryd Lyons to step up to the plate with 20 disposals and a goal.

"It's not about how many clearances Lachie Neale gets, it's about how we go as a team, and I expect all of them to help each other out from time to time, not just Lachie," Fagan added.

The win cements Brisbane’s place in the top two and means they are guaranteed a home qualifying final.

The Lions are priced at 17/4 to win the grand final.

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