Lachie Neale’s form could take the Brownlow Medal to Queensland. Picture: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images.
Lachie Neale’s form could take the Brownlow Medal to Queensland. Picture: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images.

Lions boast strength in numbers

Jarryd Lyons has seen the greats up close having played with Gary Ablett and Patrick Dangerfield - and he'll take the spread of contribution from Brisbane's midfield any day.

Lachie Neale, who played alongside another Brownlow medallist at Fremantle, uttered a similar sentiment after his very first game as a Lion.

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Neale's comments about his selfless teammates were misinterpreted by some as a crack at former skipper Nat Fyfe - a major rival for this year's Brownlow Medal.

However, he was simply voicing the Lions' mantra that they aren't dependent on superstars.

You see it with the forwards where Charlie Cameron might kick five one week, Eric Hipwood will bob up another, while Lincoln McCarthy, Allen Christensen, Oscar McInerney and Dan McStay all have their moments when they are the main man.

Jaryrd Lyons has become a key member of Brisbane Lions’ formidable midfield. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images.
Jaryrd Lyons has become a key member of Brisbane Lions’ formidable midfield. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images.

Neale is a prolific ball-winner but Brisbane have been able to prevail even when taggers have managed to curtail his usual influence.

Lyons may be a bit bleary-eyed for the showdown with Geelong on Saturday and two former teammates in Dangerfield (Adelaide) and Ablett (Gold Coast) after the birth yesterday of his first child Sebastian.

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And if his production is down a little, Brisbane's system is that someone else will step up.

Lyons sees similarities between Brisbane's midfield and the onball brigade at the Crows after Dangerfield returned home to play for Geelong at the end of 2015.

Matt and Brad Crouch, Rory Sloane and Lyons are all great players but none had the status of Dangerfield, who won the Brownlow in his first season at Geelong.

Neale and Dayne Zorko are multiple club champions and the skipper has been an All Australian half forward, but neither have been considered the best player in the competition.

"We (Crows) probably had a similar type of group after Danger left,'' Lyons said.

"It was me, the Crouch boys and Sloaney sharing the load.

"The group we have now is like that, there aren't a lot of major stars except Lachie and Zork.

"You don't have guys getting huge numbers each week, everyone does their bit and it is not one guy every week, and I think the best teams look for that.''

The overall possession count isn't a major indicator for the Lions.

Like all teams they want to win or at least equal the contested possessions and clearances, but you don't see them racking up huge numbers.

It is not uncommon for the Lions to lose the possession count and still win the game, which we have seen against Melbourne, GWS, Port Adelaide, Kangaroos, Hawthorn and the Western Bulldogs this season.

They prefer a territory game which the midfielders have embraced.

"If we are using the ball too much it is not to our advantage,'' Lyons said.

"We just get it in to the forward 50 and let the guys get to work, you won't see us chipping it around too much.

"We don't need to have a lot of the ball to be damaging.''

News Corp Australia


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