BRISBANE is “embracing” the fact it hasn’t won at the MCG since 2014, but coach Chris Fagan says it has bigger concerns going into Sunday’s game against Richmond.
The Lions have lost their past 10 matches at the home of the 2022 Toyota AFL Grand Final, including a round 15 hiding from reigning premier Melbourne, but Fagan says the venue does not worry his team.
“The truth is, we’re not playing the MCG, we’re playing Richmond,” Fagan said on Friday.
“The reason we haven’t won at the MCG the last few years is because when we’ve played there, we haven’t played well enough…it’s as simple as that.”
Since Brisbane qualified for the 2019 Finals Series, its first appearance in the top eight in a decade, it has played just twice at the ground – round one, 2020 against Hawthorn in front of no spectators, and five weeks ago against the Demons.
Fagan said the Lions had looked at every loss in his tenure as an opportunity to improve, and this was no different.
“I understand it’s about setting up the story, so the story on Monday if the Lions win will be ‘you can win the flag because you won at the MCG’ and if we lose ‘you can’t win the flag because you can’ t win at the MCG’.
“That’s how it’ll roll, and we all understand that.
“We fully embrace the fact we haven’t won at the MCG and we’re trying like hell to win on the weekend and that’s our goal.
“If we don’t, it won’t stop us from trying to achieve the ultimate this year, it’s as simple as that.”
After being decimated by injury and a COVID-19 outbreak recently, the Lions are relatively stable, missing just Daniel Rich (concussion) from its best team, with Keidean Coleman coming back in from a hamstring strain.
Fagan said he expected the best version of Richmond on Sunday, with a spot in the top eight still up for grabs in Shane Edwards’ 300th game.
“Not so long ago before they had this run of losses, everyone was saying “they’re the team, they’re coming” and that’s the team we expect to play at the weekend,” he said.
“They’re desperate to make finals, we’re desperate to try and finish top-four, there’s a lot at stake.
“The motivation for us is to get it right this week and let the future handle itself.”