Lachie Neale says ‘selfish’ Lions punished after brutal Carlton defeat


Brisbane co-captain Lachie Neale says the “selfish” Lions received the wake-up call they needed in their one-point Opening Round loss to Carlton.

Leading by 46 points early in the second-quarter last Friday night, the Lions paid a hefty price for taking their foot off the pedal, as the Blues surged home to win 13.8 (86) to 12.13 (85) to become the first team to beat Brisbane at the Gabba since August 2022.

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Rubbing further salt into the Lions’ wounds was the season-ending knee injury suffered by star defender Keidean Coleman.

While Coleman – who took no part in the second half – was missed, Neale suggested there were more significant reasons last season’s beaten grand finalists opened up their new campaign with a loss.

Lions co-captain Lachie Neale says ‘selfishness’ cost Brisbane in the loss to Carlton. Picture: Russell Freeman/AFL Photos via Getty Images
Lions co-captain Lachie Neale says ‘selfishness’ cost Brisbane in the loss to Carlton. Picture: Russell Freeman/AFL Photos via Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

“(There’s a) a lot to learn from that 25-minute patch from the end of the second term to the start of the third where they won the game,” the reigning Brownlow medallist said.

“(There was) a little bit of selfishness, we weren’t cohesive on defence, probably thought scoreboard was ticking along all right, so maybe that intensity dropped away a little bit … we probably chose some easy options.

“(We) didn’t dig in and basically, you’re sh–ting on your teammates.”

“It’s a great lesson. I’m glad that we learned it now and not later in the year.

“Maybe guys thought how good we are and how well we’re going. We had two pre-season wins … so it’s a great reminder.
“We certainly know that we’re not ahead of the rest. We’re still chasing. We haven’t done anything yet. We want to be the hunters.”

The Lions, who will seek redemption on Sunday against Fremantle at Optus Stadium, will challenge the $2500 fine Neale received for striking Carlton’s George Hewett during Brisbane’s poor third quarter.

Hewett was fined the same amount for striking Neale in the same incident; however, Hewett’s charge was graded as “careless contact”, while the Brisbane talisman was deemed to have made “intentional contact” with the Blues midfielder.

“It was a bit of a funny one,” Neale said.

“I know he didn’t mean to hit me in the head but his got graded careless and mine intentional,

which is quite strange. They both looked pretty similar in my eyes.

“I feel like I probably didn’t deserve a fine.

“If the umpire paid a free kick I might not have retaliated. I got a bit of a whack high, so it would have been nice to get awarded (a free kick).”


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