Lions braced for brutal Crows AFL backlash

Brisbane coach Chris Fagan admits winning back a bit of respect in Saturday night’s top-versus-bottom AFL clash might be all they can hope for as they await a ferocious response from Adelaide at the Gabba.

The Crows have suffered surprise back-to-back defeats to North Melbourne and Melbourne after winning their first six games of the season, while the Lions are once again battling just to be competitive.

If there is a good time to catch the competition’s pacesetters, Fagan admits it’s probably not now.

“If you want to be a good team and be successful, you’ve got to deal with all those things – teams coming back into form, teams that have got guys playing milestone games, good teams that have lost a couple in a row that want to take it out on you,” Fagan said.

“All that’s all part of it.

“Adelaide have given us some pretty severe beltings over the last three years so we’re certainly in the business of earning some respect back from them and making sure that win, lose or draw, they have a view that Brisbane is a much harder, stronger unit than it has been in the past.”

Adelaide have won their past five against the Lions, including the past two by a combined margin of 225 points, but have hit the skids after a scintillating start to the season.

Crows coach Don Pyke has seemingly drawn a line in the sand.

“On reflection this week between myself and the players and the coaching group is we have marginally gone away from what made us successful in the first part of the year,” Pyke said.

“There is no magic cure out there, this is about actually going back and rolling our sleeves up and getting back to things we were doing earlier in the season.

“And the primary focus is around our contested ball and we understand that the level we set earlier in the year was high and that got us a result and we need to return to that this week.”

That spells trouble for the Lions, who are on a seven-match losing streak and are yet to win at home this year.

Skipper Dayne Beams returns but top midfielder Tom Rockliff (shoulder) is out due to injury.

Teenager Josh Schache has been dropped due to poor form, with speculation regarding the off-contract forward having taken its toll.

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