Brisbane co-captain Lachie Neale calls out ‘selfish’ Lions after shock loss to Carlton

Lachie Neale has delivered a brutal assessment of his side’s shock loss to Carlton in their AFL opener, saying selfishness and complacency crept in as the Brisbane Lions gave up a 46-point lead at the Gabba.

Last season’s beaten grand finalists head to Perth to play Fremantle on Sunday after their 14-game home-ground winning streak was sensationally snapped by the Blues in Opening Round last Friday.

Co-captain Neale and his teammates reviewed the one-point loss on Monday and came to some stark conclusions.

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“A little bit of selfishness,” Neale said.

“We probably thought the scoreboard was ticking along alright so maybe that intensity dropped away a little bit.

“We chose some easy options, a little bit lazy on defence sometimes.

“We didn’t dig in, and basically you’re s***ting on your teammates when you don’t do that.

“Maybe guys bought into how good we are and how well we’re going (after two pre-season wins).

“We certainly know we’re not ahead of the rest and still chasing. We haven’t achieved anything yet; we want to be the hunters.”

Lions players leave the field after the loss to Carlton. Credit: Getty Images

Missed chances haunted the Lions in a lopsided third quarter, Charlie Cameron botching a set shot from directly in front and Joe Daniher firing away from long-range when he had teammates streaming forward in better positions.

“Some guys were probably doubting their skills,” Neale said.

“We spoke about it last year; we don’t want to be that team that goes back into their shells.”

Irish defender Conor McKenna trained on Tuesday and is a chance to return from a hamstring strain in what would be close to a like-for-like replacement for Keidean Coleman, who ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament on the stroke of halftime on Friday.

“He’ll be around the mark,” Neale said of McKenna.

“But Kiddy’s (Coleman) going to be a huge loss.

“Our most damaging user off half back, such a crucial cog in our team.”

Neale confirmed the club would submit a formal, written challenge to his $2500 fine for striking Carlton’s George Hewett in the stomach.

Hewett has accepted his own fine after being charged for striking Neale – contact was made in the neck and jaw region – as the pair engaged in a back and forth in the third quarter.

Hewett’s contact with Neale was deemed careless and high, while Neale’s was judged to be intentional.

“I don’t really know what that deserved,” 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 I probably didn’t deserve a fine, so we might fight that and see how it goes.

“If the umpire paid a free kick (for high contact) I might not have retaliated.”


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