Zac Bailey looks dejected after Brisbane's loss to Collingwood in round three, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

BRISBANE coach Chris Fagan concedes his 0-3 Lions are in a form slump but says he won't be hitting the panic button following Thursday night's loss to Collingwood.

For the third time this season Brisbane won the inside 50 count (56-43), but lost the match, with its three-pronged tall forward line struggling to take advantage of the extra supply.

LIONS v MAGPIES Full match coverage and stats

Lachie Neale (35 disposals, including 10 clearances) battled manfully despite rolling his ankle during the third quarter, although several of his teammates looked short of confidence.

Fagan said there was a lot to work to do, but believed the 2023 grand finalists could recover.

"We're zero and three and there's 20 games to go," Fagan said following the 20-point loss.

"It's not a great start, but let's not catastrophise it either. We certainly haven't had the start we hoped for. We've dropped two home games, which has been unusual for us.


"We've got a bit of work to do to find ourselves. There were some good glimpses of that tonight, but we've got to build on it."

Although winning a lot of the statistical markers, Brisbane was unable to match Collingwood's ferocious defensive intensity.

Fagan said they invited the Magpies' pressure through over-handballing, dropped some marks inside forward 50 they should have taken, and particularly in the first quarter let the opposition transition the ball from defence too easily.

A few Lions continued slow starts to the season.

Charlie Cameron kicked 1.3, taking his season tally to 3.8, and is just lacking the polish around goal he has become known for, despite creating a number of chances.


Eric Hipwood was another that battled to hold his marks, while Oscar McInerney had his hands full with Mason Cox and Darcy Cameron in the ruck.

They were symptomatic of Lions that tried hard, but struggled to execute.

"Some of our players are not at their best at the moment. I can't explain to you why," Fagan said.

"That's sport for you. Sometimes you go through form slumps and we've got a few that aren't at their best at the moment so we've got to keep working away with those guys as well.

"These guys have been good players, so we won't be pressing the panic button. I've trusted them for a long time, and they've delivered.

"I'm not going to jump off them just because we've lost three games in a row.


"We've played pretty well for the past five or six years and right now we're just going through a little slump.

"That's the life of a team sometimes … I've got to help them find their form again, that's my job."

Meanwhile, Collingwood coach Craig McRae was all smiles after his team got on the winners list for the first time this season.

The premiership coach said it was "clearly" a step forward from losses to Greater Western Sydney, Sydney and St Kilda.

"Our pressure was something we wanted to raise the bar on," he said.


"It was a damning number we looked at earlier in the week that last year we were No.1 for pressure, or close to, and we're 13th.

"It almost stung us. We all looked at the number and thought, 'Come on, that's not us'.

"So we tried to make a statement tonight in some ways, put it in front of the players' faces. We've got to pressure the opposition better than what we were."


McRae said he was pleased with the impact of veterans Scott Pendlebury, Jeremy Howe and skipper Darcy Moore after they'd been below their best early in the year.

"We've had a bit against us in terms of the pile on, but we're a pretty proud group," he said.

"You've got to get things started at some stage. 

"Sometimes it's difficult to get off the mark. This is a tough competition, a really tough competition …. You can't be off your game."