Jarrod Berry and Zac Bailey celebrate after Brisbane's win over North Melbourne at Norwood Oval in Gather Round, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

AT THE end of an eventful week, Chris Fagan says Brisbane kept it simple ahead of Friday night's win over North Melbourne.

Following off-field scrutiny over a post-season trip to the United States and the in-season spotlight following a 0-3 start, the Lions trampled North Melbourne by 70 points at Norwood Oval.

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And what pleased coach Fagan the most?

"I thought our players showed their togetherness today and their energy and their brotherhood, which has been a real big part of our trademark at the club since I've been there," he said.

"We were very determined today to show the footy world we are a united group.

"(That was) Never in doubt, but sometimes you've just got to show it so people who want to talk about those things maybe stop for a little while anyway."


With Joe Daniher (five goals) and Eric Hipwood (three) finding some form, and Brownlow medallist Lachie Neale (27 disposals) laying the midfield foundation, Brisbane was never troubled.

"I feel like our energy in games has been down a little bit," Fagan said.

"Today it was back. The boys were celebrating every little thing that happened, whether it be a great spoil or a smother or picking their teammates up, all those things you look for.

"We've got a huge challenge on Thursday night, we're playing Melbourne at the MCG, not a young North Melbourne side that's still on the pathway to becoming a good team.

"I think we can take a lot of positives out of this into that game.

"It probably just reminded the boys how good they can be, which sometimes you need in sport, we're all just human."


Fagan said Neale would be fine to take on the Demons after he was tactically subbed out at three-quarter time after overcoming an ankle injury during the week.

Another Lion to suffer a tweak was Zac Bailey, but the coach was confident he would also line up in six days.

"He was fine after the game. I think it was one of those ones that stings you and then comes good," he said.

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North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson was philosophical about his team's performance after they trailed by 56 points at half-time before showing some grit in the second half.

He said the Lions were a good team to model off after they went through a similar rebuild seven years ago.

"We know where we're at as a footy club," Clarkson said.

"When we're playing these really good sides, like we saw in the third quarter, we're able to compete … but to be able to do it for four sustainable quarters is really tough for us at the present time.

"We know we've got to put in the time and hard yards and not lose faith."


Clarkson looked for the "little wins", praising Charlie Comben's performance in defence and Tom Powell's third quarter job in quietening the rampant Neale.

"We've got to keep trying to find the little silver lining to the occasional dark cloud we'll endure across this path and try and get better as we go along."