Lachie Neale in action during the round seven match between Greater Western Sydney and Brisbane at Manuka Oval in round seven, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

BRISBANE needs to do a better job looking after two-time Brownlow medallist Lachie Neale as opponents try to "get under his skin", says teammate Jarrod Berry.

Neale has been on the receiving end of extra close attention in 2024, with Carlton's George Hewett and Magpie Scott Pendlebury both receiving fines for off-the-ball incidents involving Brisbane's ace midfielder.

Geelong tagged Neale with rugged Mark O'Connor, and in the Lions' most recent outing it was Giant Callan Ward that upset the co-captain with his niggle.

Speaking ahead of Sunday's QClash against Gold Coast – an opponent that also roughed up Neale last year courtesy of Touk Miller – Berry said Brisbane had to do better at looking out for its three-time best-and-fairest winner.

"He's our best player," Berry said.

"We do need to look after him. We do need to help him out through those tags because teams are obviously coming after him and doing that, trying to get under his skin.


"Unfortunately, on the weekend it was the retaliation that got called, there was plenty of niggle going the other way that wasn't called.

"Like your parents say, it's the retaliator that always gets caught.

"Lachie will be better next week."

Essendon legend Matthew Lloyd on Monday accused Neale of 'dropping his bundle' when the tag has been applied in recent weeks.

"Lachie Neale, he doesn't handle the tag very well," Lloyd told's Access All Areas.


"I don't see the other champion players drop their bundle like Lachie Neale drops his bundle when he gets sat on. And he's a leader."

The close checking of Neale is just one issue the 2-5 Lions need to resolve ahead of facing the Suns at the Gabba on Sunday night.

The heavy defeat from Greater Western Sydney has left last year's grand finalist in a vulnerable position just a third of the way through the season.


After having a few days off, Berry said the Lions were as hungry as ever.

"Yes, to put it plain and simple, it (hunger) is there," he said.

"We just haven't got the results we're after, but it's definitely there.

"This is backs against the wall type stuff, we like being the underdog and this is our opportunity to come out and prove to everyone that we are still that side and start piecing together a really good season.

"We know we need to improve as individuals and as a team and we'll do that."