THE BRISBANE Lions sense a shift of power in Queensland and are desperate to stop the trend against Gold Coast on Saturday night.

After five straight QClash wins between 2011-2013, the Lions were trounced by 53 points by a more desperate and polished Suns outfit in round three.

Gold Coast is now jostling for a maiden finals appearance while the Lions are battling to avoid the wooden spoon.

It is a far cry from the 'Big Brother' mantra that had been trotted out during the first three seasons of the rivalry.

Lions champion and current assistant coach Simon Black said the players had not forgotten what happened earlier this year.

"They obviously remember that last game we played, they were badly beaten, so they'd like to turn the fortunes around this time," Black said.

"They've (Gold Coast) obviously matured and developed into a very good side. We'll no doubt go in as the underdogs."

Prior to the first ever meeting between the clubs in 2011, Black labelled former Lions teammates Michael Rischitelli and Jared Brennan "mercenaries" for switching camps.

The comment backfired spectacularly on the Brownlow medallist, with a career-best game from Brennan guiding the massive underdogs to victory.

Three years down the track, Black says the contest no-longer needs help off the field to promote it, with the on-field rivalry now speaking for itself.

"I think we won five of those games straight but we now know what a good side Gold Coast have developed and matured into," he said.

"The tables have turned a little bit.

"It's always a big game when we play the Suns. We hold it pretty close to us that we want to be the stronger side of the two teams in Queensland."

Black said he expected the Suns to cope just fine without injured skipper Gary Ablett, despite losing against the Western Bulldogs in his absence last start.

"He's the best player in the competition, so obviously they are weakened, but they're blessed with enormous talent already.

"There'll be a time in the future when they won't have Gary out there and they're going to continue to keep developing. They're clearly going to be able to win without Gary, they've got some fantastic players in that team and they're maturing all the time.

"We know what a powerhouse they're going to be."

There is some serious feeling between the Queensland teams. Picture: AFL Media