Charlie Cameron celebrates a goal during the round 17 match between Brisbane and Adelaide at The Gabba, July 7, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

FOLLOWING five consecutive wins Brisbane is suddenly the form team of the competition, and coach Chris Fagan says it still has plenty of upside.

The Lions' staved off a pesky Adelaide at the Gabba on Sunday night, winning by 11 points to vault into seventh place, just a win out of the top four with seven matches remaining.

LIONS v CROWS Full match coverage and stats

It's a far cry from the team that was languishing in 13th after seven rounds with just two victories. They were still placed 13th at their mid-season bye five weeks ago.

Although pleased with the performance against the Crows, Fagan said his team's defence could improve, while some individuals had scope to reach another level as Brisbane sought a sixth successive finals appearance.


"I feel like defensively we’ve dropped away a little bit, but offensively we’ve picked up. It’s about finding that balance," Fagan said.

"There's a little bit of team defence stuff we need to keep working on.

"That’s been talked about for the last few weeks. I’m aware of that and we are working on it.

"That's probably the main thing, but you don't want to not score either, so you have to find that balance."


Brisbane conceded three goals from kick-ins against the Crows, eight goals in the second quarter of last week's win over Melbourne, and gave up more than 100 points in a recent win over St Kilda in warning signs its team defence has slightly wavered.

One player the Lions will miss from its defensive mix against West Coast next Sunday is Brandon Starcevich, who left the game late in the first quarter following an off-the-ball hit from Izak Rankine.

Fagan said he hadn't seen the incident, so "shouldn't comment", speculating that judging by the crowd reaction "it can't have been all that good".

Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks also opted to not buy into the incident, saying he'll leave it to the powers that be. "I'll let them do what they do," he said.


After losing its main defensive stopper, Brisbane found plenty of avenues to score.

Charlie Cameron landed heavily on his back late in the third quarter, managing to kick two final-quarter goals.

He has now kicked 26 goals through 16 matches, still looking a touch off his absolute best.

Fagan said Cameron, and a couple of forward-line teammates, had another gear to find that could make the Lions even more difficult to handle in the latter stages of the season.

Charlie Cameron during the round 17 match between Brisbane and Adelaide at The Gabba, July 7, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

"He’ll (Cameron) just keep working away and one day it will all come together for him," Fagan said.

"He's not having a bad year, he's just not having a great year, but there's plenty of football left so maybe the best is yet to come. We've all got our fingers crossed for that. 

"I feel like that with a few of our blokes. I think there's some that still haven't played their best footy yet.

"I think 'Bails' (Zac Bailey) … is starting to work his way back into some form. Rayner's kicked three tonight, but he's still got more to give, that's not a criticism of him, but he's got more levels he can get to."


Nicks was philosophical about his team's loss, saying they were unable to curb the influence of Lachie Neale (36 disposals and three goals) and Josh Dunkley (35 and a goal).

"We hung around and could have made it a little more interesting than we did, we just didn't execute late," he said.

"That's not the difference. I think the difference was in the first half when two midfielders in Dunkley and Neale rack up just under 50 possessions and three goals.


"We were unable to stop it.

"The game was on their terms for the majority of the night.

"We probably dodged some bullets in the first half. Some of their kicking and shots for goal, they could have put us away a little earlier."