MITCH Robinson was in a good mood for his press conference on Tuesday morning, even suggesting a headline for the assembled media.
With Brisbane preparing to take on fellow unbeaten team Port Adelaide at the Gabba on Saturday, Robinson was well aware he'd be asked about facing former Lions skipper Tom Rockliff.
"I'll probably get asked a question about Rocky … we've played him before, that's nothing new to us," the manic midfielder quipped.
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However, the impending contest might not be a joke for Brisbane, with Rockliff starting 2019 in blazing fashion, racking up 44 and 37 disposals against Melbourne and Carlton respectively in the first fortnight.
The 29-year-old played 154 games in Lions colours, winning two best and fairests and an All Australian selection before exercising his free agency at the end of 2017.
"He's playing some great footy," Robinson said.
We know what Rocky can do and what his deficiencies are.
"We'll worry about ourselves and if he pops up, maybe I might tag him, maybe I might not … there's your headline right there."
After signing a one-year contract at the end of last season, Robinson has made himself an invaluable member of Chris Fagan's team, able to play half-forward, midfielder, and as he proved again against North Melbourne at the weekend, able to tag an opposition game-winner.
It was Aaron Hall lighting the Lions up in the first half at Marvel Stadium on Sunday, but Robinson – in unison with Ryan Bastinac –quelled Hall's influence in the second half to help the Lions win.
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"We know what Rocky's capable of," he said.
"He gets the numbers under his belt, he plays the keyway – the short kicks – really well and he has some great skills.
"If we target one player someone else might get off the hook.
"We're not going to focus purely on Rocky, they've got a really good team and they're playing very good footy.
"We haven't spoken too much about him, that's for sure."
Brisbane played Port Adelaide just once last season, losing by three points at Adelaide Oval, with Rockliff tallying 19 disposals and kicking one goal.
Robinson said confronting a former teammate was a bigger deal in the media than it was to the players.
"You literally focus on a job and once the game starts you forget about who you've played with, who you play against – you just focus on the role and the process," he said.
"I know it might build the game up a bit more, but literally you just forget about it and focus on the task at hand."