IF THERE'S such a thing as a good way to lose, the Brisbane Lions accomplished it against Adelaide in the Saturday twilight, says coach Justin Leppitsch.
The Lions led by 24 points at the final change, but ran out of legs as the visitors slammed on six unanswered goals to steal the premiership points.
Leppitsch admitted to feeling "flat" after surrendering the lead, but on reflection said there were far more positives than negatives from the loss.
The Lions got back to their run-and-gun best for much of the night, with Lewis Taylor and Dayne Zorko particularly prominent in moving the ball quickly.
Leppitsch said the reasons for the final quarter capitulation were simple.
"Contested footy, minus 14, that would sum it up," he said.
"We ran out of run a little bit too. That can happen when you're fatigued, not only losing contested footy but you sometimes miss kicks and sometimes lose your way around stoppages.
"I guess the positives are we continued putting the foot to the floor for most of the game and ran out of gas.
"That's better than having lapses within games. The lapse today was a bit more physical than it was mental."
Leppitsch said he wanted his team to continue taking the game on, and believed they would be competitive deeper into matches as the weeks progressed.
"You can't be conservative in this game," he said.
"We've got some young kids that are probably more prone to fatigue than others, but we have to keep pushing forward."
The more experienced Lions responded well after being questioned by their coach last week.
Zorko played arguably his best game for the season, while Daniel Rich, Matthew Leuenberger and Jed Adcock – playing at half-forward – were all influential after recent struggles.
Irish flyer Pearce Hanley was subbed out during the third quarter with hamstring tightness, but Leppitsch said it was not serious.
"We pushed him forward originally to see if that would conserve his energy, and it was still getting tight so we took him off. The hamstring slowly got tighter and tighter.
"I'd expect him to play (against Fremantle next week), but I've said that before."