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Lions need to learn how to grab their shot at the top

'I was hoping he'd kick it out on the full' Chris Fagan was fairly sure Michael Walters' final kick would doom his Lions after the siren but he still held out hope

THE ABILITY to close out tight matches is a trait young sides find hard to master and Brisbane coach Chris Fagan knows his side still has some work to do in this area following its nailbiting one-point loss to Fremantle on Sunday night. 

The Lions found a way to escape with a one-point victory of their own when they defeated the Crows at home last round, but found themselves on the other side of the ledger against the Dockers when Michael Walters kicked a point after the final siren to hand them a loss.

Fagan admitted the result was a bitter pill to swallow, especially after he watched his side dominate the majority of the Optus Stadium contest and lead for large portions of the match.

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The Lions coach revealed his players had spent most of their team meeting during the week watching the final 10 minutes of the win over the Crows to see what they had done well and what they needed to improve on.

Fagan now realises there is more of the latter required as his young charges failed to close out a match that would have seen his side join GWS, Richmond and West Coast with a 7-3 win-loss record.

"We are all disappointed," Fagan said. 

"We thought for 110 minutes we were tremendous and the effort was there, and then the last 10 minutes Freo just won the ball, got the contested possession and kept it in their front half.

"It was probably the only time all day they did that.

"Maybe we will have to learn it the hard way this week.

"I was hoping they would learn from last week, so there is no doubt we will have another look (at what went wrong)."

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Fagan rued the fact there was only one goal kicked during a tense fourth quarter, as both teams squandered opportunities to score in what was an otherwise relatively free-flowing game.

The lack of goals meant Fagan was unable to utilise the services of his runner, as the Lions coach attempted to get messages to his players via other means.

 

"We couldn’t influence it from the sideline because there was only one goal kicked for the quarter and we couldn’t use the runner,” he said.

"We were trying to send messages through our players (coming off the bench)."

WATCH Chris Fagan's full post-match media conference

Fagan singled out full-back Harris Andrews for his job in blanketing Jesse Hogan and keeping the Fremantle spearhead kickless for the first time in his career, while star midfielder Lachie Neale also won praise from the Lions coach.

The Brownlow Medal fancy collected 26 disposals in his first game against his former club and Fagan was more than satisfied with his return.

"They tackled him pretty hard, but he was there having a crack all day," Fagan said.

"He finished with eight clearances, 26 (disposals) and some tackles as well, so that was a reasonable day.

"Probably not as good a day as he has been having, but (it’s) a pretty big occasion coming back here to his former home ground playing against his old club…I thought he handled himself really well today."

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