THE BRISBANE Lions’ troupe of busy small forwards known as ‘The Three Amigos’ is a collective "weapon" that will excite Lions fans for years to come, coach Justin Leppitsch says.
Although largely understated after his side's upset eight-point win over the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night, Leppitsch was effusive in his praise of Dayne Zorko, Josh Green and Lewis Taylor.
Zorko (19 disposals, 1.2 and two score assists) set the Lions alight in the second term with some brilliant busts and ball use, while Green (18 touches and two goals) and Taylor (21) were also pivotal with their line-breaking running and clear decision-making.
"We have a weapon, I think, and one that'll be around for a long period of time. So our fans can be really excited," Leppitsch said post-match when asked about the damaging trio.
"They all talk to each other too, The Three Amigos – they don't leave each other's side throughout the week either.
"It's a terrific strength we've got. Hopefully we can maximise it every week … and they can contribute like they did tonight."
Leppitsch said skipper Jonathan Brown (two goals) had again played a key role, and had helped Zorko, Green and Taylor to "get into the game".
Leppitsch believed his side's match-winning second term, when it added 7.5 to just 2.2 to take a 27-point half-time lead, was "probably" the best the Lions had played under his coaching.
"Just our ability to run (and) maximise our possessions and our entries inside 50 – I think we scored 10 times from 12 entries. You don't often do that, so that was good (and) probably set up the game for us in the end," he said.
The inclusions of big man Stefan Martin and runner Rohan Bewick had also been critical to the result, with Leppitsch describing them as "probably our best two players".
However, Leppitsch admitted he had been concerned by the Bulldogs' fightback from 23 points down midway through the final term.
"Lucky the game didn't go much longer – we were starting to fall away a bit in the end. But the boys hung on, so it was good," he said.
"They really took the game on and made us look silly a few times late. That's where the game nearly fell away from us so it was a bit of a worry for a while.
"We didn't control the game. We just lost our composure a bit at the end, trying risky kicks late in the game when we could've just held the game a bit."
Leppitsch said that while external expectations will rise when the Lions host bottom side Greater Western Sydney at the Gabba next Saturday night, they must continue to take a consistent approach internally.
"Nothing's ever as bad as it seems, and nothing's ever as good as it seems," he said.
"I said to our boys it might one of the first times we go into the game favourites next week. That's a whole new pressure. So we have to handle this well. You can't get ahead of yourself."