BRISBANE is quickly turning its attention from hammering of Essendon to the challenge of beating reigning premier Richmond for the first time in 11 years.
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The Lions moved to 7-2 with a 63-point trouncing of the Bombers on Friday night and have just four days to prepare for the back-in-form Tigers next Tuesday night.
Their most recent win over the Tigers – by 26 points at the MCG in round seven, 2009 – was coincidentally the last season the Lions won a final.
Brisbane coach Chris Fagan said it was just the challenge his team wanted.
"If you aspire to be the best, you've got to beat the best, and Richmond are the best, they've been the best team over the last four or five years," he said.
"The last time the Lions beat Richmond was in 2009 … they've had the wood on us.
"We're going to have to play really good footy to beat them but we're looking forward to the challenge and it's one of those challenges we're going to have to meet head on."
Richmond defeated Brisbane twice last season, in round 23 and then in the qualifying final two weeks later.
Fagan said he would not risk bringing injured defenders Daniel Rich – the only Lion in the current squad who played in that 2009 win – and Ryan Lester back from hamstring injuries for the match, although he did hint that veteran Grant Birchall might be rested.
"He's come off two years of not playing much," Fagan said.
"He did well tonight to back up after five days – that might be a commonsense approach for somebody like him."
Brisbane had 10 individual goalkickers in the rout of the Bombers, making it three wins on the trot despite making five changes from the team that defeated Melbourne five days earlier.
"It was a great team performance, we talk about that a lot. It's probably our best one for the year to this stage," Fagan said.
"The pleasing part is if you want to have a successful year and want to have a successful era as a footy club, you need a really deep squad.
"Tonight was a test of that, one test, there's more to come. We passed tonight."
Essendon coach John Worsfold conceded Brisbane was too good for his undermanned team, conceding its first quarter was below par.
"In a nutshell, they just looked too good for us, too classy," Worsfold said.
"They used the ball too well. There were big patches in the game where we didn’t put them under anywhere near enough pressure, that you have to put really good teams under and they made us pay for that.
"Our pressure was down in that first quarter and it was something we addressed with them. "
One positive was the form of debutant Sam Draper, who competed well in the ruck and took a powerful contested mark in the third quarter.
"I'm really pleased with a young kid coming off a knee reconstruction and not having been able to build his form through playing games of footy," Worsfold said.
"It’s a credit to him the way he came out and competed."
Worsfold said it was unlikely any of the club's injured players would be returning to play Greater Western Sydney next Friday night.