FOR THE second time in less than a week, Brisbane coach Chris Fagan has defended the perception of his team's over-reliance on an All Australian.
On Tuesday he said his side wasn't the "Harris Andrews Football Club" after media questioned the Lions' premiership credentials following a long-term hamstring injury to the star defender.
SWANS v LIONS Full match coverage and stats
And following Sunday night's 32-point win over Sydney, Fagan said the Lions were also not reliant on Lachie Neale having to dominate for them to win.
Neale was kept to just 15 disposals by Swans tagger Ryan Clarke in Cairns, but it made little difference to Brisbane, who slammed on six of the game's final seven goals to win by 32 points.
Fagan said the Lions had an even midfield and could do well even when the Brownlow Medal favourite was restricted.
"If we're reliant on Lachie Neale we're not going to go very far," Fagan said.
"We love it when he plays well but we've shown all year that at times when he gets stopped, which is not very often, we've got other guys that can step up to the mark.
"We need depth in the midfield and to be able to rely on a lot of guys and that's what we've had all year round."
With Jarrod Berry (shoulder) missing through injury, it was Jarryd Lyons' turn to excel against Sydney, collecting 20 disposals and kicking a goal.
There's also captain Dayne Zorko, Hugh McCluggage, Cam Ellis-Yolmen and many others that rotate on-ball.
"It's not about how many clearances Lachie Neale gets, it's about how we go as a team, and I expect all of them to help each other out from time to time, not just Lachie," Fagan said.
"Lachie doesn't expect it. We'll just go about our work from our midfield having an even contribution from a number of players."
Brisbane's win locks up a top-two position and ensures the Lions will host a qualifying final.
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Fagan said although his side's lacked composure at times during the victory, the performance was still full of merit.
"For our players to dig deep when the scoreboard got close, it's just an effort I'm proud of," he said.
"They did respond to the occasion and lifted the intensity and finished off the game strongly."
Fagan's Sydney counterpart John Longmire was left to rue the final 10 minutes of the match after his team drew within two points early in the last quarter.
Longmire pointed to the positives of winning the ground ball and contested ball counts, and trailing inside 50s by just four, but was frustrated by the finish to the match.
"I just regret that period that we could have hit the front there at the 10-minute mark of the last quarter – we gave ourselves a real chance," Longmire said.
"They were able to kick some easy goals.
"We took the game on in the last quarter, we wanted to win it, not save it … sometimes as a young team you get it right and sometimes you get it wrong.
"We're working really hard to get another group together to be able to have a crack.
"It's not always going to work and there'll be periods in the game where it's going to fluctuate.
"It's not something we're willing to accept, and we'll drive the group really hard to not accept it."