BRISBANE has nothing to fear ahead of a second successive finals campaign, coach Chris Fagan says.
The Lions are guaranteed to finish either first or second after disposing of Carlton by 17 points and could win the minor premiership if Collingwood defeats Port Adelaide on Monday night.
LIONS v BLUES Full match coverage and stats
Either way they will play at least two finals at the Gabba – just like 2019.
After finishing second last season following the home and away rounds, Brisbane exited in straight sets with losses to Richmond and Greater Western Sydney at home.
But Fagan disagreed there was extra pressure following last year's defeats.
"I don't see it that way," he said. "Last year was a brilliant learning experience for us.
"We actually played really well in the finals last year, so we've got nothing to fear.
"We look forward to the challenge."
The Lions lost to Richmond by 47 points despite having more scoring shots and then lost to the Giants in the dying minutes following a brilliant Brent Daniels goal.
"I think we're better for the experience we had last year, but you've got to get the results on the board," Fagan said.
"A new season is about to begin, the finals. We're desperate to do well."
Brisbane was methodical against the Blues, dominating the inside 50 count 60-37 and never really being threatened despite the visitors battling until the death.
Stefan Martin was solid in his first game since round seven, while Brandon Starcevich, Callum Ah Chee and Daniel Rich intercepted anything that made it to the Lions' half-back line.
Now the Lions wait to see if the Magpies can spring an upset to give them a first-ever AFL minor premiership.
"It's not in our hands, it's in Port Adelaide's hands," Fagan said.
"Pressure's on them now, glad it's not on us. You never know, we might be a chance to do something that no other Brisbane team has done."
Carlton coach David Teague was left to rue a poor second quarter in which it conceded five unanswered goals on the back of a lopsided 23-3 inside-50 count.
A clearly annoyed Teague said it had happened too often in 2020.
"We need to be stronger and harder with each other," he said.
"In the critical moments we need to be stronger over the ball and stronger with our decision-making."
Despite the disappointment against the Lions and that of losing four of their last five games, Teague was optimistic about the year.
He said regardless of what happened during the Trade Period, he expected Carlton to improve significantly again in 2021.
"You're always looking to add talent, but I believe in this group," he said.
"I think we've got the talent in this group and we need the growth to come from within.
"If our list was to stay the same next year I'd still believe we'd get better. I think we've got a lot of growth and I think we saw it this year.
"We didn't get blown out, we've been in every single game ... we've competed.
"As much as I'm really positive and optimistic and we've improved, we know that we've got to get better and become stronger in the key moments.
"We've got a lot of work to do."
Captain Patrick Cripps played much of the game with a sore shoulder before finally leaving the field during the final quarter, but Teague said he didn't expect it to be serious.