AMONG the hurricane-like chaos of Brisbane's after-the-siren win over Collingwood last week, Hugh McCluggage was the eye of the storm.
In the frantic final quarter, the Sherrin pinged from one end of Marvel Stadium to the other, and as more and more pressured kicks ended up in opponents' hands, it was McCluggage who kept his cool.
His 11 disposals in that last term were crucial. Take his effort with three minutes remaining as an example.
After a frenetic passage in Brisbane's defensive 50, McCluggage skillfully bodies John Noble out of the way to win a contested ground ball. From there, he looks up, and with three bodies alongside him, picks out Jarryd Lyons alone with a skillful kick on 'the 45' to get the ball in the corridor.
His work is not done yet though.
McCluggage follows up with some hard running to provide an option for Lyons to handball to as he cruises past, Lyons feigns to give it and draws a 50m penalty from an exhausted Brody Mihocek who moves off the mark to cover the wingman's option.
Although Lyons missed the resulting set shot, it drew Brisbane within five points and encapsulated McCluggage's combination of poise under pressure and work-rate under duress.
"It all happens fairly quickly. It's something I've been working on," he told AFL.com.au.
"Early on in the season and even early on in that game, if I did get through a contest I've been rushing a bit and maybe missed a kick or two.
"I've been working at training on picking up ground balls and lowering my eyes and showing composure and looking for targets, particularly against a team like the Pies who hold numbers back – it's important to not kick it to those numbers."
After being taken at No.3 in the 2016 NAB AFL Draft, McCluggage has now played 85 games and made a home for himself on the wing.
Foot skills, decision-making and hard running were traits he brought to Brisbane from his junior days.
The 23-year-old says he's now at a stage where he understands the "situation" of the game and what it demands.
"You have to learn in the first quarter and first half that speed is there and pressure is on and everyone is 100 percent," he said.
"But this year with quarters dragging on and games going back to normal length, you might have that extra split second to make a decision.
"Knowing the stage of the game is really important, Hodgey was great at that, knowing the state of the game and what it meant.
"I've got a long way to go in that department but I'm trying to become better at that.
"You can train it and do situational training, and talk to other players about it, but nothing beats experience and being out there in those moments."
Brisbane has had plenty of practice in tight games in McCluggage's short career.
Against both Geelong and Collingwood the game has come down to the final seconds.
Last year they were 3-0 in games decided by less than a goal, in 2019 the record was 2-2, and 2018 it was 1-3.
"We've played a lot of tight games the last few years … you've got to keep learning from them," he said.
"I know I've made some bad decisions in them and they get escalated because games are tight.
"Last year we had a really good record and felt I improved."
McCluggage's next chance comes at his third home – Ballarat – against the Western Bulldogs.
He boarded at Clarendon College and played for the Greater Western Victoria Rebels before being drafted to the Lions.
"It's really exciting. Just to go back to club rooms, (Rebels talent operation lead) Phil Partington does amazing job of recognising players that have been through there," he said.
"There's boards up with player achievements. It was pretty cool to see that and show it off to the boys."