FOLLOWING a shaky fortnight of successive losses, Saturday's QClash against Gold Coast is the perfect chance for Brisbane to start its push to the finals.
The Lions have been ever-so-slightly below par against St Kilda and Richmond and received the ultimate punishment from their hungry opponents, and the Suns threaten to be no pushover with strong recent form of their own.
However, the cards are lining up for the fifth-placed Lions.
While every club has copped a share of curveballs in 2021, Chris Fagan's team has endured all sorts of hiccups in the past month.
It seems a long time has passed since they walloped Geelong on the Thursday night of round 15 to rocket to premiership favouritism.
The following Tuesday they were hurried out of Brisbane on a charter flight to Melbourne as south-east Queensland went into lockdown.
From there it was a fly-in, fly-out to Adelaide – that included seven hours waiting in the Adelaide Oval cricket nets for negative COVID-19 test results – and a win over the Crows.
They returned to Gold Coast's Palm Meadows resort in a form of mini-hub, played St Kilda, went home for three days before a whirlwind 24-hour trip to Melbourne last week, only to return to the Coast to play Richmond.
A lot of flights, a lot of bus rides, a lot of sitting around.
But this week the Lions have been smiled upon and need to cash-in on it, after having their original fixture with Hawthorn at the MCG switched to play the Suns at the Gabba.
"It's been a pretty chaotic few weeks," star wingman Hugh McCluggage said ahead of his 100th game.
"Last week we went to Melbourne, pretty much for a captain's run, and then came back to the Gold Coast.
"It'll be nice to spend a whole week here and know what we're doing."
With five weeks until the finals, Brisbane needs a jolt of energy, something that's been lacking at certain stages in its losses to the Saints and Tigers.
Its consistent missing of easy targets against Richmond was as jarring as the second-half loss of centre clearances.
Brisbane has won five QClash contests in succession, with the past three being little short of beltings.
When the Lions have flexed their muscles, the Suns have wilted meekly.
Whether 'Big Brother' has a mental edge or not is debatable, but Saturday is a rare instance in recent history where the Suns have better form leading in.
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Not only have they beaten Richmond, Greater Western Sydney and been commendable in a loss to the Western Bulldogs, but they also have Touk Miller this time around, unlike the round nine hammering where he was missing through suspension.
Miller, the 2018 Dayne Zorko-tamer that led to so much friction in the two contests that year, is now a bona fide star, topping 30 disposals in his past 11 games and on track for his first Therabody AFL All-Australian jacket.
Both teams are missing players. The Lions are without lanky forward Eric Hipwood – an absence they must solve in coming weeks – key defenders Marcus Adams and Darcy Gardiner, although rugged midfielder Jarrod Berry is available this week.
Gold Coast is without forward-half terrier Nick Holman, tall forward Sam Day, midfield bull Hugh Greenwood, and co-captain Jarrod Witts. Neither team has excuses – and no one cares if they did.
Dynamic Lions forward Lincoln McCarthy says it's time the Lions rose again.
"You're probably always going to get a lull here or there and we're probably grateful it's come now and not in five weeks' time," he said.
"It allows us to sharpen up and make sure we're doing everything that creates a good side.
"We want to start winning sooner rather than later that's for sure.
"You want to hit the back end of the year with as much confidence and trust in your gameplan (as possible)."
Brisbane has home cooking for the first time in a chaotic month, and the Suns have never had a better chance to frank their development.
All paths point to a fascinating Gabba battle.