POSITIVE reinforcement while in quarantine and some pointed reminders about what they are capable of was the key to Brisbane rediscovering its trademark pressure, according to coach Chris Fagan.
The Lions all but sealed a top six finish and reasserted themselves as a contender with a 64-point win against Fremantle at Optus Stadium on Sunday, bringing the energy that had been lacking through a poor month.
DOCKERS v LIONS Full match coverage and stats
Fagan said the Lions had used their week in hotel quarantine in Perth's northern suburbs to build the players' confidence and he was pleased to see the team produce a style of football that will hold up in finals.
"It was just reminding the boys of the performances they are actually capable of, going back to some of our better games of the year and looking at vision from those games," Fagan said on Sunday night.
"We've taken the positive pathway this week to build our guys up, remind them what we're capable of and encourage them to bring it out today, which they have been able to do."
The Lions out-tackled Fremantle 71-35 and laid 25 tackles inside 50 to just six, overwhelming their opponents with forward pressure to create scoring opportunities.
"We talked a lot about that during the week. We thought that part of our game had drifted a bit," Fagan said.
"They were led well in the tackling department by their captain (Dayne Zorko), who had 10 tackles for the game. He set the best example that anyone could."
Fagan praised tough midfielder Jarrod Berry for his accountable job on Dockers star Andrew Brayshaw, which he said set the Lions up for victory by limiting the midfielder's score involvements.
Wingman Mitch Robinson was a good chance to face Collingwood next week after being substituted out with calf tightness, while Darcy Gardiner (shoulder) and Lachie Neale (gastro) should also be available.
Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir said Brayshaw, who still had 25 disposals, had handled the Lions' targeted treatment well and relished the challenge presented by Berry.
But overall the Dockers had proven they were not ready to cope with the higher expectations that come with being in the top eight, slipping from eighth to 12th with the heavy defeat.
"I think sometimes as a player you read all the good press, you get all the pats on the back after a good effort last week," he said.
"It doesn’t take much of a lowering of preparation for you to get whacked in this game, especially when you come up against good sides. We got a lesson today."
Longmuir said the Dockers had a level of pressure they could handle from the opposition, but a theme of their season was that they couldn't absorb anything above that and still play their way.
"We need to set our standards a lot higher so we can start mixing it with teams that play at a top-four level, and they played at a top-four level today," he said.
Defender Nathan Wilson will undergo scans after being substituted out for a tight hamstring but has not been ruled out of next weekend's Western Derby.
Longmuir said the priority for the Dockers ahead of that must-win clash was working on their "execution under pressure and being predictable to each other in those moments".
They come out of quarantine on Monday, which the coach said would help their preparation, while the Lions will stay in Perth awaiting directions on their next move from the AFL.