IF BRISBANE wants to challenge the contenders this year, coach Chris Fagan says it will be the Lion cubs who get them there.
While Lachie Neale was the star of Saturday's grinding 14-point triumph over GWS, it was Jarrod Berry, Cam Rayner and Keidean Coleman who helped swing the momentum and drive the home team to a ninth win for the season.
Deven Robertson, playing his first game of 2022, also made a big impact.
LIONS v GIANTS Full match coverage and stats
With usually reliable veterans Daniel Rich (13), captain Dayne Zorko (14), Jarryd Lyons (17) and Darcy Gardiner all down on their usual output, it was good timing for the younger brigade to step up.
Berry and Rayner were particularly instrumental in the victory, racking up career-high disposal counts of 33 and 25, respectively.
"Jarrod Berry has been learning to play the wing all season and he's stuck at it and today there was some dividends for him," Fagan said.
"I think he can become one of the really good wingmen in the League the way that he is developing.
"If we want to be any good this year, those young blokes that have been around for three to four years, they've got to step up and they have been this year.
"(Hugh) McCluggage has been very good, Berry was good today, (Zac) Bailey is having a good year, (Brandon) Starcevich is a really solid defender now, so we've just got to keep those blokes growing."
Fagan said he was disappointed with the Lions' first quarter, in which they trailed by as much as 30 points, but said his team played terrific football during the second and third to regain ascendency.
He said the eight-day break ahead of playing Fremantle at Optus Stadium was well and truly needed after three interstate trips in the past month.
"We did have some blokes today that didn't look their sharp selves," he said.
"The important thing is that we just got the four points. That's what you need to do sometimes, just chalk up the wins and try and be in in your best form, if and when you make the finals."
Giants coach Mark McVeigh said although he was pleased with their persistence to fight the game out, there was plenty to work in the back half of the season following next week's bye.
"We probably wanted to be a bit better with our ball movement and we're trying to challenge the players in that area, and defence," he said.
"Right now we've got to fix our contest. That's probably got away from us in the last couple of weeks."
McVeigh said veteran Cal Ward, who left the field with concussion during the first quarter after an accidental knee from Lion Eric Hipwood was "OK at the moment".
He said the bye would allow Phil Davis and Jacob Hopper the chance to return from long-term injuries.