Brisbane coach Chris Fagan admits their shock AFL season opening loss to Sydney has raised some concerns that his players are allowing complacency to creep into their game.
The Lions were blown away by a Swans team boasting three debutants at the Gabba on Saturday, with the visitors kicking nine goals to two in the third quarter to turn a halftime tie into a 41-point advantage.
While three late goals reduced the final margin to 31 points, a disappointed Fagan labelled his team “fumbly” and “poor” and said the third-quarter blowout gave him something to think about.
“Surprised and disappointed. Whether our blokes thought at halftime that ‘okay, we’ve matched their challenge, we’ll be right now’, I’m not sure,” Fagan said.
“We saw that in the practice game against the Suns in the second quarter, and then we’ve seen it again tonight in the third.
“It’s sort of like we started well then relaxed, then we got back into the game and ‘righto, we’ll be right now’. Could be a little bit of that. I need to talk to the players about that.”
After finishing second on the ladder the past two seasons, Fagan isn’t going to abandon all hope after one loss, especially as Brisbane were 0-1 after their first game last year but went on to make the preliminary final.
What he is adamant about is that more displays such as Saturday’s will not bode well for his team.
“We wouldn’t want to play like that again,” Fagan said.
“I know the players will be disappointed in themselves. I know they can play a whole lot better than that.
“It’s not the start we’re after but we got beat in the first game last year too and we found a way to get going after that.
“It’s not the end of the world but it’s not ideal. We all want to win the first week because we’ve been waiting so long to play that you don’t want to dish that up.”