AAP AFL

Fagan points out Neale’s AFL treatment

By AAP Newswire

Brisbane coach Chris Fagan expects the roughing up of midfielder Lachie Neale to be scrutinised in the AFL offices after the Lions star was targeted for a second-straight week.

Neale was dumped in a tackle then hit late after the ensuing free kick in the early stages of Brisbane's thrilling 12.15 (87) to 12.3 (75) defeat of North Melbourne at the Gabba on Saturday.

It followed similar efforts from Port Adelaide last week, with Fagan admitting the in-form Fremantle recruit would be "battered and bruised" ahead of next Saturday's clash with Hawthorn in Launceston.

Brisbane, who moved to outright second with their fifth-straight win - their best streak in 12 years - had the last laugh thanks to an Oscar McInerney goal with one minute to play.

But Fagan said the tactics employed on the master ball-winner needed to be addressed.

"I would've thought I didn't need to, because it's pretty obvious what's going on," he said when asked if he would approach the AFL with his concerns.

"I think they look at those things pretty closely at (AFL) head office.

"Hopefully Lachie gets a little bit of protection because they certainly went after him again at the start today."

The Lions rallied from 21 points down in the first term, gaining the lead late in the third as they kept the visitors scoreless before repelling a final-quarter surge from the valiant Kangaroos.

Fagan labelled Jarryd Lyons (30 disposals, 23 contested possessions, 13 clearances, two goals) their "best player" for the second straight week as the coach lapped up the occasion.

"I'm starting to understand what it must have been like back when Brisbane were a powerhouse," he said of the atmosphere created by the 24,000-strong crowd.

The victory followed resounding wins on the road against GWS and Port Adelaide, with Fagan admitting to fears of burn out against the in-form Kangaroos, who had won five of their last seven.

"I wondered tonight would we show the effects of that, but I don't think we did, so that's a big tick for the group," he said.

"The season's all about management of energy ... this week we didn't train too much (following the defeat of Port).

"Our injury availability and ability to come up each week in the last five weeks is a credit to them (the club's coaching and fitness staff)."