Brisbane coach Justin Leppitsch expects the heat to be back on his midfield against Melbourne after last weekend’s emphatic win over Gold Coast.
Given the freedom of the Gabba last weekend, Brisbane midfield pair Tom Rockliff and Pearce Hanley should prepare for plenty of attention on Sunday against Melbourne.
Lions coach Justin Leppitsch fully expects Rockliff and Hanley to be targeted by Demons coach Paul Roos in the round 19 AFL clash at Etihad Stadium.
Irishman Hanley won the Marcus Ashcroft Medal for his best on ground display in last Saturday’s 53-point demolition of Gold Coast at the Gabba, picking up a career-high 45 disposals, nine clearances, two goals and three goal assists.
Rockliff was also dominant against their Queensland rivals, marking his return from suspension with 46 touches and 11 clearances.
Don’t expect similar numbers against a Demons side which has shown plenty of fighting spirit, if not necessarily results, in Roos’ first year in charge.
“They’ll get attention, no doubt, both those boys,” Leppitsch said on Thursday.
“I’m sure they’ll probably have three or four match-ups they’ll roll with.
“Roosy’s done that since the old Sydney days to Brisbane. We’re going to expect that to happen.
“They’re going to come put some proactive match-ups, we’ve just got to be on our game.”
Despite the Lions’ emphatic win, Leppitsch said there was still plenty for his young side to work on.
While they piled on seven goals in the decisive opening term, there was just two goals and no behinds in the final quarter and Leppitsch knows that’s not good enough.
“We still wasted some opportunities at the end of last week,” he said.
“You’ve got to be realistic in your performance as well as excited by the result.
“They (Melbourne) have kept their opposition to a fairly low margin throughout the year so I can’t expect them going into the game any different. They like to fold numbers back and it always makes it difficult to score when you do that.”