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Russell & Jenkins align on 2024 premiership tip


AFL Nation’s Dwayne Russell and Josh Jenkins have aligned on their belief that Brisbane will atone for last year’s Grand Final and claim the 2024 premiership.

The 2023 decider was an epic and will go down as one of the greatest to ever be played, with Craig McRae’s men eventually triumphing by four points.

It left Brisbane as the bridesmaids yet again. The Lions have played finals for the last five consecutive seasons and finished in the top four on four of those occasions. Last year’s Grand Final was the furthest they’ve gone under Chris Fagan.

Russell and Jenkins are both confident Brisbane will go again in 2024, pointing to the inclusions of several key players.

“I think Brisbane will win the flag. You just can’t beat Brisbane at the Gabba,” Russell began.

“I saw Brisbane’s trial game last week, they look like they’re ready to go from day dot.”

Jenkins added: “I’ve got Brisbane winning the flag as well. It’s just hard to see Brisbane now being better. They’re going to welcome (Tom) Doedee and (Will) Ashcroft in, (Jack) Payne will be back as well. There are upgrades everywhere.

“I love the season of Joe Daniher. He kicked 10 goals in the finals, I thought he was second or third best player in the Grand Final. I just can’t see them not getting better again.

“You can leave the argument that they can’t win at the MCG as well. We know they can.”

Doedee and Ashcroft are recovering from respective ACL injuries and are expected to be fit by mid-year. Payne missed the finals with an ankle injury after enjoying his best season to date.

Brisbane didn’t win at the MCG in the 2023, but were up by four goals with 10 minutes to play against Melbourne in Round 18 before self-admittedly going into game preservation mode too early.

The only question that remains on the Lions is their ability to rebound after a Grand Final loss. Sydney fell away slightly in 2023 after competing in 2022 decider, while the same happened to the Western Bulldogs after 2021 and GWS after 2019.

Adelaide also went on to miss the top eight following their 2017 Grand Final loss.

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Fagan told SEN Breakfast earlier this month that his players underwent a very honest review post the heartbreaking loss in an effort to start 2024 on a clean slate.

“It was a really good review. I love the fact that the players were so honest because that Grand Final came down to moments really,” he said.

“I talked to the players, and I said to them, ‘Is there a moment that you'd like back?’, I went around the room, and I talked to them about the idea that there’ll be no reprisals here and that, ‘You’re humans, you'll make mistakes and there'll be things that you regret’.

“But it was important to talk about them before they went on leave, so they don’t carry them around for the next six months.

“I was a bit curious to know how they'd be with their honesty because we (the coaches) had gone through the tape, and we knew all the moments. But they didn't miss one.

“They were so honest and some of them had to make themselves pretty vulnerable.

“But it was great, and in the end, I said, ‘Well, everything you just said, here it is’. We watched it on the video and that was it.”

Brisbane’s 2024 season gets underway against Carlton at the Gabba, with a final pre-season hitout against Sydney on Thursday night.

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