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The only team living up to key premiership indicator after Round 5, according to Champion Data


Brisbane is the only team in the AFL currently hitting some of the key markers for a premiership side, despite the Lions sitting outside the top eight after Round 5.

16 of the last 18 premiers ranked in the top four in both points scored and points conceded, while every premier in that time has been top six defensively.

The Lions are the only team in the competition that, from a ball movement perspective, are sitting inside the top four both offensively and defensively, Champion Data’s Daniel Hoyne revealed to SEN’s Sporstday on Tuesday night.

He believes a 2-3 record for Chris Fagan's side is deceiving and believes their current profile is that of a Preliminary Finalist at the very least.

“The win/loss (record) can mask things… I think Brisbane were going a lot better than their win/loss suggested,” he began.

“The reason I keep banging on about the turnover game, 17 of the last 18 premiers have been top three in the turnover game so if you can’t get that aspect right, that is when there are red flags and that’s what’s happening at Collingwood at the moment.

“Brisbane don’t have that… their turnover game, and what they’re doing defensivley at the moment, is the best in the competition.

“They are the hardest team to punish a turnover against and get it on the scoreboard. Full ground defence… no team is conceding fewer shots at goal than what Brisbane has done at the moment.

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“If their opponents had kicked to expectation at the moment, they would be ranked no.1 for points against.

“In terms of where their opposition wins possession and turns it into a score, only Gold Coast and Geelong are harder to score against at the moment.”

“This defensive profile is rock solid… in terms of a system perspective, it is absolutely rock solid.”

Adding to his praise of Brisbane, Hoyne offered a shoutout to key defender Jack Payne and his intercept abilities, while also commending Dayne Zorko for his “out of this world” ball use off half-back.

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He still believes the Lions have issues, pointing to a lack of connection inside 50 and conceding poor goals from defensive stoppages and centre bounces.

But their overall profile leaves Hoyne confident of a Brisbane win on Saturday night against the undefeated Cats.

“I think Brisbane will beat Geelong… I think Geelong are going better than Melbourne are though,” Hoyne declared.

“But I only just found out Zac Bailey is out injured, he’s been flying… and you lose Charlie Cameron (through suspension)… but with this profile, if this continues for the remainder of the year, I will be shocked if they’re not playing on Preliminary Final weekend.”

Hoyne also correctly predicted that Brisbane would defeat Melbourne last week.

Fagan’s Lions lost their opening three games of 2023 to Carlton, Fremantle and Collingwood but have stablisied their season with wins over North Melbourne and then the Demons.

After falling four points short in last year’s Grand Final, Brisbane was heavily tipped to contend again in 2024. Fagan has only missed finals twice in his tenure at the Lions which began in 2016, while he had also led Brisbane to four top four finishes in the last five years.

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