BRISBANE, Australia -- Despite suffering hefty back-to-back defeats, star Brisbane midfielder Lachie Neale says he would have taken a 3-2 record through five games if it was offered to him at the start of the season.
Many were bullish on the Lions in 2019, but few expected them to race out of the blocks and crush reigning premier West Coast in their season opener. They then backed it up with further wins over North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium and Port Adelaide at the Gabba to jump up to second spot on the ladder.
However, just as Brisbane started to enter September conversations, they suffered a 47-point defeat to Essendon in Round 4 and five days later Collingwood handed them a crushing 62-point home loss.
Neale, who joined Brisbane from Fremantle ahead of the 2019 season, said although it was disappointing to have been comprehensively outplayed in their past two outings, a 3-2 start to the season is something the young team could be proud of.
"You obviously want to win every game, but from where the team's come from -- with just five wins last year -- we've already won three now," Neale told ESPN. "It's an exciting place to be [and] we know that when we do string it all together we can be a really good side.
"I would have taken it. But I suppose after the start we had, I feel like we should be playing a little bit better over the last couple of weeks."
Brisbane will look to get back onto the winners' list when they face Gold Coast on Saturday afternoon in what is Q-Clash No. 17, and arguably the most anticipated one in history.
The Suns have also been a surprise packet in 2019 with a 3-2 record after five games. Stuart Dew's side went on a three game winning streak after losing to St Kilda by a point in their opener, but last week came crashing back down with a 73-point loss to Adelaide.
Neale says the eight-day break the Lions will have had before the game will be important as it will allow the group to reset.
"It's been a pretty solid five weeks," Neale said of Brisbane's roller-coaster start to the season. "We'll have a couple of days off, come back rejuvenated and ready to go and then reset and attack the next month of footy. Hopefully we can keep it up."