Lions aim to pour on the pressure in QClash
ANZAC Round and QClash - there's no better time for the Brisbane Lions to get back to their aggressive best.
Uncompromising footy was the hallmark of their first three weeks of the season and it resulted in three wins.
In the past two rounds, however, the side has dropped their pressure rating, leading to losses to Essendon and Collingwood, and prompting criticism from experts such as club great Jonathan Brown.
"I don't look a lot of that sort of (media) stuff," Lions defender Darcy Gardiner said ahead of today's clash with Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium.
"We just worry about what the coaches bring to us.
"But the last couple of weeks we have sort of dropped off in that area compared to the first few games.
"We have raised it as a group. We've had a good look at the last couple of weeks and we're going to go out and hopefully fix these things up."
While there is always feeling in a QClash, today's latest instalment will have extra spice.
The Lions hold a 10-6 advantage, having won the last one by four points.
As well as bragging rights, the all-Queensland match is critical with both teams at 3-2.
"There's always that little bit extra in a QClash," Gardiner said.
"Both teams are always raring to go.
"Obviously we've both had a good start to the year, but (are) coming off a loss.
"We both are going to be coming out pretty similar ... looking to bounce back."
A training session during the week reinforced to the players the importance of winning an Anzac Round game.
"It is obviously a very important day for the country," Gardiner said. "We had a little talk about it before training, went through what it means to us
"Had a few stories to listen to ... a few connections at the club.
"Even a couple of the old trainers, volunteers who help us out, went through the (Vietnam) war.
"Some of them didn't have a choice with the situations they got put in at such a young age.
"Until you get put in that position, you have no idea about what is was like back in the day.
"Must've been pretty scary for them and their families."
The Lions will aim to show the same fight today - to a degree.
Now a member of the leadership group, Gardiner will look to be a calming influence for teammates today on such a big occasion.
"Some players might over-think it," he said. "Once you get out there you've got to remember the basics ... what we want to go out there and do.
"Don't get too overawed by it all - that will be something that myself and the other leaders will look to instil heading into the game."
Gardiner, who has overcome the PCL injury that forced him to miss the practice games, will have extra responsibility down back with Harris Andrews (hamstring) injured.
The defence will come up against a varied Suns attack led by quiet achiever Alex Sexton.
"They are quite a unique bunch down there ... a lot of different strengths," Gardiner said.
"We'll just go out there and help each other out as much as we can."