‘You can just tell they think they’re better than us’: Robinson


Questions have been asked of the AFL and why it did not look at the already-launched NRL draw before locking in its Round 2 blockbuster clash at the Gabba.

The huge Brisbane-Melbourne on Friday will go head to head with the first NRL derby between the Dolphins and Broncos at Suncorp Stadium.

Brisbane coach Chris Fagan said it was a bit of a head-scratcher.

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“In the ideal world it’d be a nice spread for sporting lovers if fixtures can be spread across the course of a weekend,” Fagan said ahead of his team’s monster clash.

“I thought our fans would turn up to our game, (and) their fans turn up to their game.

“(BtThere might be some people that follow both codes scratching their heads about where to go. It’s good to have plenty of buzz and activity.”

reckons many AFL observers view their semi-final victory over Melbourne as a fluke.

Combine that with their “horrible” round-one loss to Port Adelaide and the Lions have plenty to prove at the Gabba on Friday.

The Demons thumped Brisbane in their three previous meetings before the Lions turned the tables in a hoodoo-busting comeback MCG finals victory last year.

“I’m of the view that you don’t really get inside an opposition team’s head until you beat them more than once,” Fagan said.

“There’s probably a lot of people in the footy world that maybe think that win was a bit of a fluke last year.

“So we’re out to prove that we are actually a pretty good football side, and more than anything else we just want to respond to last week.”

A hamstring injury kept former captain Dayne Zorko out of the season opener, where the Lions were kept to just 130 uncontested possessions compared to Port’s 257.

He’ll return to add pressure and composure but won’t solve the Lions’ problems on his own.

“It just revealed if we don’t turn up and play with the required amount of effort we’re just an ordinary side,” Fagan said of their defeat to the Power.

“I know what the numbers look like, they’re horrible.

“I haven’t seen horrible numbers like that from us for a long time and I’ve never seen us have so many blokes down on the one day.”

But, after an off-season hyped by the addition of key recruits and draft stock, does it dent their belief?

“I don’t think so … (in 2021) we were 1-3 and everyone was writing us off and we finished in the top four … it’s just one game,” he said.

“Round one is a bit like grand-final week; there’s so much build up to the season and the winners are grinners and the losers, their season is in tatters allegedly.”

Fagan said the best answer to any defensive concerns was to get their hands on the football more often.

And he explained Collingwood recruit Brodie Grundy’s arrival as Max Gawn’s rucking offsider presented the same challenge as the Gawn-Luke Jackson combination of last year.

“We had to deal with that last year in the final and we were able to deal with it well,” Fagan said.

“We learnt some things from that and they probably learnt some things from that.”

“There’s just been a bit of bad blood,” Robinson told SENQ Mornings.

“I guess you don’t have to go back too far to the Zorko/Petty incident, that was heavily publicised what went on there, Zorko apologised, and he may have overstepped the mark, (but) 100 per cent (it was coming from the Demons first).

“For players and being able to give your side of the story, sometimes you just have to bite your tongue and do what’s good for your sponsors and good for the image.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – SEPTEMBER 09: Clayton Oliver of the Demons and Jarrod Berry of the Lions wrestle during the AFL Second Semifinal match between the Melbourne Demons and the Brisbane Lions at Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images) Credit: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

“Zorko could have come out straight away gone, ‘Look, these guys were into me all day speaking about my relationships, my family or whatever’, but he didn’t do that, he took the high road and said, ‘Look I apologised for what I said’, and we got on with it.

“He didn’t want to add more fuel to the fire.”

While that incident was a flashpoint, Robinson says there’s been a strong rivalry between the sides for three or four years as they’ve battled for supremacy near the top of the ladder.

“But it’s just been one of those battles, we’ve both been at the top of the ladder,” Robinson said.

“For a while now, for about three or four years we’ve been going back and forth.

“Results don’t really matter, it was just the way we went about our footy.

“They won a Grand Final, they’ve been up there and beaten us in finals, that’s kind of been our thing against them.

“They’ve always had this kind of not smugness, but you can just tell they think they’re better than us.”

Robinson says he hopes Melbourne come to Brisbane motivated after losing in last year’s semi-final with a big game beckoning.

“So, this week is a big game for the Brisbane Lions,” Robinson said.

“We got the last laugh in the finals last year against them,

“Hopefully they come up here and bring some animosity and we have a great game.”

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