Lions expected to be in finals: Patfull - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lions expected to be in finals: Patfull

By Drew Cratchley 27/08/2008 04:27:03 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane Lions defender Joel Patfull has hinted complacency set into the AFL club's squad during the season, causing the Lions to miss out on a finals spot.

The Lions were sitting seventh on the ladder after round 11, coming off a four-game winning streak.

They crumbled from there to lose seven of their next 10 matches, among them narrow losses to Melbourne, Richmond and North Melbourne.

Saturday's heartbreaking loss to Carlton at the Gabba, which came after the home side lead by 32-points at the final break, finally put an end to the Lions' finals aspirations.

"At the halfway mark (of the season) we probably thought that we were going to play finals the way we were going," Patfull said.

"We had a bit of an easier run, you could probably say, after our first half, and that's when we struggled a bit to finish those games off.

"I'd have to say we'd be pretty disappointed with the way we finished off (the year)."

The 24-year-old avoided the c-word, but admits the intensity fell away in the Lions camp.

"We still knew we had a job to do and we had to win the games to do that, but we certainly did drop off towards the end of the season," he said.

The Port Adelaide rookie said there was still plenty to play for this week against Sydney, with a win likely to set up another run for the finals in 2009.

"If we get away with a win this week we'll miss out on the finals but we'll go into next year with a bit of confidence," Patfull said.

"Next time we play Sydney we'll have a bit of confidence as well, knowing we can knock them off."

The Lions face a tough task at the SCG, having failed to beat the Swans in their last eight encounters.

The Swans are also expected to welcome back Michael O'Loughlin after five weeks out with an ankle injury, who Patfull expects to line up against.

It will be the latest in a series of big matchups for the hard working youngster, who had a torrid time against Hawthorn's Lance Franklin in round 19 before dominating Bulldog Robert Murphy a week later.

But Patfull said he considers himself little chance of selection for October's International Rules contests.

"I don't think I'll be up there, I think there's a lot of boys ahead of me at this stage," he said.

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