Brisbane assistant coach, Jade Rawlings

Lions refuse to panic: Rawlings
Thursday, June 09, 2011 - 2:00 PM

BRISBANE Lions assistant coach Jade Rawlings has described Saturday night's 65-point loss against the Sydney Swans as an aberration and said there was no knee jerk reaction at the Gabba this week.

The Lions slumped to a 2-8 record after trailing the Swans by 72 points at half-time in what coach Michael Voss described as their worst half of the season.

Rawlings said despite the loss of fullback and defensive pillar Daniel Merrett to back stress fractures during the week, the Lions were not panicking ahead of Sunday's match against Carlton at Etihad Stadium.

"Anyone that has measured us this year over 10 games would see we've been competitive in every game. The first half [against the Swans] was well below what we expect and the players acknowledge that," Rawlings said.

"We don't feel anything needs to change dramatically because we think we're on the right path."

The Lions put a lot of work into improving contested footy during the week, after they were smashed by the Swans in the key indicator.

The Swans led overall disposals (110-52) and clearances (14-2) at quarter-time.

Rawlings said the Lions had the talent, the courage and the hardness to win the ball, but had to work on their technique.

"It's about attacking the footy, winning our ball when it's our chance," he said.

"The main part is that the players believe that when it's their turn to win it they have the skill set, the bodies and the mentality to be able to go and do that."

Rawlings, the Lions’ defensive coach, said Merrett's loss for up to 10 weeks was huge.

However, he said they had the personnel to cover his absence, beginning with Sunday's contest against a versatile Carlton forward line.

"His form has been exemplary," Rawlings said of Merrett.

"Everyone's seen the improvement in his game this year, and the leadership he offers has been the other part.

"He was under duress the other night but he didn't let on to anybody until after the game so that's just another testament to his pain threshold and commitment to this group.

"We've got a pretty adaptable backline. We've got guys that can play small quick or tall quick so that flexibility is a key component of any backline these days.

"One of our strengths this year has been our backline and being able to defend all types of forward lines so hopefully we can do that again this week."

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