Exon urges underperforming Lions to lift for GF rematch

NAT EXON has put a rocket under Brisbane ahead of Saturday's AFL Women's Grand Final rematch against the Western Bulldogs, declaring the Lions' midfield needs to be more accountable.

Brisbane has been badly beaten two weeks in succession, firstly by Fremantle in Perth (27 points) and then on Sunday by Melbourne at home (39 points), seriously jeopardising its quest for a finals spot.

And midfielder Exon says it's the engine room that needs to take responsibility.

"We knew (Melbourne) were going to spread hard from the contest," Exon told womens.afl.

"I don't think we were accountable enough. They worked us under and then got us on the outside.

"We knew that and focused on it during the week, but I guess (we had) lapses in concentration.

"They got that run of quick goals in the second quarter and I think we dropped our heads a bit."

Exon, Emily Bates and prolific ball-winner Ally Anderson have formed the nucleus of Brisbane's midfield in the first three rounds.

The Lions have competed well at contests and even though they look slow once the ball gets into space, Exon believes speed is not the issue.

"We're reacting second … rather than moving ourselves and anticipating," she said.

"We've been working with 'Blacky' (assistant coach Simon Black) on moving around the stoppages.

"It starts off well and then we get tired, the talk drops off and the organisation does too.

"If we can do that all the way through, it'll go a long way towards us stopping the opposition, winning the ball and getting it forward a bit more."

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Exon agreed with coach Craig Starcevich that the Lions' experienced players needed to lift.

After losing quality quartet Kaitlyn Ashmore, Jamie Stanton, Brittany Gibson and Tahlia Randall to North Melbourne in the off-season, there's even more onus on senior players.

"A few of our young players had their best games on Sunday … if we're all playing well, the young ones will follow our lead," Exon said.

"There'll be a bit of fire in the belly on Saturday because they beat us (in the Grand Final last year). After two disappointing loses, we'll be pretty fired up anyway."

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