Sabrina Frederick, Kaitlyn Ashmore and Emma Zielke have a point to prove for Brisbane in Saturday's AFLW Grand Final against the Western Bulldogs in Melbourne.
Sabrina Frederick, Kaitlyn Ashmore and Emma Zielke have a point to prove for Brisbane in Saturday's AFLW Grand Final against the Western Bulldogs in Melbourne. Liam Kidston

Respect a long time coming for underdog Lions

A LACK of "respect” from interstate rivals is fuelling the Brisbane Lions as they prepare for their second consecutive AFLW grand final appearance.

Despite the Lions reaching last year's inaugural AFLW decider, none of the captains surveyed at the start of the season predicted Brisbane would be there again - something the Lions haven't forgotten ahead of Saturday's showdown with the Western Bulldogs at Melbourne's Ikon Park.

"I guess it is a little bit of motivation,” skipper Emma Zielke said on Monday.

"No one tipped us to be in the top two again, which is completely fine with us.

"We kind of thrive off that. We stick to our four walls down here in Queensland and we love the thought that we're the underdogs all the time.”

After two seasons of the competition, no team has a better overall win-loss record than the Lions.

They went through last season undefeated before losing in the grand final to Adelaide and were one of four teams to suffer three defeats this year - yet utility Britt Gibson said the Lions had come to expect being ignored by observers down south.

"It doesn't really surprise us much, to be honest,” she said.

"We've been rated as the underdogs and (are) probably lacking that little bit of respect (from rivals).

"We're working as a team to build that respect amongst the competition. All we can do is keep winning and build that respect.”

The Lions will head into the grand final as outsiders with bookmakers, having lost by nine points in their round-two meeting with the Bulldogs. - AAP



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