Aussie Rules

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Neale at peace with AFL life on the road

Brisbane have made the most of their rare extended Gabba stay but star midfielder Lachie Neale says they are "ready to roll with the punches" as the AFL title contenders face the prospect of life on the road.

The Lions (3-1) are unbeaten from three Gabba games since the season's relaunch, with this Saturday's clash with Port Adelaide (4-0) shaping as their toughest test yet.

Beyond that though lies the possibility of an extended stint away from Brisbane thanks to the Queensland government's fresh coronavirus protocols.

The state's sporting teams are now required to self-isolate for 14 days if they play a Melbourne team, play a match in Victoria, or face a team that has been in Victoria during the previous two weeks.

The Lions are due to play Collingwood at the MCG next Friday, while the second-placed Gold Coast Suns are in Geelong this weekend.

Both games are still set to go ahead, with a likely solution being a move to another state during the quarantine period that still allows them to compete.

It will be a task made tougher by the absence of skipper Dayne Zorko (calf) for at least some of that period, with scans on Tuesday confirming a slight tear will keep him out for up to three weeks.

Current Brownlow Medal favourite Neale is open to anything, while coach Chris Fagan has already sort out touring advice from Australian cricketers to ensure they are equipped to handle any move.

"It's changing every day, we're not exactly sure what's going on, but I know we'll be ready to roll with the punches," Neale said.

"The game's given me so much and this year it's our time to give back a little to the game.

"So if that's spending four or five weeks away at a time I know I'm prepared to do that."

He said he understood the government's decision to ramp up restrictions again, given the increase in positive tests in Victoria, but that he didn't have any concerns about playing Victorian teams.

And he said any suggestion this year's premiership "will have an asterisk on it" were wide of the mark.

"I don't buy into that at all; I think whoever wins it this year has done extremely well with so many challenges and ups and downs," he said.

Neale dominated against Adelaide with a game-high 31 disposals but had a shocker in front of goal, kicking six behinds without managing a goal.

He described his errant Sunday as an "anomaly" but it didn't stop punters flooding his social media accounts with some choice advice.

In response Neale posted a light-hearted apology, saying that he owed them a few beers.

"You cop quite a bit sometimes, but they're faceless people behind a keyboard," he said.

"I just carry on with my own business and worry about what people who I care about, and who care about me, think."

--End of article--

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