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AFL Lions ready to end MCG hoodoo: Rayner

3 minute read

Brisbane's Cam Rayner believes the Lions have the group to end an eight-year wait for an AFL win at the MCG when they face Richmond on Sunday.

CAMERON RAYNER.
CAMERON RAYNER. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

Brisbane's Cam Rayner not only believes the Lions have the group to end an eight-year MCG hoodoo but a victory over Richmond on Sunday will enhance their AFL premiership credentials.

The Lions haven't won at the home of football since a 67-point triumph over Collingwood in round 21, 2014.

Since then they've played 10 and lost 10 at the venue, including a 64-point hammering at the hands of premiers Melbourne in round 15 this year.

"If we want to have a really good result by the end of the year, then we've got to start winning games at this ground," Rayner told reporters on Tuesday.

"I guess it's spoken about a lot in the media that we haven't been able to do that but there's hurdles that we've had over the year - we hadn't beaten Sydney in Sydney for a while - and this group's really capable of doing that."

Last Saturday's 17-point win over Queensland rivals Gold Coast at the Gabba was the first time since round nine the Lions have won back-to-back matches.

After a bumpy mid-season patch where the club won four and lost four, Rayner believes the ingredients are all there for the club to find its best form at the right time in the season as it looks to make light of a poor recent finals record in the quest for the flag.

Rayner is also confident the best still lies ahead for him personally after a solid, if unspectacular, return from the ACL injury which wrecked his 2021 season.

The 22-year-old has been an ever-present this season, averaging more disposals, inside 50s and clearances than at any point in his career but is aiming for more in the final weeks of the campaign.

"If I got told last year that I was going to come back and not miss a game, I would have been over the moon," Rayner said.

"Knowing that I've come back and played and my body's felt really well, it's a credit to the work that all the physio staff did with me last year.

"I feel like, at the moment, I'm probably playing two or three good games then I have a bit of a quiet one.

"So that's a little bit of a growth for me.

"Similar to the team, though, if there's a time to start really putting some good games together, this is the time now.

"That's what we're going to try and do."

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