AFL: Berry in fine form for Brisbane Lions

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Lions co-captain Lachie Neale has hailed “selfless” teammate Jarrod Berry, who is making the most of his opportunity to play in the heart of Brisbane’s midfield.

Having had to settle for a place on the wing for several seasons, Berry has relished the chance to move closer to the action in a Lions side that after a slow start to its season, is unbeaten in its past three matches, including a 119-point weekend thrashing of Richmond.

“(With) his transition from the wing to the inside … he’s playing some really good footy,” star midfielder Neale said of Berry.
“His toughness and his will to compete holds him and us in great stead.

“He’s a team-first player, and listens to everything we ask of him in there. It’s great that he’s getting reward for his effort.

“He’s played such a selfless role on the wing for us for so long when he’s probably known as an inside-mid. He’s getting reward for all the stuff that he’s sacrificed for the team for a long time.

“He’s the ultimate team man. He’s first one to say that he’s willing to sacrifice his game for the team.

“I haven’t really noticed a change in his attitude, you just know the professional and person that he is … whatever role we as him to play, he’s just going to do it.”
“At the moment it’s a ball-hunter, an inside-mid and applying pressure and tackling and chase, and providing run through the middle of the ground which he’s doing really well.”

Berry is set to again play a key role in Brisbane’s bid to beat Hawthorn for the first time since 2019 when the teams meet at Marvel Stadium on Sunday.

The Hawks have won four in a row against Brisbane despite the Lions strong form in recent years.
“I feel like we’ve been a pretty good team for that period of time, and 2019’s a long time ago now, so hopefully we can buck that trend,” Neale said.

Hawthorn suffered a one-point weekend loss to Port Adelaide after throwing away a 41-point lead they had late in the third quarter at Adelaide Oval.

“It was a pretty crazy ending but the Hawks were great. They played some amazing footy,” Neale said.

“The Hawks for the last month have shown what they can do and they’re going to be really hard to beat this week. Their season’s still alive too. They’re playing it and matching it against some really good teams.
“They’ll back themselves in this week as we will, so it should be a great contest. We’ll have to be right on to get the win.”

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