Stefan Martin says the Lions need to improve.
Stefan Martin says the Lions need to improve. GLENN HUNT

Martin warns Lions need to lift

BRISBANE ruckman Stefan Martin says the Lions can't rely on the Gabba crowd to get them home against Richmond tomorrow night.

The Lions play their first AFL final in 10 years and the 32-year-old said while the home-field advantage was important, it was also key that they up their game following on from the 27-point loss to the Tigers in round 23 at the MCG.

"It's definitely an advantage but the trick would be not to fall into the false security that the job's done," Martin said.

"We have got to play way better than we did at the 'G to beat them. Even though the game is here, we really need to improve because we got beaten in a lot of areas in that game.

"Yes we are at the Gabba and it's really an advantage, but we have to capitalise on it.

"We are confident at the Gabba and we obviously have played some good footy here, but if we serve up what we did at the 'G, it won't cut it."

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JULY 01: Stefan Martin of the Lions celebrates his 150th game and win with the fans during the 2018 AFL round15 match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Brisbane Lions at Optus Stadium on July 01, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Media/Getty Images)
Martin has warned the Lions can't rely on the home crowd to get them home. Daniel Carson/AFL Photos

Martin will sample finals football for the first time in a career which began with the Melbounre Demons in 2008, ironically with a debut against Brisbane.

He struggled for game time with the Demons and was traded to Brisbane in 2012 as a ruck/forward, but again failed to cement a regular spot, playing just five games in his first season north. .

Injuries to Matthew Leuenberger and Trent West midway through the 2014 season opened the door for Martin to become the No.1 ruckman. He has missed four games since.

"It's been a long time in footy without playing any finals, so I am very excited," the 180-gamer admitted.

"The whole process is all new to me. It's really nice to get all that out the way and play finals.

Stefan Martin of the Lions is seen in action during the Round 12 AFL match between the Carlton Blues and the Brisbane Lions at Marvel Satdium in Melbourne, Saturday, June 8, 2019. (AAP Image/Julian Smith) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Martin has developed into a star for the Lions. JULIAN SMITH

"I am pretty happy with the order of events. If I had have played a final earlier in my career and nothing since it would have been a lot harder to take than the way it's gone.

"I think it's nice to build up to it and do it at the later stage of my career."

Martin is likely to come up against premiership ruckman Toby Nankervis on Saturday night, with the Richmond star expected to overcome an adductor injury which forced him to miss 11 games mid-season.

The Brisbane star says it will be tough against Nankervis, but backed himself to continue his stellar form.

"I don't think you need to change too much," the 199cm Martin said. "Of course I am going to look at him as a player if he comes in and try to work out how to beat him. I also back myself to play my own game as well."

Martin clashes with Tigers rival Ivan Soldo during their round 25 showdown. Photo: Michael Dodge
Martin clashes with Tigers rival Ivan Soldo during their round 25 showdown. Photo: Michael Dodge MICHAEL DODGE

If the Lions win on Saturday night they will host a preliminary final in two weeks. Lose and they will play either the Giants or Western Bulldogs at the Gabba next week in a cut-throat semi-final.

"The intensity of the game will just go up a bit I am sure," Martin said.

"I am going to rehash what (coach) 'Fages' (Chris Fagan) tells us and that's all year we have been aiming at constant improvement and it will be silly to deviate from that now.

"We focus on the process and not the result.

"Boring as that is. It's served us really well, so I am not going to look for outcomes instead of processes."