Neale flags triple-threat test against AFL's 'big boys'

Lachie Neale thinks the Brisbane Lions have rediscovered their mojo but says an imposing stretch of fixtures will determine if they're still able to mix it with the AFL's "big boys".

The Lions, denied by four points in last year's grand final, broke their season-opening three-game losing run on Friday when they whipped North Melbourne by 70 points.

Neale had 14 first-quarter touches and was subbed out after three quarters to manage a sore ankle he rolled against Collingwood a week earlier.

The dual Brownlow Medallist is confident he'll be fit to face second-placed Melbourne (4-1) at the MCG on Thursday, with Neale set to typically tough it out in what will be his 250th AFL game.

The Lions then face Geelong at the Gabba before a trip to Canberra to face GWS - both teams currently in red hot form after 4-0 starts.

Joe Daniher takes a mark.
The Lions, including key forward Joe Daniher, were back on top against North.

"We hadn't had the start to the season we wanted to and I wanted to lead the way in that department and just get back to my best," Neale said of his first-quarter clinic at Norwood Oval.

"I got back to my best brand with fast feet and clearances and being clean.

"Felt pretty sharp early on, but I thought all the boys were on.

"It seemed like we started to click a bit more, had more chemistry and cohesion."

The Demons are expected to mount a sterner challenge than the battling Kangaroos, however, in what looms as the latest chapter in a colourful recent history between the sides.

"We've had great battles," Neale said of Melbourne.

"They probably are the benchmark of the competition in my eyes at the moment.

"Them and GWS ... and Geelong; it'll give us a good insight as to where we're at.

"Hopefully we can mix it with the big boys."

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