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Murray Wenzel

McRae's Magpies message after Lions loss

Coach Craig McRae lamented another missed opportunity as Collingwood lost to Brisbane in the AFL. (AAP)

Craig McRae showed his willingness to take some risks and has urged his players to do the same after Collingwood pushed AFL flag contenders Brisbane.

The Magpies led by 13 points at quarter-time and kicked the game's final three goals in a seven-point loss at a sold-out Gabba on Thursday night.

Collingwood fielded six men at least 198cm tall, while Scott Pendlebury effectively tagged Lachie Neale in the first quarter but then dropped off the Lions star as he slowly took the contest by the scruff of the neck.

McRae said Pendlebury's role, which limited Neale to just four of his 33 disposals in the first quarter, wasn't persisted with because it had unbalanced the side's bench rotations.

And the tall timber approach, brought about by the absence of Brody Mihocek (health and safety protocols), Jack Ginnivan (soreness) and Beau McCreery (hip), was exposed as they were unable to capitalise on a superior 62 inside 50s.

"We tried a few things - three talls tonight - you could probably say it didn't work," McRae said.

"You're going to get some right, you'll get some wrong.

"But I think we've learnt a lot about ourselves tonight about taking more risks when we're down.

"Let's be braver and be prepared to fail having a crack at it instead of being back on our haunches. That's our message."

It was the Lions' 29th win from 30 regular season home games since the Magpies thumped them by 62 points in the corresponding clash three years ago.

McRae acknowledged his side's fight in staying with one of the premiership fancies on their home deck, but lamented another opportunity lost as they slipped to 2-3.

The seven-point defeat, which featured a Magpies goal as the siren sounded, followed back-to-back 13-point losses.

"We want to win, let's face it. Honourable losses are one thing, but if you have 22 honourable losses you finish bottom," he said.

"We're here to win and we didn't get the job done."

Mihocek, Ginnivan and McCreery should be available for the Anzac Day clash with Essendon, however Darcy Cameron (ribs) is in doubt and Mason Cox could face scrutiny from the MRO for his knees to the back of a marking Brandon Starcevich.

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