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Fans must stay loyal: leppa

Two winless teams, a host of top-line players crippled by injury, no light at the end of the tunnel and relentless rain to top it all off.
If that sounds like the kind of AFL game you'd like to avoid at all costs, Brisbane Lions coach Justin Leppitsch wouldn't blame you.
But Leppitsch has pleaded for Queensland fans to stay loyal ahead of this weekend's bottom-of-the-table QClash against the Gold Coast Suns at Metricon Stadium.
As if it wasn't a hard enough sell already, the state's south-east is set to cop up to 400mm of rain over the next few days, which is likely to turn Saturday afternoon's match into an ugly slogfest.
Amid denials from AFL House that the competition is in crisis mode in Queensland, Leppitsch said supporters simply had to "stick fat" through the bad times.
"It's not great for the state and it's not great for footy," Leppitsch said on Thursday.
"That's the way it goes.
"One things fans have to be now is loyal to the teams and the game.
"We all have tough times in life but we have to stick fat through tough times.
"You enjoy the good times - as happened to the (Brisbane) Bears in the early 90s, we enjoyed it in the early 2000s.
"That's just the reality of the cycle."
If wet weather is footy's great leveller, the anticipated conditions could be exactly what the Lions and Suns both need to kick-start their ailing seasons.
"It makes it harder for the fans," Leppitsch said.
"They're not normally good games to watch when it's pouring down rain.
"They're pretty simple games in the wet, aren't they - contested footy, get the ball running forward.
"The game becomes its purest, probably, in the wet so it'll just be really who can tough it out the most."
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan told News Limited this week the dire predicament of the two Queensland teams was only temporary.
"At the moment, the two clubs are having difficulties on-field with a struggling start but its my view that's largely a reflection of injuries to key players that have hit hard," he said.
"The two clubs are well-administered and both have good strong boards, which are taking them in the right direction.
"We will always continue to support both clubs."

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