Any fears that Joe Daniher would let the occasion get to him were eased when Brisbane coach Chris Fagan invited the Essendon recruit over for dinner on Tuesday.
The pair didn't even talk about the Bombers or Saturday's clash at the Gabba, where Daniher would go on to kick two goals but also collect 25 disposals, eight marks and six hit outs in a 57-point flogging of his former AFL side.
Daniher spent time in the ruck and had sure hands when searching upfield for the ball on a wet night, his prolific outing almost overshadowed by the feats of teammates Lachie Neale, Hugh McCluggage and Daniel Rich as the hosts feasted in a statement win.
Renowned man manager Fagan revealed his Tuesday night dinner invite as he reflected post-match on a "really good, strong win".
"He was very calm and controlled (in the lead up to the game)," he said.
"I had him around for dinner on Tuesday night just to check on him and we talked about everything but football and Essendon, which was great.
"He's one of those guys that takes things in his stride and I thought he was tremendous tonight both up forward and in the ruck.
"Good on him and you could see after the game there's still a lot of respect and admiration between Essendon players and Joey Daniher which was great to see."
Neale (38 disposals) and McCluggage (32) and Rich (940m gained) ensured the Bombers, who lost Jordan Ridley to concussion, never had a sniff.
Neale has battled a back injury this season but trained fully for the first time this week in a sign he's slowly shrugging it off.
"Lachie could have taken the easy way out and not played at all in the first few rounds but he chose to put the team first and hopefully as we go through the season he'll be rewarded for that," Fagan said.
The only blight was a leg injury to Jarrod Berry, who will have scans after he was subbed out in the third term and replaced by brother Thomas.
It was the Lions' first game at the Gabba since an upset round one loss to Sydney.
They've since won and lost close games to Geelong and Collingwood respectively before being outplayed by the unbeaten Western Bulldogs last week.
"I think we've been going a bit better than what probably everybody else is saying we are," Fagan said.
"We've played some good sides ... there was no shame in what happened there last week against the Bulldogs.
"It's a hot competition though, you can't think too far ahead. I think every team's pretty good this year, and all wins are going to be hard fought, so we're pleased to take the four points tonight, but we'll move on pretty quick."
Australian Associated Press