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Five talking points: Gold Coast v Brisbane

Highlights: Gold Coast v Brisbane The Suns and Lions clash in round 22

1. Brisbane claim QClash honours… just
After several heartbreaking near misses Brisbane has finally won a close game in 2018, but it wasn't convincing. The Lions just scraped through to claim QClash 16, beating Gold Coast by four points after an inaccurate night in front of goal. The Metricon Stadium crowd sensed an upset in the making when the undermanned Suns went nine points ahead early in the last quarter, but a run of three straight Brisbane goals was enough to steer the Lions over the line for their fifth win of the season. 

HEAT'S ON IN QUEENSLAND Full match details and stats

Steven May takes Nick Robertson to task for claiming the Suns are 'soft'. Picture: AFL Photos



2. Beams claims third Marcus Ashcroft medal
Just when it looked like Brisbane were going to let it slip away, in came Dayne Beams. When the game was on the line in the second half, Beams dragged the Lions to safety and was duly awarded his third Marcus Ashcroft medal. With the Suns' Touk Miller once again frustrating Brisbane midfielder Dayne Zorko, Beams stepped up brilliantly with 38 disposals and an important last quarter goal. The former captain is in career-best form and a chance for All Australian selection. 

WATCH It was Fight Night in the QClash

3. Who's the hardest? 
Brisbane's Nick Robertson set the fuse for a fiery QClash when he said the Gold Coast players were "soft" during the week. It was obvious early on that there's no love lost between the teams, with the Lions' Dayne Zorko and the Suns' Touk Miller getting stuck into each other at quarter-time, prompting their teammates to join in. But the heat ramped up in the second quarter when Gold Coast's Sean Lemmens caught Brisbane's Brandon Starcevich high after a mark. Lion Mitch Robinson rushed in to remonstrate and that sparked another heated round of pushing and wrestling, with Miller and Zorko again in the thick of it as their personal rivalry escalated, culminating in an interesting incident after the final siren. 

4. Rising Star hopeful hobbles off
Brisbane was down one rotation for most of the match after young defender Alex Witherden limped off with a left hamstring complaint in the first quarter. The 19-year-old was innocuously stepping back to take a mark before he started hobbling towards the bench. The Lions missed his class down back, with the second-year player in great form this season averaging 24 touches from 19 starts. With Collingwood's Jaidyn Stephenson and Adelaide’s Tom Doedee, Witherden's form has put him in contention for an NAB AFL Rising Star award.

5. Bowes’ beauty and Sexton on fire
The continued improvement of Jack Bowes and Alex Sexton has been a highlight in a dark season for Gold Coast and both backed up again in QClash 16. Sexton booted four goals in an impressive performance up forward, while the Cairns-born Bowes spent more time in the midfield than normal to rack up 19 influential disposals. The icing on the cake for Bowes was a great speccy on the shoulders of Nick Robertson deep in the Suns' forward line in the dying seconds of the first quarter.