Charlie Cameron celebrates a goal during Brisbane's clash against Collingwood in round four, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

IT MIGHT be a while before Cam Rayner plays in defence again after the former No.1 draft pick put on a scintillating performance to lead Brisbane to a 33-point win over Collingwood on Thursday night.

After playing in defence for the first three games of the season, Rayner was magnificent in the forward 50, kicking four goals and doing so much more in the 18.8 (116) to 11.17 (83) triumph.

LIONS v MAGPIES Full match coverage and stats

Charlie Cameron matched his career high with six goals, while Joe Daniher and Eric Hipwood also answered their critics on a night when Brisbane again showed its best footy was as good as any in the competition.

Oscar McInerney (11 clearances) led a midfield that overwhelmed the understrength Collingwood ruck division, while Lachie Neale (22 and seven clearances) and Josh Dunkley (25 and seven clearances) were also tireless.


Collingwood started briskly, but it was Rayner that turned the early tide.

Firstly he took a towering mark in the goalsquare for his first goal, then added a second moments later when he burst from congestion to beat two defenders and bang one home on the run.

He finished with 17 disposals and 10 score involvements that included three direct assists.

Brisbane took control with six unanswered goals in the second term and piled on 10 in succession across the second and third terms.


Its defensive intensity – across every line – ensured Collingwood was regularly under pressure with the ball, forcing it into mistakes.

Daniher and Hipwood kicked two goals apiece, and even more pleasing to coach Chris Fagan, they impacted contests with physicality and played with an intensity that was lacking last week.

Collingwood never gave up and continued to trouble Brisbane until the final siren, but could never put genuine scoreboard pressure on the host.

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The Magpies bounced from the blocks quickly, using their customary fast ball movement to trouble Brisbane and take a 13-point lead to the first change.

Bobby Hill was lively, kicking two goals, while Nick Daicos capped a 10-touch opening term with a set shot from 50m that he flushed.


The game changed dramatically in the second quarter as Brisbane took control around the contest.

After Collingwood won the first couple of centre clearances, McInerney and then Daniher held sway in the ruck to give the home team first use.

The Lions kicked six unanswered goals for the term, with Daniher and Hipwood having major impacts.


Brisbane's big forwards bounce back
After a week of criticism following a poor outing against the Western Bulldogs in round three, twin towers Eric Hipwood and Joe Daniher bounced back in emphatic fashion. They had quiet first quarters but were both instrumental in Brisbane's defining second term. Hipwood gave up a shot at goal to find Daniher, who converted, in a closer position, and then provided a terrific contest for Jarrod Berry to crumb and goal. Hipwood then kicked his own goal and crashed into a courageous Nathan Murphy to cap an influential term. Daniher kicked two goals from 20 disposals, offering great contests inside the forward 50 and also as a back-up ruckman. They've now set a standard the coach will hope they meet every week.


Collingwood's battles without a ruckman
It was always going to be a tall order for the Magpies around the contest following injuries to recognised ruckmen Darcy Cameron and Mason Cox. Craig McRae opted for returning former Lion Dan McStay to do the bulk of the work and after a relatively even beginning, Oscar McInerney and his midfield mates got on top for the home team. After trying a variety of taps, McInerney eventually started thumping the ball forward or grabbing it himself (11 clearances). The final clearance count was a 46-37 advantage to the Lions that often gave them good field position. Not only did the Magpies struggle at the stoppages, but on two occasions in the critical second quarter they conceded free kicks from the centre circle because of structural confusion that led to 6-6-6 infringements.

How good are these two father-sons?
After watching Nick Daicos and Will Ashcroft strut their stuff, it's hard to not get excited about the next decade-plus if you're a Collingwood or Brisbane fan. Daicos was magnificent for the Magpies – as he always is – finishing with 38 disposals and two goals and almost single-handedly at times keeping his team in the game. His 16-disposal third quarter when thrown on the ball was breathtaking. Ashcroft, in just his fourth career game, was not far behind. When Brisbane was fumbling and looking for some poise early in the second term, it was last year's No.2 draft pick that showed clean hands on the wing to set up a goal for Daniher. He finished with 26 disposals to be one of Brisbane's best.


BRISBANE                  3.2     9.4     14.6     18.8 (116)
COLLINGWOOD          5.3     5.6     8.12     11.17 (83)

Brisbane: Cameron 6, Rayner 4, Hipwood 2, Daniher 2, Zorko, Wilmot, Prior, Berry
Mihocek 3, Hill 2, N.Daicos 2, Johnson, De Goey, Crisp, Adams

Brisbane: Rayner, Neale, Cameron, Daniher, Dunkley, Ashcroft
N.Daicos, Quaynor, Mihocek, Maynard, Pendlebury

Brisbane: Nil

Brisbane: Deven Robertson (replaced Jack Gunston in fourth quarter)
Oleg Markov (replaced Reef McInnes in third quarter)

Crowd: 33,565 at the Gabba