Hugh McCluggage celebrates a goal during Brisbane's clash against North Melbourne in round five, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

JOE DANIHER might wish he could play at Mount Barker more often after putting on a forward line clinic in Brisbane's 75-point demolition of North Melbourne on Saturday.

Following a terrific showing against Collingwood on Easter Thursday, Daniher took it up a few gears against the Kangaroos with five goals from 13 marks in a best afield performance.

LIONS v KANGAROOS Full match coverage and stats

After the Kangaroos hopped out to an early 18-point lead, the Lions controlled the second term with five successive goals and never looked back, running out 22.20 (152) to 12.5 (77) winners.

The victory was Chris Fagan's fifth from eight matches against Alastair Clarkson, the man he worked alongside for nine seasons at Hawthorn before taking Brisbane's top job in 2016.


Fagan would be thrilled with his team, which after a slow first 15 minutes swarmed with defensive pressure and played an unselfish brand of attacking footy to pouch a staggering 33 marks inside forward 50.

Lachie Neale (37 disposals and 13 clearances) was magnificent in a return to his home state, while Dayne Zorko (22, one goal and three assists), Eric Hipwood (four goals and two assists) and Charlie Cameron (four goals and two assists) also made strong contributions.

After a level first quarter, it was time for The Joe Show as Daniher took over with his high leaping, long kicking and searching leads up to the wing.

While North Melbourne's defence broke down repeatedly to allow Lions players to get out the back into open space, Daniher worked hard for his 18 disposals.


He kicked three goals in the match-shaping second term and could have finished with a bigger bag if he didn't spray a few after half-time.

North Melbourne looked like being blown totally off the Adelaide Hills venue, but to its credit worked hard in the final quarter.

The loss of influential midfielder Jy Simpkin to a hand injury in the second term – he had 12 touches at quarter-time – was unfortunate.

You could have been mistaken for thinking the first quarter was played under the Marvel Stadium roof rather than the exposed elements of the AFL's newest venue, such was the frantic nature of the 10-goal term.

North Melbourne jumped out with four of the first five goals, working harder to contests and linking up by hand.

Harry Sheezel kicked his first career goal – a gem from 50m – while Jaidyn Stephenson made the most of his two disposals with two goals.


But the Lions began getting their hands on the ball around the contest and transitioning swiftly from one end of the ground to the other.

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Hipwood was twice the beneficiary of end-to-end action that saw him get out of the back of the Kangaroos' defence, while Darcy Wilmot's brilliant snap ensured the scores were level at the first change.

Brisbane took complete control in the second, squeezing its opponent defensively and playing much of the quarter in its forward half to take a 23-point advantage to the main break.

Neale's sweet homecoming
While his forward line teammates filled their boots by kicking bags of goals, it was Lachie Neale that turned the tide when Brisbane was floundering early. Back in his home state for Gather Round, the South Australian was at the centre of everything, firstly arresting North's momentum with his sure hands at stoppages, and then being an integral part of Brisbane's free-wheeling attack. Neale finished with 37 disposals and 13 clearances (10 centre clearances) after gathering 11 in the first, second and third quarters respectively.

Ashcroft v Sheezel
Although they didn't run around alongside each other, it was always going to be fascinating watching former Sandringham and Vic Metro teammates Will Ashcroft and Harry Sheezel duke it out on the same field. The two leading contenders for this year's AFL Rising Star Award – taken at No.2 and No.3 respectively in last year's draft – did not disappoint. Sheezel had a big influence early, but it wasn't just his ball use that impressed, twice dropping back into the space of Brisbane's leading forwards in the second term. Ashcroft's clean hands at ground level were instrumental in the Lions taking control. Sheezel finished with 31 disposals and Ashcroft 23.

Wilmot's magical goal
Brisbane's most energetic player – second-year wingman Darcy Wilmot – was responsible for a little piece of first quarter magic that lifted his team back into the contest after a slow start. With Eric Hipwood firing an under-pressure handball into the left forward pocket, Wilmot tracked it to the boundary line, gathered, took a step and snapped over his left shoulder to split the sticks to level the scores. It was his third career goal in eight games and the teenager celebrated just as hard as his first in an elimination final against Richmond last year.



BRISBANE                        5.1     10.6     17.13     22.20 (152)
NORTH MELBOURNE        5.1      7.1        9.2        12.5 (77)

Brisbane: Daniher 5, Hipwood 4, Cameron 4, Rayner 2, Berry 2, Zorko, Wilmot, McKenna, McCluggage, Fort
North Melbourne:
Stephenson 4, Comben 2, Taylor, Shiels, Sheezel, Powell, Phillips, Larkey

Brisbane: Daniher, Neale, Zorko, Dunkley, Hipwood, Andrews, Starcevich
North Melbourne:
Sheezel, Howe, Comben, Stephenson, Powell

Brisbane: Nil
North Melbourne:
Simpkin (hand)

Brisbane: Jarryd Lyons (replaced Jarrod Berry at three quarter-time)
North Melbourne:
Hugh Greenwood (replaced Jy Simpkin at half-time)

Crowd: 7,329 at Mount Barker