WHEN – and where - it mattered most, Brisbane had just a little too much class for a gutsy Collingwood, winning its Easter Thursday clash at the Gabba by seven points.
After trailing at quarter-time, the Lions put the foot down with a six-goal second term and managed to keep the Magpies at bay in front of 32,312 fans to win 15.8 (98) to 14.7 (91).
LIONS v MAGPIES Full match coverage and stats
Brisbane had fewer inside 50s (53-62), but its potent, well-oiled forward line had just enough class to guide it to a fourth win from five matches.
Joe Daniher continued his fine season, kicking four goals to take his tally to 16, including a crucial one midway through the final term when the visitors got within 10 points.
In his 200th game, milestone man Lachie Neale had a major influence, changing the momentum after quarter-time.
'WORK TO DO' McRae bowed but not beaten after pushing Lions
Neale gathered 14 of his 33 disposals in the match-shaping second term, shaking a Scott Pendlebury tag and finding space all over the ground.
Hugh McCluggage was magnificent for the victors, while captain Dayne Zorko (28), vice-captain Harris Andrews and rejuvenated wingman Cal Ah Chee were also among the best.
Collingwood can hold its head high, giving the Lions all it could handle at a ground they have lost just one home and away game at in the past 30 outings.
Jordan De Goey (21 disposals and four goals) kept the Magpies afloat with three final-quarter goals, while Jack Crisp (36 disposals and 11 clearances) was prolific in the middle of the ground.
The forward line that was missing Brody Mihocek (health and safety protocols) and Jamie Elliott (shoulder) was lively - with Nathan Kreuger and Reef McInnes kicking two goals apiece – but not quite classy enough when they had the ascendency.
The Magpies had by far the better of the early exchanges, hustling and bustling Brisbane into numerous mistakes, and deserved their two-goal quarter-time lead.
Josh Daicos was causing headaches on the wing with 10 disposals and a goal, and the Lions contributed to their own woes, gifting two goals after giving away 50m penalties.
The home team turned momentum early in the second quarter, kicking six goals in a hurry as Neale led a midfield onslaught at the stoppages.
Gardiner under MRO watch
Brisbane defender Darcy Gardiner will come under scrutiny from the Match Review Officer after a first-quarter incident with Josh Daicos that saw him reported on the field. Daicos had found space inside Collingwood's forward 50 and took an almost uncontested mark before Gardiner came clattering into his back a half second later. The reliable Lion was reported for rough conduct and will now await his fate.
Scott Pendlebury turns tagger
Collingwood coach Craig McRae confirmed pre-match he would send a tagger to try and quell the influence of Brownlow medallist Lachie Neale – and he followed through with the most decorated player on his list. Scott Pendlebury lined up alongside Neale at the first bounce and probably had the better of the battle in the first quarter, racking up eight disposals to Neale's four (and a goal). However, Brisbane's milestone man got on top in the second term and gathered 14 touches in a defining quarter. He finished with 33 for the night to continue a fine start to 2022.
Big goal from a big defender
It's been five years since Marcus Adams kicked a goal in the AFL, but he broke the drought in fine style during the third term. After finding himself forward of centre early in the quarter and having a shot on the run that was marked a few metres short, the hulking defender got another chance moments later from the 50m arc. He thumped the ball high, long and straight and celebrated his first goal in Brisbane colours by being mobbed by his teammates.
BRISBANE 3.2 9.4 12.5 15.8 (98)
COLLINGWOOD 5.2 7.3 9.5 14.7 (91)
Brisbane: Daniher 4, Bailey 3, Adams, Ah Chee, Cameron, Fort, Lyons, McStay, Neale, Rayner
Collingwood: De Goey 4, Kreuger 2, McInnes 2, Moore 2, Cameron, J.Daicos, Hoskin-Elliott, Wilson
Brisbane: Neale, McCluggage, Zorko,, Andrews, Ah Chee, Daniher, Berry
Collingwood: Crisp, De Goey, Moore, Howe, J.Daicos, Pendlebury
Collingwood: Cameron (leg)
Brisbane: Nakia Cockatoo (unused)
Collingwood: John Noble (replaced Darcy Cameron at three-quarter time)
Crowd: 32,312 at the Gabba