Jack Bowes celebrates a goal during the round nine match between Brisbane and Geelong at The Gabba, April 20, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

GEELONG is the competition's only unbeaten team after overpowering Brisbane by 26 points at a wet Gabba on Saturday night.

The Cats conceded the game's first two goals, and despite losing Tom Stewart for the second half with concussion, ran out commanding 9.9 (63) to 4.13 (37) winners.

With rain pelting most of the night, neither team was able to gain any real ascendency until Geelong put the foot down just before the final change.

LIONS v CATS Full match coverage and stats

Brad Close kicked a lovely set shot to give the visitors a seven-point lead at three quarter-time, and then the Cats stormed home in the fourth quarter, kicking three unanswered goals to win their sixth straight game.


A pivotal moment came early in the second quarter when Brisbane lost Oscar McInerney to concussion, forcing Joe Daniher to be the primary ruckman.

The Lions lost their early advantage in the clearances, but Geelong was far too good and far too professional for the rest of the night and thoroughly deserved its win.

Despite little influence from Tom Hawkins and Jeremy Cameron, both goalless in the tough conditions, Geelong was able to punish Brisbane on turnover in the first half and then get an edge around congestion as the match wore on.

Max Holmes was dynamic off half-back with 24 disposals, Mitch Duncan (24) was excellent on a wing, and Zach Guthrie became even more influential after Stewart's unfortunate head clash.


Tyson Stengle was the most dangerous small forward on the ground, kicking two goals from his 17 disposals, while Ollie Henry also kicked two.

After its terrific win over Melbourne nine days earlier, Brisbane was not quite able to reach the same level.

They battled hard, but over-possessed the ball on occasions in the wet, missed some good chances around goal and were punished for their mistakes.

They are now 0-3 at the Gabba in 2024 after being a perfect 13-0 last season.


Dayne Zorko continued his brilliant season with two goals from 27 disposals, while Jarrod Berry and Noah Answerth were also strong contributors.

The home team had slightly the better of a tight first term, following goals to Linc McCarthy and Zorko, with the latter following a 100m penalty courtesy of back-to-back infringements against Brandan Parfitt and Hawkins.


As the rain came down even harder in the second term, McInerney's early departure began to have an impact on the game.

Geelong got on top around the stoppages, but it was slick ball movement after a Lions turnover at half-forward that resulted in a Stengle goal.

As the hosts frittered away chances, including successive shots from Jaspa Fletcher and Darcy Gardiner that hit the post, the Cats pounced again, transitioning the ball from a kick-in all the way to an uncontested Ollie Henry mark and goal.

Stengle shines in the wet
On a night where small forwards generally battled, Tyson Stengle overcame a slow start to have a major impact. He streamed into goal midway through the second quarter and then expertly set up Ollie Henry for his first minutes later. Stengle finished with two goals from 17 disposals and could have had an even bigger night if he wasn't so unselfish, looking for teammates on multiple occasions when he had the right to shoot for goal. Stengle's clean hands and exquisite skills were a standout in the difficult conditions.


Mark O'Connor v Lachie Neale
Not for the first time in his career, Mark O'Connor was tasked with tagging Brisbane's two-time Brownlow medallist Lachie Neale. The physical Irishman wore Neale like a glove most of the night, but like he's done so often in the past few seasons, the Lions co-captain found a way to impact. Neale finished with 28 disposals, including seven clearances, but O'Connor had his moments, most notably a third quarter goal, where he worked hard into space to take an uncontested mark and slot the set shot.

Big O was a big blow
Brisbane was plus-six at clearances in the first quarter, with much of its ascendency coming from ruckman Oscar McInerney. However, 'Big O' lasted just a short period into the second quarter before he ended up on the wrong end of a head clash. He wobbled to his feet, left the field and failed his concussion test. Without a recognised second ruckman, the Lions were forced to play the match out with Joe Daniher as the primary man at ball-ups and Josh Dunkley as his support. 



BRISBANE     2.5      3.8      4.11    4.13 (37)
GEELONG      2.1      4.4      6.6      9.9 (63)

Brisbane: Zorko 2, McCarthy, Berry
Geelong: O.Henry 2, Stengle 2, Bowes, O'Connor, Close, Parfitt

Brisbane: Zorko, Berry, Answerth, Wilmot, Dunkley, Lester
Geelong: Guthrie, Stengle, Holmes, Bruhn, Duncan, Dangerfield

Brisbane: McInerney (concussion)
Geelong: Stewart (concussion)

Brisbane: Jarryd Lyons (replaced Oscar McInerney at half-time)
Geelong: Jhye Clark (replaced Tom Stewart at half-time)

Crowd: 30,429 at the Gabba