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Young Lions bare teeth to stun reigning premiers

Highlights: Brisbane v West Coast The Lions and Eagles go head to head in round one

BRISBANE has stunned reigning premiers West Coast, recording an impressive 44-point win at the Gabba on Saturday night. 

Electrifying small forwards Charlie Cameron and Lincoln McCarthy lifted the Lions after a poor first quarter to help their side run out to a 15.12 (102) to 8.10 (58) victory.

Brisbane enjoyed a run of nine unanswered goals from early in the second quarter to the fourth term, killing off the match to their advantage.

HEADLINE Full match coverage and stats

McCarthy shone in his first game for the Lions, with the ex-Cat kicking a career-high four goals.  

Cameron (three goals) returned to the rich vein of form he hit last year before a foot injury ended the second half of his season.

A sensational second quarter goal had the 20,029-strong Gabba crowd on their feet, with Cameron beating Tom Cole in a foot race to a loose ball in the goal square.

Despite a desperate tackle from Cole, Cameron was able to get boot to ball and set the Lions comeback in motion. 

 

Prize recruit Lachie Neale also starred in his Brisbane debut, with an influential and team-high 29 possessions.

Dom Sheed picked up where he left off after his 2018 Grand Final, recording a game high 38 disposals, seven marks and a goal.

But he was almost a lone hand for the Eagles who, after quarter-time, only managed to score two more goals for the match.

The Lions looked out of the contest at the first break after the Eagles piled on six straight goals – including three in the last four minutes – to give the visitors a 27-point lead at quarter-time.

However, Brisbane turned the tables in the second term, with small forwards McCarthy and Cameron scoring two goals each to help the Lions outscore their opponents by seven goals to one.

 

The Eagles were without six players from their premiership winning team last year and had to do with a largely makeshift forward line due to injuries to Josh Kennedy, Willie Rioli and Jamie Cripps.

Tall forward Oscar Allen started strongly with two goals, while Liam Ryan also showed his trademark pace.

It was the first time Brisbane has beaten West Coast since 2012, with the Eagles winning the previous eight games by an average margin of 50 points.

Lion Darcy Gardiner’s inclusion after missing out on preseason matches as he recovered from a PCL injury paid off, with the dashing defender putting in a solid display.

West Coast's night finished on an extra sour note with small forward Liam Ryan reported in the last minute of the game.

  MEDICAL ROOM
Brisbane: Making the victory even sweeter for the Lions was a clean bill of health at the match's end.
West Coast: Key forward Jack Darling walked off the Gabba gingerly after getting a corked thigh in the last quarter. He came back out for a few minutes, but finished the game on the bench.

 

NEXT UP
The Lions will look to make it two in a row when they make their way to Marvel Stadium next Sunday afternoon to take on North Melbourne. The Eagles will unfurl the 2018 flag when they play their first home game of the year, taking on Greater Western Sydney at Optus Stadium on Saturday. 

BRISBANE
       1.5   8.6  11.10  15.12 (102)
WEST COAST  6.2   7.5    7.5     8.10 (58)

GOALS
Brisbane: McCarthy 4, Cameron 3, Rayner 2, Neale, Mathieson, McCluggage, Bastinac, Rich, Zorko
West Coast: Allen 2, Darling 2, Sheed, Yeo, Ryan, Venables 

BEST 
Brisbane: McCluggage, Berry, Neale, McCarthy, Mathieson, Cameron
West Coast: Sheed, Shuey, Barrass, Yeo 

INJURIES 
Brisbane: Nil
West Coast: Nil 

Reports: Liam Ryan (West Coast) reported for striking Darcy Gardiner in the final quarter.

Umpires: McInerney, Williamson, Wallace

Official crowd: 20,029 at the Gabba