OF ALL the things to please coach Chris Fagan after Sunday's 33-point win over Melbourne, it was Brisbane's ability to beat the Demons "at their own game".

On paper this was sixth against 16th, but the Lions expected a brutal battle, and that's what they got – for a half at least.

While Eric Hipwood stole the show with his five second-half goals, it was Brisbane's midfield that totally dominated to set up the victory.

Allen Christensen celebrates a goal as the Lions got over the Dees. Picture: AFL Photos

Lachie Neale continued his marvelous first year in maroon, blue and gold, beating the attention of Jack Viney to finish with 38 disposals, 12 of which were clearances.

Skipper Dayne Zorko was highly influential with his 31 touches and three goals, while Jarryd Lyons (33) and Hugh McCluggage (23) were also prominent.

It all added up to an absolute landslide around the stoppages.

LIONS TOO GOOD FOR DEMONS Full match coverage and stats

Brisbane won the clearance count 43-29, including the centre clearances by a staggering 20-6.

They also easily won the contested ball 159-132.

"It was a high-pressure, intense sort of game, which it always is against Melbourne, they want to get you into that contested ball environment because they believe that's where they play their best footy," Fagan said.

"We've worked hard as a footy club to become comfortable in that environment ourselves and that was a good test.

"That's the most pleasing thing … we were able to beat a fantastic contested ball team at their own game."

Hipwood was the man who cashed in, turning the tide of the game late in the third quarter.

"Eric just hit a purple patch where he kicked four goals in about 10 minutes, which was quite amazing," Fagan said.

"He was the beneficiary of some great teamwork, but his finishing was extraordinary.

"All sorts of different goals he had to kick, so well down to him.

"I'm glad he kicked straight because a few others didn't so he made up for that."

Even before the ankle injury to Melbourne ruckman Max Gawn, Brisbane was having its way around the contest.

Clayton Oliver (36), Viney (28) and James Harmes (27) all got their numbers, but Demons coach Simon Goodwin conceded the Lions were well on top through the middle of the ground.

One of the biggest improvements for Brisbane is its depth and versatility, with Jarrod Berry, Cam Rayner, Lincoln McCarthy, Mitch Robinson and Charlie Cameron all able to line up at centre bounces to relieve the main men.

Fagan said this depth was a primary reason for winning.

"We've got to develop depth in that area, it can't always be Zorks and Lachie Neale and Jarryd Lyons, it's got to be other guys as well," he said.

WATCH Chris Fagan's full post-match press conference

"We thought maybe we could get a little bit of an advantage tonight because Melbourne do rely heavily on three or four of their guys who are super-duper midfielders, but it is hard to go the distance for two hours with four or five fellas.

"We deliberately spun a few through there and I think it helped us tonight.

"I think they played with a bit of energy and all assisted in that regard."

Fagan said ruckman Oscar McInerney, who was concussed after a second-quarter collision with Christian Salem, would be assessed through the week.