BRISBANE pocketed four premiership points at the Gabba on Saturday night, but coach Chris Fagan has a new headache following an ankle injury to in-form forward Dan McStay.
McStay limped from the field during the opening quarter of the 16.9 (105) to 4.6 (30) triumph over a depleted West Coast and was immediately subbed out of the game.
Despite the setback the Lions did as was expected and took care of the spirited Eagles to retain their spot in the top two with a fourth straight victory.
LIONS v EAGLES Full match coverage and stats
In slippery conditions it was far from one-way traffic, as Matthew Knights, standing in for COVID-affected West Coast coach Adam Simpson, had his team playing a gritty, contested brand of football.
Brisbane generated plenty of chances inside 50, but it took until the second half to really open up a gap, kicking seven goals to one in the last quarter.
Hugh McCluggage was magnificent, kicking a career-best four goals from his 26 disposals, making the difficult look easy with his sublime right-foot kicking.
He also gift-wrapped goals for Charlie Cameron, Tom Berry and Jarrod Berry with perfectly-weighted passes and one for good measure for Zac Bailey with a lovely looping handball into space.
LIONS MIGHT RUSH STAR BACK Key forward injuries forcing Fagan's hand
Cameron had a fair night himself with four goals, while Lachie Neale (30), Dayne Zorko (26) and Daniel Rich (28) were also big contributors.
Fagan could have a big decision to make this week depending on the severity of McStay's injury, with spearhead Joe Daniher (shoulder) already ruled out for up to six weeks.
Eric Hipwood is available to play his first game next week after overcoming a ruptured ACL, and with the VFL team having a bye, could be considered for senior level against Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval.
West Coast battled hard despite being decimated by injury. Jeremy McGovern (21 touches, including 12 intercepts) and Shannon Hurn (27) did everything in their powers to hold back the 68-33 inside 50 deficit.
Liam Ryan kicked three goals from limited chances.
The wet conditions made it difficult for either team to find a rhythm early on, with goals to Cam Rayner, Cameron and McCluggage giving the hosts a 15-point lead at the first change that drifted to 29 by half-time.
Charlie Cameron is having a wonderful season and continued an incredible stretch in front of goal since his horror 2.6 kicking display against North Melbourne in round three. The jet-heeled small forward made the slippery ball seem dry, so clean was he in the air or on the ground. But it was his dead-eye goalkicking that set him apart from anyone else on the field. Cameron kicked 4.1, all beautifully struck set shots. Before his narrow final quarter behind, Cameron had kicked 14 goals without a miss in his past five matches.
Fine debut for Florenca
A lot was made of West Coast needing to use top-up players ahead of the match, but the only man in the starting 22 that came from the WAFL was South Fremantle midfielder Jake Florenca. The 24-year-old was picked on form after 38 disposals in the west last week and started his debut just as hot at the Gabba. Used on-ball, Florenca gathered nine disposals in a tight first quarter and showed he was more than handy at the top level, finishing with 19 for the night.
The half-time siren strikes again
For the second time this season Brisbane fell victim to the half-time siren. In round one against Port Adelaide Joe Daniher took a spectacular mark at the top of the goalsquare seconds before the main break and, totally unaware of the game situation, handballed to Nakia Cockatoo as the siren sounded. Tonight it was Cam Rayner who cost himself a goal. Rayner took a strong mark and had set-up for an around-the-corner finish. Just as he took his first step off the line, the siren sounded, and his accurate kick was waved off.
BRISBANE 3.3 5.6 9.7 16.9 (105)
WEST COAST 1.0 1.1 3.2 4.6 (30)
Brisbane: McCluggage 4, Cameron 4, Rayner 2, Bailey, T.Berry, J.Berry, Coleman, McInerney, Payne
West Coast: Ryan 3, Darling
Brisbane: McCluggage, Neale, Cameron, Zorko, Rich, Answerth,
West Coast: McGovern, Hurn, Ryan, Redden, Jones
Brisbane: McStay (ankle)
West Coast: Nil
Brisbane: Tom Berry (replaced McStay at quarter-time)
West Coast: Declan Mountford (unused)
Crowd: 19,331 at the Gabba