BRISBANE has used a powerful final term to all-but kill off Gold Coast's finals chances with a 17-point triumph at the Gabba on Saturday night.
The Suns took a seven-point lead into the fourth quarter, but the Lions put the foot to the floor, kicking five goals to one to roar to an entertaining 16.14 (110) to 14.9 (93) victory.
LIONS v SUNS Full match coverage and stats
It was Brisbane's eighth straight win in the QClash and solidified its spot in the top four.
Unlike many of those previous victories, this was anything but one-way traffic though, as the Suns scraped and clawed and gave the Lions a stern test, leading at half-time and three-quarter time.
Joe Daniher and Charlie Cameron were dangerous forward targets with three goals apiece, while Hugh McCluggage (25 disposals) and Lachie Neale (32) were instrumental midfielders.
Despite being on the losing team, Touk Miller (34 disposals, seven tackles and 10 score involvements) won his third Marcus Ashcroft Medal as best afield.
Chris Fagan's move of putting Jarrod Berry to tag the Suns' co-captain in the final quarter was instrumental in the win though, as he quelled Miller's influence.
After Daniher kicked his third goal early in the fourth quarter to level the scores, Jarryd Lyons, Rhys Mathieson and Oscar McInerney gave them breathing space with further majors.
Callum Ah Chee was terrific in his 100th game, while Brandon Starcevich completely blanketed Izak Rankine.
For the Suns, Noah Anderson and Brandon Ellis were great foils for Miller, while Levi Casboult was a menace in the forward line, kicking four goals.
Both teams came with the requisite intensity for a local derby in a bright first quarter.
While Cameron was proving a headache for Sean Lemmens, kicking two goals, the Suns fought back from an early deficit with terrific tackling pressure inside 50 getting them on the board through Jack Lukosius.
Debutant Elijah Hollands kicked a goal with his first touch in the big time, and Lions skipper Dayne Zorko provided a highlight when he unleashed a torpedo from half-back that found a high-flying Lincoln McCarthy to give the hosts an eight-point lead.
Gold Coast got on top during the second quarter, thanks largely to Miller's 12-disposal term, kicking five of the final six goals of the half to take a narrow lead to the main break.
Mathieson brings back the shotgun
Rhys Mathieson made a big impact in his first game of the season against Greater Western Sydney last week and continued his fine form against the Suns. The 'Beast' was again right in the thick of the action around the contest, finishing with 18 disposals and two goals – including one clutch finish in the final term. When his calm set shot from 30m sailed through, Mathieson brought back his famed 'shotgun' celebration – much to the delight of the home fans.
Hollands' first kick, first goal
It was a memorable night in so many ways for Suns debutant Elijah Hollands. After having to wait almost two years to play his first senior game, the former No.7 draft pick was in everything. Midway through the first quarter he joined the 'first kick, first goal' club with a nonchalant 40m set shot. He then had a moment he'd rather forget in the second, playing on from a mark near his defensive goalsquare, only to have the kick smothered by Joe Daniher, who duly slotted the goal from close range. Hollands was fantastic though, finishing with two goals from 10 disposals and having a huge impact.
Is this the most inventive kick of the season?
There's been plenty of candidates for this fictitious category in 2022, but Jack Lukosius put forward an incredible submission during the second quarter. Gathering the ball 60m from goal on the half-forward flank, he dropped to one knee and risked being swallowed up by a Lions tackler, but realising time was of the essence, the lanky forward flung the ball on his right boot – with his left knee on the ground – and hit David Swallow with a 20m pass on the chest and the milestone man duly went back and kicked the goal.
BRISBANE 4.3 6.9 11.11 16.14 (110)
GOLD COAST 3.1 8.3 13.6 14.9 (93)
Brisbane: Cameron 3, Daniher 3, Mathieson 2, McCarthy 2, Ah Chee, Bailey, Hipwood, McCluggage, McInerney, Lyons
Gold Coast: Casboult 4, Chol 2, Ellis 2, Hollands 2, Ainsworth, Lukosius, Rankine, Swallow
Brisbane: McCluggage, Neale, Starcevich, Ah Chee, Bailey, Cameron
Gold Coast: Miller, Ellis, Anderson, Casboult, Lukosius, Witts
Brisbane: Rich (concussion)
Gold Coast: Ballard (knee)
Brisbane: Darcy Fort (replaced Daniel Rich in the last quarter)
Gold Coast: Oleg Markov (replaced Charlie Ballard at three-quarter time)
Crowd: 21,467 at the Gabba