Lifting Lions have wood on ‘spluttering’ Hawks
Brisbane found an extra gear when it was needed to claim a 19-point win over Hawthorn at the Gabba and firm up their September aspirations.
Lions coach Chris Fagan's ability to orchestrate the 12.13 (85) to 10.6 (66) win over his former club put his side back into the top four.
Brisbane can now officially claim to have the wood over a side having beaten the Hawks in their three last encounters.
They set the win up with a masterful defensive effort by All Australian contender Harris Andrews and his blue collar sidekick Darcy Gardiner and finished it with a powerhouse display of contested footy in the final quarter.
The Lions clearly leant from last week's disappointing loss to Fremantle when, after being in control for much of the game, they let the Dockers beat them up in the contest in the final quarter.
Led by Lachie Neale and Jarryd Lyons they smashed them in the clinches in the final term.
The Lions did not hit the lead until after the three quarter time siren when Rhys Mathieson bucked a trend of shocking set sot goal kicking to hammer one home from about 40m out.
Ben Keays and Dan McStay twice missed simple shots that would have had Fagan ripping his hair out but a flood of possession in the final term ensured they did not pay the ultimate price.
The Lions started poorly and the crowd of 25,051, the highest for a non-Collingwood blockbuster for five years, with nothing to cheer for directed their attention towards the umpires.
The 6-2 free kick count to Hawthorn gave them something to complain about, as did an off the ball shot from James Sicily to Lincoln McCarthy that left the Lion requiring treatment form the trainers and the Hawk a potential stint on the sidelines.
Hawthorn led by 25 points at quarter time but the Lions have new levels of confidence and their fans remember their side chased down a 27 point quarter time deficit against reigning premiers West Coast in round one on their way to a comfortable victory.
This wasn't to be as convincing as that day but despite taking three quarters to hit the lead, mainly due to the shocking goal kicking, Brisbane looked to be in control for most of the night.
Hawthorn had a long period in the third quarter where they were camped in their forward line but Brisbane's defence after conceding two early goals rose to the task.
Andrews played another blinder to match his effort against Fremantle last week and must now be considered the form key defender of the competition.
Gardiner does not attract the kudos Andrews receives but his performance against Hawks ace Jack Gunston, who booted six goals last week, was superb.
The dour defender kept Gunston goalless in one of his best games for the club.
SICILY MAY ADD SALT TO HAWK WOUNDS?
Hawthorn defender James Sicily could be in hot water following an off-the-ball incident with Lions forward Lincoln McCarthy.
Sicily, who has previously conceded he needed to stamp out any ill-discipline from his game, was caught on camera engaging in a push-and-shove with his opponent in the opening minutes of Saturday's clash at the Gabba.
Sicily appeared to collect McCarthy with a right forearm to the midriff, and given McCarthy's reaction the incident is certain to attract the attention of MRO Michael Christian.
"Unfortunately for Sicily, we know he's been here and done this before," Fox Footy's Cam Mooney said.
"He put himself in another position where that is going to be looked at."
Paul Roos agreed, saying McCarthy's reaction meant the star Hawk could be staring at a stint on the sidelines.
"He (McCarthy) did stay down for a long period of time," Roos said on Fox Footy.
"The fact that he was down for a while might mean he (Sicily) could possibly miss next week. But it's anyone's guess."
Hawthorn scooted clear in the opening term before the Lions hit back in the second quarter to trail by just a goal at the long break.
BRISBANE LIONS 0.6 5.9 9.11 12.13 (85) def HAWTHORN 5.1 7.3 9.4 10.6 (66)
Goals: Brisbane Lions: C Cameron 2 C Rayner 2 E Hipwood 2 R Mathieson 2 D Zorko L Taylor M Robinson S Martin
Hawthorn: M Lewis 2 C Wingard J Ceglar J Cousins J Impey L Breust R Henderson S Burgoyne T Scully
Best: Brisbane: Andrews, Lyons, Neale, Gardiner, Taylor, Zorko
Hawthorn: O'Meara, Burgoyne, Worpel, Sicily
Umpires: Andrew Stephens, Curtis Deboy, Hayden Gavine
Official Crowd: 25,051 at Gabba
ANDREW HAMILTON'S VOTES:
3 - Harris Andrews (Bris)
2 - Jarryd Lyons (Bris)
1 - Lachie Neale (Bris)
CHRIS FAGAN - WE GOT THERE, FINALLY
"It felt forever to catch Hawthorn but we handled the last five minutes of the game - so much better than we have handled the last five of the last couple of weeks," Fagan said.
"Thank heavens our fellas are good learners. I am proud of them."
ALASTAIR CLARKSON - WE'RE SPLUTTERING
"We are just spluttering as a side. We haven't been able to put together two games - it's been the story of our season," Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson said.
"We will lick our wounds, review our season and see if we can get ourselves a bit better in the second half of the year."