This was supposed to be the area Brisbane was most vulnerable in this year.

With Marcus Adams ruled out for 2023 and Darcy Gardiner starting the season on the sidelines, the Lions looked short of options down back.

Enter Jack Payne.

He showed form last September, but now he looks like he could be a gun for a decade.

The 23-year-old was given the huge task of stopping Charlie Curnow on Friday night and he nailed the brief.

A week after the reigning Coleman medallist booted nine against West Coast, Payne held Curnow to one goal and ensured he didn't find the ball in dangerous spots.

With Harris Andrews returning to his All-Australian best in the first two months, Brisbane's weakness has now become a strength again.