When Brisbane was challenged on Saturday night, its star-studded midfield ripped the game away from Gold Coast, leading the charge to a 43-point win at the Gabba.

The Suns were within five points early in the final term, but the hosts kicked the final six goals of the night to storm to a 16.11 (107) to 9.10 (64) victory.

It was their seventh consecutive win and ninth straight in the QClash to solidify a spot in the top four.

And while Joe Daniher again shone with four goals, it was Brisbane's midfield that won the night.


With Jarrod Witts dominating the opening half, Gold Coast had the better of the clearance count and trailed by just a goal at half-time.

But as the night wore on, Lachie Neale, Josh Dunkley, Hugh McCluggage and Will Ashcroft got to work, overwhelming Gold Coast at the contest and camping the ball inside the Lions' forward 50.

Neale was magnificent, winning the Marcus Ashcroft Medal for best afield with his game-high 35 disposals and 10 clearances, including a stunning eight out of the centre.

Dunkley (29 and seven clearances) had the best of his head-to-head battle with Matt Rowell (18) and McCluggage (30) and Ashcroft (30) also had big influences.

Although the Suns kept fighting back – they kicked the final two goals of the second and third quarters when they looked on the brink – they eventually fell away.

Brisbane won the clearance count 42-36 and more importantly generated 60 inside 50s to 39, as possession and territory eventually held sway.

Eric Hipwood kicked two goals in the fourth quarter as the home team rampaged to victory.


It led by nine points at quarter-time courtesy of two exquisite Daniher kicks for goal, including the second on the siren.

The ball was camped inside the Lions' forward 50 for much of the second quarter (they led that stat by 31-19 at half-time), as the Suns struggled to transition the ball, but the home team did not make the most of their chances.

Easy set shot misses by Jarrod Berry and Cam Rayner kept the visitors in the contest, and then Ben King breathed real life into it with two goals in the final minute before the main break, reducing the deficit to six points.

After Gold Coast kicked the first two goals of the night, Brisbane held sway for large periods in the opening half.

Much like the second term, Brisbane again found clear air in the third as it got out to a 23-point lead midway through the term after a hat-trick of goals.

Charlie Cameron had the home crowd in raptures when he found some rare space against Sean Lemmens, burst into the clear, took a bounce and affected a perfect one-two with Hipwood before running into an open goal.


But the Suns would not go away, with King and Nick Holman converting critical goals to reduce the margin to 11 points at the final change.

Big Joe's big night
Joe Daniher continued his fine season with another four goals and must now be putting his name into the early conversation for All-Australian selection. Following on from his six goals against Essendon last week, Daniher started in brilliant fashion against rugged opponent Sam Collins, kicking two first-quarter goals, adding another in the third quarter and his fourth in the final quarter. He even threw in a high-flying mark late in the match for good measure. Daniher has now kicked 28 goals for the season and looks full of confidence after a slow start. 

King v Payne
For different reasons, Ben King and Jack Payne have both been talked about plenty in 2023 and their match-up was an engrossing one. Payne, lauded for his stunning rise to prominence as a key defender who can intercept mark with the best, started off well on his Suns opponent, but King bounced back with a bang. After missing two early set shots, King ripped his team back into the contest with back-to-back clutch kicks late in the first half and added a third in the third term. Points were probably shared in a fascinating battle.


BRISBANE                 4.2       6.6       10.8     16.11 (107)
GOLD COAST             2.5       5.6       8.9       9.10 (64)

Brisbane: Daniher 4, McCarthy, 2, Hipwood 2, Cameron 2, Sharp, McCluggage, Berry, Gunston, Bailey, Ashcroft
Gold Coast: King 3, Lukosius 2, Rosas jnr, Humphrey, Holman, Casboult

Brisbane: Neale, Dunkley, Daniher, Ashcroft, McCluggage, Wilmot
Gold Coast: Humphrey, Ballard, Witts, Fiorini, Macpherson

Brisbane: Coleman
Gold Coast: Lemmens (leg)

Brisbane: Callum Ah Chee (replaced Harry Sharp at three quarter time)
Gold Coast: Tom Berry (replaced Sam Day in the third quarter)

Crowd: 23,286 at the Gabba