THE RACE for the minor premiership is wide open after Brisbane defeated Collingwood by 24 points on Friday night.

The ladder-leading Magpies entered the game with the chance to secure top spot with one round left in the home-and-away season, but fell to the Lions 19.10 (124) to 15.10 (100).

It was mission accomplished for the second-placed Lions however, who arrived in Victoria for arguably the most important home and away game of Chris Fagan’s tenure and will return to Queensland with a top-two spot almost guaranteed after closing the gap on the Pies.


But victory did come at a cost for the Lions with Callum Ah Chee substituted out of the game with a back issue early in the third quarter, before Lincoln McCarthy finished the game on the bench with a calf injury.

Brisbane led at every change and kept enough breathing room to rarely be too concerned, except for a patch in the third quarter when the Magpies kicked four goals in five minutes to give the game a pulse.

Brownlow Medallist Lachie Neale was busy around the ball with 31 disposals, 13 contested possessions, ten clearances and six score involvements, while Conor McKenna and Keidean Coleman ran amok off the back flanks.


While the Lions forwards all had a lick of the ice cream on the Friday night stage, Charlie Cameron enhanced his chances to secure a second All-Australian blazer by kicking four goals. Joe Daniher and Eric Hipwood both kicked three each, while Cam Rayner finished with two and almost a few more. 

With the lure of a top-two spot on the line, Brisbane made the fast start on the fast deck under the roof. Ah Chee swooped for the first goal, then Daniher slotted his first for the night to send an early warning to the Magpies.

It took a moment of individual brilliance from John Noble to put the Pies on the board after he courageously won a 50-50 ball before finishing a shot on the run to halt an early Brisbane burst.

Jack Ginnivan injected energy last Friday night when he entered the game but didn’t kick a goal against Geelong. He did early this Friday night. Then he made his presence known to Oscar McInerney when he was out marked by Darcy Cameron inside 50.


Rayner kicked his second goal the Lions had a four-goal lead and all the momentum in the second quarter, at a time when Ah Chee was on all fours on the ground after landing with a loud thud on the surface at Docklands. Ah Chee would try to return, but it didn’t last long after fall from a high distance.

Just like in the second quarter, Brisbane kicked the first goal of the third quarter inside 60 seconds, this time via Hipwood. And when Cameron swooped on his third goal, the margin was a game-high 28 points and the Lions were almost home.

But Collingwood is never completely done. Jamie Elliott, Dan McStay and Jeremy Howe (two) kicked four goals in five minutes to breathe life into a game that was drifting away from the bay. Suddenly, the Magpies faithful who don’t often come to this pocket of the city turned up the volume inside Marvel Stadium.


But it was short-lived.

The Lions did what they needed to do in the last quarter to seal a victory that is as important as any in the nearly seven completed home and away seasons since Brisbane CEO Greg Swann called Fagan out of the blue and asked if he finally wanted the opportunity to coach his own team in the AFL.

Imagine what a country music star was thinking

In a moment that had to be seen to be believed, Deven Robertson ran around without a guernsey on for more than two minutes after Brayden Maynard tore it in a tackle before it was shredded off him in another tackle minutes later. The West Australian played on sans guernsey until the umpire ensured played stop for a throw-in while the young Lion put on a new jumper after running past the trainer who had it ready for him on the wing. Country music mega star Luke Combs was perched in a box next to AFL royalty in Eddie Betts. The North Carolina native is in town for back-to-back shows at Rod Laver Arena and would have been bemused by the situation.

COLLINGWOOD    4.2    6.5   12.7    15.10  (109)
BRISBANE             6.2   9.3    14.7   19.10   (124)
Collingwood: Elliott 3, Mihocek 2, McStay 2, Howe 2, Pendlebury, Noble, Ginnivan, J. Daicos, Cameron, Cox
Brisbane: Cameron 4, Hipwood 3, Daniher 3, Rayner 2, Bailey 2, Ah Chee 2, McCarthy, Coleman, Fletcher

Collingwood: Ryan (concussion), Murphy (back)
Brisbane: Ah Chee (ribs/back), McCarthy (calf)

Collingwood: Mason Cox replaced Jakob Ryan in the second quarter
Brisbane: Jarryd Lyons replaced Callum Ah Chee in the third quarter

Crowd: 38,350 at Marvel Stadium.