The Brisbane Lions have advanced through to their second straight VFL Preliminary Final following a 40-point victory over Williamstown on Saturday.
Returning to Brighton Homes Arena for their do-or-die Semi Final, the Lions booted the first four goals of the game to run away 12.16 (88) to 7.6 (48) winners.
It was a tense start to the final with neither team hitting the scoreboard inside the first 10 minutes, with 100-gamer Wylie Buzza breaking the deadlock with his first major.
Kai Lohmann booted his first goal of the afternoon, late in the opening term as the Lions kicked seven behinds, not being able to capitalise on their dominance forward of centre.
Holding a 17-point advantage at the first break, the Lions midfield took ascendency early in the match thanks to Rhys Mathieson, Jimmy Tunstill and Kyle Dunkley.
Mathieson finished with a game high 34 touches and 14 clearances leading from the front, while Tunstill showed his class with 24 possessions and eight clearances.
Dunkley, who continued his strong form, booted a goal to go along with his 18 disposals, six marks and five tackles.
Nakia Cockatoo got the Lions rolling in the second term kicking his first of two majors within 60 seconds.
More inaccuracy from the Lions kept Williamstown within reach after they answered back, kicking two goals to keep the margin to under four goals.
Lohmann was taken from the field and did not return following a heavy fall from a marking contest.
A 50-metre penalty gifted the Lions and Wilson Barry a goal right before half-time to push the home side’s advantage to 28 points.
Jaxon Prior led the Lions in defence, staking claims to best on ground with 30 touches and 12 marks.
Darcy Gardiner, Shadeau Brain and Daniel Rich, who made a successful return from a hamstring injury, all with more than 20 touches and 7 marks each as the Lions defence held the Seagulls to 48 points.
Another quick goal from a break, courtesy of Blake Coleman, pushed the Lions advantage before Williamstown piled on three quick goals to close the gap.
Goals from Buzza and Tom Fullarton steadied the ship as Brisbane held a 23-point lead at the final break.
The Lions booted five goals to one in the fourth term to push the final margin out to 40 points.
Majors from Buzza, Dunkley, Coleman and Harry Sharp ensured the Lions secured their second preliminary final berth in as many years.
The Lions win sets up a date with Werribee at Avalon Airport Oval, it will be the second time the sides have met in 2023, following a Round One thriller at Brighton Homes Arena, where Brisbane prevailed by a solitary point.
Brisbane 88 def Williamstown 48
Goals: Buzza 3, Coleman 2, Cockatoo 2, Sharp, Lohmann, Fullarton, Dunkley, Barry
Best: Prior, Tunstill, Mathieson, Gardiner, Brain, Rich