Brisbane's season still has a pulse after a 43-point win over the Western Bulldogs on Friday night.

A refreshed Eric Hipwood made a statement with an equal career-high six goals as his Lions cruised to the 17.12 (114) to 10.11 (71) win under the Marvel Stadium roof.


Lachie Neale was allowed plenty of time and space to direct his team, moving freely to gather 38 disposals, 10 clearances and two goals. In return, the Lions refused to allow the Bulldogs any such freedom with the ball.

The impact of Josh Dunkley (24 disposals, one goal) and Jarrod Berry (23 disposals, one goal) through the middle was equally important, the latter tasked with nullifying Marcus Bontempelli for the duration.

After an inspirational best on ground performance from Bontempelli last week, he was well held to 19 disposals, yet still broke through for three goals in his tireless attempts to lift his side.

Brisbane's strength around the contest was evident from the off, leading the clearance count 30-13 at the half to put the home side on the back foot at the source, eventually winning the metric 50-32.


The visitors made end-to-end transition a real feature of the game, often propelled by Hugh McCluggage (24 disposals, six clearances) and Darcy Wilmot (23 disposals, 461 metres gained) out of the back half, and utilising the space created by the forward line.

Without Aaron Naughton (knee) and Sam Darcy (suspension), Jamarra Ugle-Hagan (two goals) became the Bulldogs' main target in attack. He moved well early and proved why comparisons have been made between him and Lance Franklin, but he had to fight hard all night.

Ugle-Hagan was supported by emerging key defender James O'Donnell, who spent the night in attack attempting to limit Harris Andrews, while kicking two goals of his own.

Tom Liberatore's return from concussion saw him pick up where he left off, throwing his weight around at the contest he was industrious in his attempts to set up teammates. He was the Dogs' strongest midfield presence with 23 disposals and seven clearances.

The Lions' forward unit made a concerted effort to apply pressure, often sprinting out of the attacking 50 at the restart to offer support to the midfield group. Although Charlie Cameron struggled to get his hands on the footy, he never stopped working defensively, while Kai Lohmann and Logan Morris were always on the move.


It wasn't just in support of the midfield where the front six made an impact defensively, Brisbane laid 15 tackles inside 50 compared to the Dogs' six, refusing the home side any easy exits and keeping them under the pump for the duration.

The win keeps Brisbane's season alive at 5-6-1 after an inconsistent start, while the Bulldogs are now 6-7.

Freedom to move

Reigning Brownlow medallist Lachie Neale was afforded time and space for much of the game to rack up the possessions and do plenty of damage through the middle of the ground for Brisbane. With 15 disposals and four clearances in the first quarter alone, Neale ultimately finished the game with 38 and 10. Where the Lions were sending Jarrod Berry to quell the impact of Marcus Bontempelli, the Bulldogs didn't opt for a similar structure and in the end, it hurt them.

Hipwood's heroics

On return from a one-match suspension, Brisbane forward Eric Hipwood was seriously dangerous in attack on Friday night. Moving well and attacking the ball with strength, Hipwood fed off his teammates' forward pressure game. His equal career-high six goals came in a variety of forms, including neat set shots, impressive movement out of congestion, and gathers out the back. Especially evident was his connection with youngster Logan Morris who, after kicking a goal of his own, pressed high out of the attacking 50 and delivered the ball beautifully to Hipwood deep.

The best laid plans

The Western Bulldogs came in with a clear plan to minimise the impact of Brisbane co-captain Harris Andrews. Emerging key defender James O'Donnell was sent into attack to occupy Andrews. The pair went toe-to-toe before Dog Alex Keath was taken from the ground to complete a concussion test midway through the first quarter. With Keath off the field, O'Donnell spent the remainder of the term in his home of defence, before returning to his role on Andrews after the first break. Although the task was largely to limit Andrews, O'Donnell was in fact the player to kickstart his Bulldogs late in the second term, wheeling around and kicking just his second goal in the AFL to end a run of five consecutive Brisbane majors.

         4.0       5.4       8.7       10.11 (71)
BRISBANE                               4.3     10.7     13.9     17.12 (114) 


Western Bulldogs: Bontempelli 3, Ugle-Hagan 2, O'Donnell 2, West, Treloar, Garcia
Hipwood 6, Neale 2, Daniher 2, Bailey 2, Rayner, Morris, Lohmann, Dunkley, Berry


Western Bulldogs: Bontempelli, Liberatore, Williams, Garcia, Treloar
Neale, Dunkley, Hipwood, Starcevich, Berry, McCluggage


Western Bulldogs: Nil


Western Bulldogs: Buku Khamis (replaced Rory Lobb in the fourth quarter)
Noah Answerth (replaced Conor McKenna in the fourth quarter)


Crowd: 31,042 at Marvel Stadium