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Lions make it seven straight to stay on track for top two

The Lions strengthened its grip on a top-four spot, but its 18-point win over the Western Bulldogs has come at a cost with skipper Dayne Zorko suffering a hamstring injury.

The Lions moved equal top with Geelong and West Coast – third on percentage – with its fighting 14.14 (98) to 11.14 (80) victory.

Zorko's injury late in the third term threatened to derail a clinical performance to that point, with the home team's 43-point advantage quickly evaporating.

The Bulldogs kicked four consecutive goals to reduce the margin to 17 points at the last change before Brisbane steadied in the last quarter.

Not only is Zorko the club captain, but he's the competition's best pressure player and his departure momentarily took the ferocity out of the Lions' bite.

The Lions will be sweating on the severity of his injury with matches against Gold Coast, Geelong and Richmond to round out the season.

Eric Hipwood's two set shots steadied the ship in the final term as the Dogs never truly threatened.

The win was the Lions' seventh straight and broke a five-match drought against Luke Beveridge's men that dated back to 2015.

Charlie Cameron was again a menace in the forward line, kicking four goals, while Allen Christensen and Hipwood finished with two each.

 

Mitch Robinson was a wrecking ball in the first half as the Lions established a 29-point lead, with the in-form wingman finishing with 24 disposals and two goals.

Jarrod Berry and Lachie Neale were also pivotal around the contest.

While the Bulldogs had more than their fair share of the footy – 72 more disposals, five more inside 50s and 10 more clearances – the Lions were ruthless when taking the ball forward.

As they have for much of the season, the Bulldogs struggled to capitalise on the work of their midfield.

Jack Macrae collected a ridiculous 45 disposals and superstar Marcus Bontempelli almost single-handedly lifted his side in the second half.

Bontempelli gathered 35, including 13 in a team-lifting third quarter.

Brisbane's desperate defence should be applauded, with Darcy Gardiner's ball-and-all tackle on Bailey Dale, that saved a potential goal in the second quarter, a prime example.

BRISBANE                           4.3     7.7    11.9     14.14 (98)
WESTERN BULLDOGS          0.4     2.8     8.10     11.14 (80)

GOALS
Brisbane: Cameron 4, Christensen 2, Robinson 2, Hipwood 2, McInerney, Rayner, McCluggage, Neale
Western Bulldogs: Schache 2, Naughton 2, English, Dale, Richards, Johannisen, Lipinski, Bontempelli

BEST
Brisbane: Robinson, Andrews, Neale, Berry, Cameron, Martin
Western Bulldogs: Bontempelli, Macrae, Smith, Bailey, Dunkley, Daniel 

INJURIES
Brisbane: Zorko (hamstring)
Western Bulldogs: Wood (head knock)

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Chamberlain, Fleer, Gianfagna

Official crowd: 25,831 at the Gabba

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs