It was a brutal return to football for Brisbane Lions defender Harris Andrews as his man Tom Hawkins booted seven goals but Lions Coach Chris Fagan said the team's defensive faults, rather than the backman's, allowed the big Cat to dominate.

Andrews hadn't played since Round 14, when a sickening collision with Greater Western Sydney forward Jeremy Cameron left the Lion with a brain bleed.

In his comeback, the 21-year-old was assigned Hawkins, who was coming off a seven-goal performance in a thrilling victory over Melbourne and now sits second in the Coleman Medal race, with North Melbourne's Ben Brown in the lead by four.

Hawkins repeated that tally against Brisbane as the Cats were victorious by 42 points at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

"Harris hasn't played for four weeks after a big hit but he's ready to play, so you bring him back in. He'll learn from that experience," Fagan said.

"He (Hawkins) did it to the full-back last week as well, so Hawkins is in great form.

"The thing about it is, it's the pressure you put on up the ground and some of our turnovers didn't allow us to put that pressure on.

"I thought we played too fast at times, turned the ball over, we were all committed on attack, ball comes back the other way and Hawkins had a lot of space to work into, so you never look at those battles as Hawkins versus Harris Andrews. You look at the bigger picture. 

"Our lack of ability to put pressure on some of that disposal, because of our turnovers, caused Harris a few headaches as well."

The Lions were coming off an impressive month when they went 3-1, with the only loss to Adelaide by five points.

Despite the margin blowing out, they were far from disgraced in a competitive showing.

"There was a one-minute period just before half-time where they kicked two goals and there was a five-minute period after half-time where they kicked three goals, so they kicked five goals in about seven minutes, and really that was the game," Fagan said. 

"In a sense, we've gone down by seven goals, but five were kicked in that short patch, and a lot of that was out of the centre, and our turnover.

"That probably sums up the game."

The Lions face North Melbourne at the Gabba next Saturday afternoon.