K rock Football

Lions see off injury-hit Saints

BRISBANE has burst away from a gutsy St Kilda to claim a 21-point victory in an injury-marred game and enter its bye in the AFL top two.

The Lions needed to bounce back after losing to Fremantle and their clash with the Saints teetered on the brink before Brisbane kicked three of the final four goals to prevail 10.17 (78) to 8.9 (57) at the Gabba.

The victory came at a cost though, with skipper Dayne Zorko substituted out for Darcy Fort with a third-term hamstring injury while Darcy Gardiner had treatment on his back and failed to finish the contest.

St Kilda did brilliantly to fight out the game, with just two players on the bench in the final quarter.

They lost Mitchito Owens and Daniel McKenzie to concussion either side of halftime, with substitute Jarrod Lienert replacing Owens at the main break, while Zak Jones suffered a third-quarter hamstring injury.

Lions stars Lachie Neale (37 disposals, seven clearances, 460 metres gained) and Hugh McCluggage (33 disposals, seven clearances) were typically prolific.

Joe Daniher kicked three goals on his return and classy Keidean Coleman impressed, while Harris Andrews fought back after Max King kicked two early goals to quieten the Saints young gun.

Jack Sinclair (30 disposals, 642 metres gained), Brad Crouch (26 disposals, 10 tackles) and Jade Gresham (two goals, 21 disposals), were busy for St Kilda.

King booted the first two goals of the match, both from free kicks, while Daniher sprayed two early set shots.

Then, Brisbane received an unlikely gift late in the first term.

Daniher slammed through a goal from open play and in the aftermath, amid a scuffle, Brad Crouch slung Charlie Cameron to the ground by the neck.

Cameron was given a free-kick straight in front of goal and he handed the Lions a quarter-time lead.

St Kilda brushed off the disappointment and led by 12 at the main break.

But they lost Owens when the youngster ran towards a contest and clashed heads front-on with Lincoln McCarthy, with the contact sending the young Saint flying, and he was substituted at halftime.

Early in the third quarter, Daniel McKenzie took a brilliant aerial mark but landed on his head and went to the bench for assessment.

The AFL score review system proved contentious, with McCluggage and Cam Rayner having goals chalked off in the third and fourth terms respectively.

But neither affected the outcome, as Brisbane kicked on from its three-point lead at the final change to overrun the depleted Saints.

(C) AAP 2022