Then the Lions found their groove, sparked into action by a ripping Eric Hipwood goal from beyond 50 metres after he turned on an axis and let loose. Goals from Cam Rayner, Charlie Cameron, Oscar McInerney and Zac Bailey soon followed.
In a matter of minutes Brisbane led by 31 points and Ken Hinkley’s rejuvenated team was somewhat shellshocked.
With Lachie Neale showing his customary class across the four quarters, the Lions also got excellent input from Daniel McStay in one of his best games, Jarrod Berry, Hugh McCluggage, Daniel Rich, Bailey and Rayner. That they only had two multiple goalkickers (Lincoln McCarthy and Rayner) pointed to a quality team performance.
Port weren’t horribly outclassed, they just came up against an output which again looks destined for the top four. Brisbane’s scoring burst hurt them as the ‘home’ team’s forward timber – Hibberd and McStay in particular – took advantage at times of Port’s undermanned defence.
Outside of that passage of play in the second quarter when the Lions could do little wrong, Port –after banking four opening wins to start their season – held their own to show a finals berth could indeed also be beckoning for them.
Brisbane Lions 2.1, 8.6, 11.11, 12.13 (85)
Port Adelaide 1.6, 2.7, 4.10, 6.12 (48)
BEST: Brisbane Lions: Neale, McCluggage, McStay, J.Berry, Rayner, Rich
Port Adelaide: Boak, Houston, Butters, Ebert