THE red-hot Brisbane Lions have extended their AFL winning streak to six matches, putting a serious dent in Hawthorn’s flickering finals hopes with a 27-point victory in Launceston.
The Lions kicked seven of the final nine goals of Saturday’s match to win 13.9 (87) to 7.18 (60).
Having not played finals since 2009, resurgent Brisbane will finish round 19 entrenched in the top two on the ladder and with three of their remaining four home-and-away matches at the Gabba.
Rugged winger Mitch Robinson and ball magnet Lachie Neale were among the best players for the Lions. Brisbane have won their past four matches on the trot against the Hawks, including two triumphs at the University of Tasmania Stadium.
The Hawks dominated general play in the opening term but inaccuracy in front of goal meant they led by only three points at quarter-time.
Promising young forward Mitchell Lewis was the main culprit as he missed two easy set shots.
The second quarter was a low-scoring affair, with Brisbane skipper Dayne Zorko slotting a clever goal 11 seconds before the halftime siren to put the visitors ahead for the first time.
Kicking into the wind, the Lions broke the match open with four unanswered goals late in the third quarter to lead by 22 points at the final break.
They went on with the job in the final quarter, extending the margin to 27 points at the final siren.
The Hawks slip to an 8-10 record and will need to win all of their remaining four games to remain in contention for a finals berth.
Charlie Cameron, Cam Rayner, Allen Christensen and Zorko booted three goals apiece for Brisbane, while Irishman Conor Nash and the evergreen Shaun Burgoyne slotted two apiece for the Hawks.
Burgoyne, 36, played his 372nd match on Saturday, tying Adam Goodes for the most games by an indigenous player in VFL/AFL history.
The Lions were forced to play one short for most of the match after young defender Alex Witherden strained his right calf early in the opening term.
Hawthorn made a late change with young forward Tim O’Brien (calf) replaced by Jonathan Ceglar.
© AAP 2019
BRISBANE LIONS 3.1 5.5 10.6 13.9 (87)
HAWTHORN 3.4 4.9 5.14 7.18 (60)
Goals: Brisbane Lions: A Christensen 2 C Cameron 2 C Rayner 2 D Zorko 2 E Hipwood H McCluggage L Neale N Answerth O McInerney. Hawthorn: C Nash 2 S Burgoyne 2 I Smith J Gunston T Scully. Umpires: Shane McInerney, Craig Fleer, Robert O’Gorman.
Official Crowd: 15,157 at University of Tasmania Stadium