Brisbane has reinforced its grip on a top-four berth, holding off St Kilda by 28 points led by four goals from Eric Hipwood and an intercept masterclass from Harris Andrews at Marvel Stadium on Friday night.
The Lions led by 23 points after a dominant first half, but the Saints always stayed in touch, aided by coach Ross Lyon's half-time adjustments, only for Brisbane to secure a 12.12 (84) to 8.8 (56) victory.
Hipwood's fourth goal, from a 45m set shot with 8:50 left in the last term, sealed the win for the Lions. Hipwood has kicked 10 goals across his past three games.
Andrews had a significant influence after Jack Payne matched up on Max King at the opening bounce, freeing up the two-time All-Australian defender to roam down back, with nine intercept marks, one short of the AFL record, along with 21 disposals and 14 marks.
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Lachie Neale was brilliant with a team-high 29 disposals including a game-high four centre clearances and 10 clearances.
St Kilda couldn't get the points in Spud's Game, suffering back-to-back losses for the first time this season, slumping to four losses from its past six to sit sixth with an 8-6 record. Brisbane, meanwhile, moves up to third with a 10-4 record.
Jack Sinclair, playing an on-ball role with Seb Ross managed, had a game-high 36 disposals to be St Kilda's best, but Payne kept King to only seven touches, no marks and no goals, while Jack Steele tried hard with limited impact.
St Kilda won the disposal count 356-333, but Brisbane had more inside 50s (54-43), clearances (40-30) and contested marks (14-6).
Jack Higgins kicked the first goal of the game and St Kilda had 27 of the first 33 disposals, but it was Brisbane who had the majority of the play in the first quarter, winning inside 50s 18-7 and responding with three unanswered majors from Joe Daniher, Zac Bailey and Hipwood.
Hipwood added his second after Hugh McCluggage's clever pass, while Oscar McInerney was bossing St Kilda's makeshift second ruck Mitch Owens, and Andrews and Ryan Lester were intercepting at will. The Lions co-captain had a team-high 14 disposals in the first half, including nine intercept possessions along with 11 marks.
After half-time, Lyon moved Owens to Andrews to nullify his influence and Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera duly cut the margin back to 17 points early in the third term after pinging Keidean Coleman holding the ball.
Nas putting in another good shift ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/zFUlUmJoTe— St Kilda FC (@stkildafc) June 23, 2023
The Saints started winning more clearances (12-10 for the third) and the game seesawed, with both sides trading two-goal bursts before Bradley Hill's major trimmed the margin to 15 points only for McCluggage to break clear at the next centre bounce and pinpoint Daniher who goaled.
Brisbane appeared panicky in defence in the third, offering St Kilda hope with Jade Gresham snapping the first goal of the last quarter.
Round 14 AFL Rising Star nominee Darcy Wilmot's four-bounce run took some heat off Brisbane but the Saints kept coming, although the Lions needed a favourable goal review to prevent Max King's snapped goal from a forward 50 stoppage which would’ve trimmed the margin to 10 points.
The Lions, however, rallied with Coleman kicking truly after a 50m penalty against Dougal Howard on the wing, followed by Hipwood's sealer.
ST KILDA 1.0 2.3 6.5 8.8 (56)
BRISBANE 3.4 5.8 9.8 12.12 (84)
St Kilda: Wanganeen-Milera, Sinclair, Hill, Higgins, Gresham, Caminiti, Byrnes, Butler
Brisbane: Hipwood 4, Daniher 2, Rayner, Dunkley, Coleman, Cameron, Berry, Bailey
St Kilda: Sinclair, Wood, Wanganeen-Milera, Battle, Hill, Higgins
Brisbane: Andrews, Hipwood, Neale, Dunkley, Berry, Rayner
St Kilda: Nil
St Kilda: Cooper Sharman (replaced Ryan Byrnes in third quarter)
Brisbane: Darcy Fort (replaced Kai Lohmann in third quarter)
Crowd: 28,985 at Marvel Stadium