Brisbane survived an almighty final-quarter scare from St Kilda to win by 20 points at the Gabba on Friday night and keep its finals chances well and truly alive.

The Lions led by 37 points at three-quarter time but watched their advantage dwindle all the way to just seven points before a Logan Morris goal steadied the ship.

When Joe Daniher kicked his fifth goal of the night moments later from the junction of the 50m arc and the boundary line and Charlie Cameron followed suit shortly after, the home team had done enough to survive.

They won 19.12 (126) to 16.10 (106) in what became an unexpected shootout.


It squares their ledger at six wins, six losses and a draw ahead of a crucial trip to Port Adelaide next Saturday.

Daniher was magnificent for the victors, kicking his goals from 20 disposals and 13 marks, while Dayne Zorko (30) and Hugh McCluggage (26) were also decisive with their ball use.

The Saints trailed all night, but every time Brisbane looked like putting the game away, they fought back.


And unlike last week's win over Gold Coast, they released the shackles and played exciting football to give themselves a chance, with Jack Higgins kicking five goals.


Liam Henry's second half move into the midfield gave Ross Lyon's team a spark, while Jack Sinclair had his usual strong impact.


But the Lions were the better team for longer, intent on moving the ball quickly to get around the stout St Kilda defence.

They raced to a 31-point lead at quarter-time, shifting the ball quickly, with players taking no more than a second or two to move it on and restrict the Saints' ability to set up.

Unable to win a clearance – they trailed that stat 13-1 at the first change – Brisbane feasted on turnover, with Zorko often the architect, pinging the ball from half-back.

They were able to isolate their dangerous forwards, with Daniher, Morris, Cal Ah Chee, Cam Rayner and Kai Lohmann all kicking goals after marks inside 50.

What looked like one-way traffic early in the night ever-so-slowly changed in the second quarter.

Higgins lifted his team back into the contest with three goals in an eight-minute burst, including two bombs from 50m.

Brisbane had begun bombing the ball into numbers and the Saints were able to use their hard-running to find space on the outside and give themselves a chance at the main break.


Brisbane making a charge for the eight
For the first time this season, the Lions have reached parity with six wins, six losses and a draw. While they are still outside the top eight with nine rounds remaining, the past fortnight has shown they're on the rise. The midfield is as strong as ever and their potent forward line is back to its high-scoring best. An away trip to Port Adelaide followed by home matches against Melbourne and Adelaide presents a stretch of matches that could help define their season.

The Windhager tag on Neale
There was absolutely no surprises to see Marcus Windhager go straight to Lachie Neale at the first bounce and spend all four quarters shadowing the two-time Brownlow medallist. Like he did last week against Gold Coast co-captain Touk Miller, Windhager niggled, scragged, grabbed and did whatever possible to limit his opponent's influence. For large portions, it worked. Neale had three touches in the first quarter and nine at half-time, but eventually worked himself into the contest to finish with 20 disposals, seven clearances and two goal assists to at least share the points.

Dan Butler on report
We don't often see reports these days, but Dan Butler will be in the crosshairs of Match Review Officer Michael Christian after a second quarter trip on Lion Ryan Lester. With the veteran defender streaming through the middle of the Gabba, Butler executed a rugby league-style ankle tap to bring his opponent to ground. He was immediately reported for tripping.

BRISBANE      7.2    10.5    15.9    19.12 (126)
ST KILDA        2.1    6.6      9.8     16.10 (106)

Brisbane: Daniher 5, Morris 3, Hipwood 2, Lohmann 2, McCluggage 2, Ah Chee, Cameron, McInerney, Rayner, Starcevich
St Kilda: 
Higgins 5, King 3, Butler 2, Henry 2, Owens 2, Wilson, Wood

Brisbane: Zorko, Daniher, McCluggage, Wilmot, Berry, Lester
St Kilda: Sinclair, Higgins, Wood, Henry, Wilkie, Wilson

Brisbane: Nil
St Kilda: Cooper Sharman, replaced in the selected side by Tom Campbell

Brisbane: Nil
St Kilda: Nil

Brisbane: Noah Answerth (replaced Conor McKenna at three-quarter time)
St Kilda: Zac Jones (replaced Zaine Cordy in the third quarter)

Crowd: 27,445 at the Gabba