Charlie Cameron celebrates during the Lions win over Port Adelaide.
Charlie Cameron celebrates during the Lions win over Port Adelaide.

Rip-roaring Lions close in on finals berth

It was party time for Charlie Cameron on Sunday night as he celebrated his 100th game with a starring role in the Lions' 48-point victory over Port Adelaide.

Cameron booted four goals in his second visit to Adelaide Oval since departing the Crows as the Brisbane juggernaut rolled on to claim another big name scalp.

Another former teammate at Adelaide, Jarryd Lyons, also played a blinder on his old stomping ground, collecting a game-high 36 disposals, including 17 contested possessions, won nine clearances and kicked a goal.

It was difficult to split him and skipper Dayne Zorko, who was also superb with 24 possessions and three goals.

The 14.13 (97) to 6.3 (49) win, their 11th of the season, means the Lions will lock away their first finals berth since 2009 with victory over North Melbourne at the Gabba on Saturday night.

Brisbane were $3 outsiders against Port, who went into the round in seventh position and fresh off a 57-point drubbing of Adelaide in the Showdown last week.

 

They had never won at the ground and the loss of Eric Hipwood and Luke Hodge had the odds stacked against them.

They were further rocked by the late withdrawal of Hugh McCluggage, who complained of hamstring tightness on the morning of the game.

But these Lions fear no side and, now, no venue either.

 

Charlie Cameron celebrates a goal with Cam Rayner.
Charlie Cameron celebrates a goal with Cam Rayner.

 

They blew Port out of the game with an opening quarter blitz that silenced the 33,118-strong crowd, hammering home the first seven goals of the match.

The Power made their intent for Lachie Neale clear by assigning a hard tag from Cameron Sutcliffe, and asking every player who crossed the Lion's path to make their presence felt.

They went overboard with it early and a bump 25m off the ball led to a free kick to Alex Witherden that delivered Brisbane their fourth goal.

The attention slowed Neale down briefly but, by the end of the game, he had again collected some serious numbers including a game-high 10 clearances from 24 disposals.

 

Charlie Cameron leads his team off the field after the Lions won by 48 points.
Charlie Cameron leads his team off the field after the Lions won by 48 points.

 

Brisbane coach Chris Fagan had mixed feelings about the attention saying it was a tough night for Neale but it showed the Lions' had great midfield depth.

"I thought it was a bit over the top to be honest, he got pounded,'' he said.

"But hopefully what it showed is we are not a one-man band in our midfield.''

It was once again a superb team performance from the Lions.

Little separated the two sides, with Brisbane holding slight advantages in clearances and inside fifties.

But their ability to repel Port Adelaide's entries was first class and to score from their own was potent.

 

Charlie Cameron shrugs off a tackle from Travis Boak.
Charlie Cameron shrugs off a tackle from Travis Boak.

 

 

Charlie Cameron signals to the crowd after his goal.
Charlie Cameron signals to the crowd after his goal.