Fireworks were promised, and that’s exactly what we got in the AFL’s fiery Queensland derby.
The derby fire was sparked on Thursday when Brisbane defender Nick Robertson said the Suns were soft.
And, after a bit of general niggle, that fire erupted in the second term when Sean Lemmens’ collected young Lion Brandon Starcevich with a high spoil.
Players came from all corners in front of 11,907 fans, with Dayne Zorko sent flying in the chaos by his chief antagonist Touk Miller.
The Lions rallied from nine points down in the final term to pip the Suns 10.18 (78) to 11.8 (74) and overturn a five-point QClash loss earlier this season in another fiery contest.
The lead fluctuated in a sloppy but hard-fought second half as the young Suns, led by Alex Sexton (four goals) and Brayden Fiorini (32 disposals) threatened a boilover.
But Brisbane withstood the pressure and did enough in the final 20 minutes to consign the Suns to a seventh loss and winless campaign at Metricon Stadium this season.
Brisbane’s inaccuracy cost them, with Eric Hipwood missing his first five shots at goal and Daniel Rich missing from in front before the Suns hit the lead for the first time in the third term.
Cameron Rayner did his best to improve their ratio with a booming 60m effort while Luke Hodge was a brick wall with five first-quarter intercepts.
Brisbane took an early 20-point lead but the Suns lifted their workrate and took their chances as the game grew in intensity.
Gold Coast got within six at the main break and had the lead soon after the restart.
Harris Andrews’ goal – the Lions’ sole major for the quarter – put the Lions in front by three after a sloppy third term.
Gold Coast, again through some Sexton brilliance, regained the lead before the Lions made the most of their luck to land the final blow.
First Allen Christensen kicked straight after being gifted a 50m penalty, before a stray kick off the deck went straight to an unmarked Dayne Beams (38 touches) for what would be the decisive goal.