Brisbane have rode a lightning finish to the second quarter, before seeing off a dogged challenge in the last quarter, to end their 11-year losing run against Richmond in dramatic fashion and win the second qualifying final by 15 points.
Coming into the final quarter with a 21-point lead, the Lions watched their lead whittled to as little as eight points, before holding steady to claim the win and progress to a home preliminary final.
The first quarter began at a frenetic pace and it was a ripping goal on the run from outside 50 from Daniel Rich at the got the scoring underway. The crowd were in it early and there were several holding the ball free kicks and 50-metre penalties to spice things up. It went goal-for-goal, with Jack Riewoldt, Oscar McInerney, Liam Baker, Daniel McStay and Trent Cotchin all trading goals, before Kamdyn McIntosh put Richmond in front closer to quarter time.
Despite the margin being just six points at the first break, with Lachie Neale yet to register a disposal, the Lions looked to be in strife.
Charlie Cameron started the second quarter off with a great running goal, but Jason Castagna nailed the quick reply to restore the Tigers’ lead and, from there, it looked like the visitors were set to run away with it for most of the term.
But the Lions stood up under the pressure and absorbed the punches, before exploding late to kick three goals and take a 13-point lead into the main break. Cam Rayner got the run started with a sublime running goal from outside 50, before Cameron made it two on the trot with a classic checkside banana from close to the boundary.
Damien Hardwick was seething afterwards, with Shai Bolton and Marlion Pickett giving away back-to-back 50-metre penalties (Richmond’s fourth and fifth of the half) to turn a late opportunity for a goal into a Neale set shot, which he nailed.
Brisbane started off the third quarter perfectly, with Cameron nailing his third goal on the run after some superb handling inside 50 by Cam Rayner. It was an arm-wrestle from that point, before Daniel Rioli’s quick snap brought the Tigers back three straight kicks.
Zac Bailey picked up the crumbs and nailed a goal to put the Lions back up by over 20 points, but they should’ve had two more before three-quarter time. Jarrod Berry missed a very simple set shot at full-forward, before Hugh McCluggage rushed his crumbing kick from point-blank at the death as it rolled through for a point.
Daniel Rioli got the first goal of the final quarter – eight minutes in – to send nerves up the spines of the home fans, but bad misses from Martin and Riewoldt either side of his kick kept the visitors out of it. Shai Bolton looked to have made things very interesting with a goal of the year contender from deep in the forward pocket, but the score review system picked up that it grazed the post just before they bounced the ball.
But the Tigers would not go away, with Jack Riewoldt taking a pack mark at full forward and converting the set shot to bring it back to eight points.
Jarryd Lyons led the way with 24 disposals and seven clearances, Hugh McCluggage chipped in with 20 and made up for his third-quarter shocker with the sealer, while Lachie Neale recovered from a goose egg in the first quarter to finish with 19 touches, five clearances and a crucial goal.
Dion Prestia was the best of the bunch for Richmond with 20 disposals, while Jayden Short was immense too with 22, but Dustin Martin could only manage six touches after half time and Mabior Chol was totally ineffective in trying to replace the injured Tom Lynch.
The win means Brisbane will play a home preliminary final at The Gabba, while Richmond will play the winner of tomorrow’s St Kilda-Western Bulldogs clash at the same venue.
Brisbane Lions – 3.1 | 7.2 | 9.6 | 10.9 (69)
Richmond – 4.1 | 5.1 | 6.3 | 8.6 (54)
Lions: Cameron 3, Rich, McInerney, McStay, Rayner, Neale, Bailey, McCluggage
Tigers: Rioli 2, Riewoldt 2, Baker, Cotchin, McIntosh, Castagna