GWS ends Brisbane’s season, downing the Lions by three points in their semi-final at the Gabba

Brisbane Lions’ season is over, with GWS advancing to the preliminary final with a heart-stopping three point win at the Gabba.

A week after the Lions lost by 47 points to Richmond, Brisbane was knocked out of the finals in straight sets.

Charlie Cameron hyperextended his elbow in the opening minute but stayed on the ground for the match to finish with two goals, and Eric Hipwood slotted three, but it wasn’t enough, as GWS advanced to a prelim against Collingwood next weekend.

Giants edge the Lions to reach prelim

Collingwood looks the biggest winner after GWS beat Brisbane in a brutal, controversial and absorbing semi-final.

The Giants’ 12.11 (83) to 11.14 (78) win booked a spot against the Magpies in next Saturday’s preliminary final at the MCG.

But the epic duel at the Gabbatoir would have made pleasant Saturday night viewing for Magpies coach Nathan Buckley, who was at the game.

Michael Christian will have a busy match review, with several significant incidents during the match.

Late in the second quarter, Lions star Lachie Neale emerged from a scuffle holding an eye.

This was after Giants star Toby Greene, who was outstanding again on Saturday night, was referred to the tribunal and fined for making contact with the face of Western Bulldogs star Marcus Bontempelli.

A whopping 54 free kicks were paid, 31-23 in the Giants’ favour, and umpire Ray Chamberlain rivalled Greene as the most unpopular man in front of a crowd of 30,034.

GWS small forward Brent Daniels kicked an outstanding running goal with less than three minutes to put his team in front — the 10th lead change of the match.

The Giants then hung on grimly to secure the win.

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While the Lions went out in straight sets, they lost no friends with their performance against GWS.

But they were left ruing a 19-7 inside 50 count for the last quarter in their favour.

Giants co-captain Phil Davis was immense in defence as the two teams kicked two goals apiece in the frenetic final term.

The medical staff at GWS will earn their keep over the next week, preparing the players as they try to beat the Magpies for their first grand final.

After the Giants had mauled the Western Bulldogs and the Lions had blown their chances against Richmond the week before, this was always going to be a fierce clash.

Umpire Shaun Ryan was heard in the match audio telling the Giants he would pay free kicks against them if they kept targeting Charlie Cameron’s bandaged elbow.

External Link: Brisbane v GWS stats
Match Stats — Team Stats
Brisbane LionsV.GWS Giants
Goals
Brisbane Lions undefined GWS Giants
11 47.82608695652174%52.17391304347826% 12
Behinds
Brisbane Lions undefined GWS Giants
14 56.00000000000001%43.99999999999999% 11
Kicks
Brisbane Lions undefined GWS Giants
220 53.92156862745098%46.07843137254902% 188
Marks
Brisbane Lions undefined GWS Giants
75 54.74452554744526%45.25547445255474% 62
Handballs
Brisbane Lions undefined GWS Giants
109 47.18614718614719%52.81385281385281% 122
Disposals
Brisbane Lions undefined GWS Giants
329 51.4866979655712%48.5133020344288% 310
Hit-outs
Brisbane Lions undefined GWS Giants
44 62.857142857142854%37.142857142857146% 26
Tackles
Brisbane Lions undefined GWS Giants
57 42.53731343283582%57.46268656716418% 77
Frees For
Brisbane Lions undefined GWS Giants
31 57.407407407407405%42.592592592592595% 23
The All-Australian Lion was hurt in the first few minutes.

Brisbane hard-nut Nick Robertson will also come under scrutiny for whacking opponent Lachie Whitfield in his sore lower back.

Whitfield slumped to the ground, then angrily pushed Robertson in the chest.

The first 10 minutes set the stage, with Cameron forced from the field in agony and the Giants unleashing a four-goal barrage.

Greene made an immediate impact when he snapped the opening goal of the match.

As Greene and Lions veteran Luke Hodge clashed, Brisbane defender Harris Andrews gave away an undisciplined free kick.

That meant Jeremy Finlayson kicked another goal for the Giants before the next centre bounce.

The Lions counter-attacked, kicking the next five goals for an improbable six-point lead at quarter time.

Brisbane looked in strife when GWS led by 12 points at half-time and broke out to a 20-point lead early in the third.

Lions fans were furious at the umpires, booing them from the field at half-time and again after the final siren.

AAP/ABC

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