Lions thrash Demons by 61 points
The Brisbane Lions recorded back-to-back wins for the first time in 13 months with a 61-point thumping of Melbourne on Sunday to give themselves a chance of reaching the finals.
The Lions have not earned much fanfare in 2012 despite impressive wins over the likes of then ladder leader West Coast and the Western Bulldogs.
Yet the Lions (6-7 record) find themselves just a win outside of the eight with the same record as the more fancied Carlton and Richmond after the 18.14 (122) to 8.13 (61) win in front of a 22,114-strong Gabba faithful.
Some may still say the Lions will need the luck of the Irish to make the final eight but they already have the skills of one - Pearce Hanley was impressive with 24 touches and three goals on Sunday.
A more spirited showing was expected from the Demons after racking up two wins in their past three games.
But memories of their 41-point season opening loss to the Lions came flooding back as Brisbane soon found their groove.
The signs were ominous from the outset for Melbourne.
Stars Nathan Jones and Mark Jamar (both calf) were late withdrawals, joining a Demons injury list that already included Aaron Davey and ex-Lion Mitch Clark.
Melbourne coach Mark Neeld's luck didn't improve - last round's Rising Star nominee, young defender Tom McDonald, was subbed off in the first quarter after reportedly coughing up blood following an accidental knee from Lions forward Daniel Merrett.
Skipper Jonathan Brown kicked three goals in the opening term to help an accurate Lions edge the Demons 6.1 (37) to 3.6 (24) at the first break.
Melbourne's fortunes were summed up by James Magner hitting the post from point blank range on the stroke of halftime as the Lions jumped to a 34-point lead.
Melbourne kicked the opening goal of the third term through Colin Garland but the Lions weren't to be denied.
Brown kicked four goals for Brisbane while Jack Redden had 32 touches.
In his 306th game - joining Alastair Lynch in third spot on the club's all-time list - Simon Black had 26 disposals.
For the Bulldogs, Stefan Martin, Jordie McKenzie and Colin Sylvia all had 21 disposals.