The Brisbane Lions have survived a scare against lowly North Melbourne to register a one-point AFL win on the Gold Coast.
- The Kangaroos kicked four of the six goals in the final quarter to fall just short of beating the Lions
- Brisbane was inaccurate on goal, with 11 behinds from their 18 scoring shots
- The Lions are now level with ladder leader Port Adelaide on 36 points but trail the Power on percentage
The second-last Kangaroos produced a plucky performance against their high-flying opponents, who were wayward with the boot in their 7.11 (53) to 8.4 (52) victory in Carrara.
North Melbourne cut six players after a horror loss last week and had experienced defender Robbie Tarrant pull out late due to a calf problem.
But they kicked four of the six goals in the final quarter to go within a whisker of causing a boilover.
The match was in the balance when North Melbourne’s Cameron Zurhaar snapped a goal to reduce the margin to eight points inside the final three minutes.
Zurhaar then grabbed a pack mark with two minutes remaining but could not convert from an angle.
He slotted a free kick after the siren for the final one-point margin.
The Lions were desperate in defence to secure their ninth win of the season, which lifts them level with ladder leader Port Adelaide but in second place on percentage.
North Melbourne’s Jed Anderson topped the match possession count with 29, while Lachie Neale (24 touches) and Dayne Zorko were strong through the middle for the Lions.
Lincoln McCarthy and Oscar McInerney both kicked two goals for Brisbane, including a pair of crucial majors in the last term.
The Lions held a two-point lead at quarter-time — their first five scores of the match were behinds, which included some relatively easy missed set shots.
Brisbane led 24-21 at the main break and kicked the opening goal of the third term after an animated address from coach Chris Fagan at half-time.
North Melbourne hit straight back with Bailey Scott, keeping the Lions’ lead to 12 points heading into the final quarter.