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Cam Rayner shift helps Brisbane Lions outperform Collingwood

Brisbane's Cam Rayner had four goals and 10 score involvements in the Lions' win over Collingwood. <i>Photo: AAP</i>

Brisbane's Cam Rayner had four goals and 10 score involvements in the Lions' win over Collingwood. Photo: AAP

Cam Rayner kept Brisbane in it, then blasted the Lions clear to end Collingwood’s unbeaten start to the season in a statement 33-point AFL win at the Gabba.

Used experimentally in defence so far this season, the former No.1 pick relished his return to the forward line, orchestrating a run of 10 straight Lions goals in an 18.8 (116) to 11.17 (83) victory.

Rayner kicked four goals and had 10 score involvements; marking strongly, crashing through tackles and distributing with poise to delight the sell-out 33,565 crowd.

And he was often to thank when Charlie Cameron (six goals) burst on to the scene, the small forward’s brilliant step and sideline dash all but sealing the deal early in the fourth quarter.

It was a crucial win as the Lions (2-2) responded from a flat loss to the Western Bulldogs last week that had landed tall forwards Eric Hipwood and Joe Daniher in the crosshairs.

Jack Crisp kicked a fourth-quarter goal but was otherwise quiet, the Magpies star playing a day after a video was leaked that will be the subject of an AFL investigation.

Nick Daicos (38 disposals, two goals) was brilliant but incredibly had only one disposal in the second quarter when the Lions, trailing by 13 at the first break, bit back.

Hipwood and Daniher (both two goals), who had a team-high 13 disposals at half-time and 20 for the game in a week his workrate had been questioned, were both physical and took their chances.

In a hot start to the game, Taylor Adams took just 69 seconds to kick Collingwood’s first goal, the Magpies launching out of defence with slick hands.

Ash Johnson followed suit, his goal coming from another Brisbane turnover and more bold running through the guts of the Gabba.

Two pieces of Rayner brilliance kept the Lions in the hunt, a big mark leading to his first, before he wheeled out of traffic and launched another from beyond the arc.

The Magpies kept coming, Bobby Hill kicking two first-quarter majors, his second an open run to goal thanks to more good pressure and another Lions turnover.

Up by 13 points, the Magpies missed their chances to swell the lead and the Lions instead found another gear and racked up 10 consecutive majors.

Playing without a specialist ruck due to injury, Collingwood was undersized at stoppages but still missed some golden chances to halt the run.

Daicos played on and hit the post from dead in front, and Jordan De Goey did the same but missed a tough snap.

Brody Mihocek’s three third-quarter goals made it a 30-point game at the final break.

But the damage was done earlier, with Rayner and Cameron combining twice more in the final term to seal the result.

-AAP

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