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Roos hold on in Gabba thriller

Roos hold on in Gabba thriller

A HORRENDOUS miss from Brisbane rookie Cameron Rayner has handed North Melbourne a thrilling three-point AFL victory.

The Lions were 24 points down early in the last quarter but staged a dramatic comeback and looked ready to deliver a potentially fatal blow to North’s finals hopes.

They kicked the last three goals of the match and had the backing of a boisterous 18,395-strong crowd at the Gabba as they closed in.

Rayner had a chance to win it with about 30 seconds to go from a free kick on a slight angle.

But the 18-year-old rushed it, pushing it right and blowing what was a golden chance to win it for Brisbane.

The Kangaroos were left breathing a huge sigh of relief, with the win ensuring they remain right in the hunt for September action.

The 16.11 (107) to 16.8 (104) result is their sixth consecutive win over the Lions, a run of dominance that stretches four years.

They now sit in ninth position with only percentage keeping them out of the finals positions, although they still cannot afford a misstep in their last three matches.

North faces Western Bulldogs (home), Adelaide (away) and St Kilda (away) to complete the minor round – teams who are all out of finals contention.

Jack Ziebell starred with three goals and 26 possessions for the Kangaroos.

Dayne Zorko had a game-high 35 touches for the Lions – 15 of them contested – to go with nine clearances and two goals.

Brisbane were hot and cold.

They made a poor start to the match, conceding the first three goals, but reeled the margin back in and were five points ahead at quarter-time courtesy of a 55-metre roost from Rayner.

The Kangaroos kicked away in the second term, booting seven goals to three and leading by as much as 29 points at one stage.

A run of three unanswered majors to start the third quarter put the Lions back in front.

But again they fell away and the visitors were 11 points in front at the last change.

© AAP 2018

NORTH MELBOURNE 5.1 12.6 14.9 16.11 (107)

BRISBANE LIONS 6.0 9.2 13.4 16.8 (104)

Goals: North Melbourne: J Ziebell 3 J Waite 2 K Turner 2 S Atley 2 W Walker 2 B Brown B Cunnington J Simpkin M Wood N Hrovat. Brisbane Lions: H McCluggage 3 C Rayner 2 D Zorko 2 M Robinson 2 O McInerney 2 R Mathieson 2 A Christensen E Hipwood L Taylor.

Best: North Melbourne: J Ziebell J Anderson T Dumont M Daw J Simpkin. Brisbane Lions: D Zorko D Beams H McCluggage J Berry J Walker.

Umpires: Troy Pannell, Ray Chamberlain, Nick Brown.

Official Crowd: 18,395 at Gabba.