A Big congratulations to Eric Hipwood who today end his contract with Brisbane lions why signing a new agreement with

Brisbane breathed fresh life into its season and finals hopes after a bumper 42-point win over the Western Bulldogs, led by a career-best six goals from Eric Hipwood.

After what’s been an underwhelming first half off the season, the Lions looked much more like their 2023 version that played in a grand final – the version many tipped to go one better in 2024.

Brisbane has of course been such a successful football program in recent years, with more wins than any team over the last five and a half seasons despite failing to win a premiership during that strong run under Chris Fagan.

“A lot of people were writing them off after a month of footy. They’ve got their mojo back,” former Hawks sharpshooter Ben Dixon told Fox Footy Live on Friday night.

“(Their record is) neither here nor there, but the beauty is they’re only three games off second spot.

“Anyone can win it … everyone is in contention. (Fagan) isn’t panicking, they’re not lying down and they’re going to come in fighting.”

The Lions improved to 5-1-6 on the season, which sounds out of the mix but isn’t – after Friday night they were just three wins behind second place, and with a strong percentage.

It’s particularly significant in such an open premiership race, where below the first-placed Swans, the true contenders remain unclear.

And so it’s not out of the realm of possibility the Lions make a run from outside the top four, while there’s still ample time for them to push for the double chance.

You’d certainly be nervous playing the Lions right now – particularly at the Gabba – a team much better and with more star power than their 13th place on the ladder suggests.

“I thought it was a really significant victory and one for Chris Fagan, who’s been under some pressure, and the captain Lachie Neale, who stood up again,” Demons legend skipper Garry Lyon said on Fox Footy.

“It’s a win I think they needed … I think they’ll get confidence from it, it’s just whether they’ve left themselves a lot of work to do.

“This is a team that nearly won a premiership.”

Triple premiership winning Lion Jonathan Brown meanwhile thinks the Brisbane “boys are back in town,” suggesting the club had underperformed so far in 2024 in a scary proposition for the rest of the AFL.

“It’s funny, we were looking at their stats pre-game going: ‘How the hell are Brisbane sitting 13h on the ladder?’ Because there’s a lot of green in their numbers,” Brown said on Fox Footy.

“It gives them big shot of hope. They’ll walk away tonight going: ‘Hang on, that’s our game. We’re back’. A lot of players individually feeling good about themselves.

“That’s their MO, playing really dominant football, they certainly did last year.

“They’re not going to stay too far from their identity. I think that gives then confidence that still holds up in 2024.”

The Lions’ run home, though relatively tough, includes six of their last 10 games at their Gabba fortress too, plus a game on the Gold Coast where they don’t leave their home state.

“If they are going to make (the top eight), they’re going to have to go on a run and win about seven or eight in a row … like what the Giants did last year,” Brownlow medallist Gerard Healy said on Fox Footy Live.