An opportunity to stake a claim for a top-four berth presented itself when the Saints took on the second-place Lions at the Gabba in Round 13. The stakes were high with victory seeing them join the Lions on 36-premiership points while defeat would consign them to sixth place on the premiership ladder. In the end, despite looking the likely victor late in the match, the Saints would fall two points short of a valuable victory.
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Dan Butler kicked the opening goal of the match after getting on the end of a scrubbed kick forward. While successful from 45 metres out, the kick should have been taken much closer with Lachie Neale lucky not to give away a 50-metre penalty. It would prove the Saints only goal for the quarter while Lincoln McCarthy and Jarrod Berry would kick the Lions clear by 11 points at the first break.
The Saints would again kick the first goal in the second term with Tim Membrey converting a mark inside 50. Seizing upon a turnover at halfback, Dougal Howard turned defence into attack and drilled a sharp pass to Butler at half-forward. Instead of being required to test his range, the former Tiger was able to pinpoint a pass to Dean Kent who had been left unguarded 30-metres out. The grateful forward made no mistake with his resulting shot and just like that the Saints were in front. The lead would not last long though, an unlucky out of the bounds on the full free kick granting Charlie Gardiner a chance to retake the lead which he did with a curling effort from the boundary.
With the margin just four points at the long break the scene was set for an epic second half. Rowan Marshall would be the beneficiary of a free kick for holding almost immediately upon the restart. A quick clearance from the opening bounce leaving the Lions defenders scrambling to prevent the Saints marking options up forward. Marshall would make no mistake and give the Saints an early second-half lead. The Lions would press hard in response and Zac Bailey would give them the advantage again amid a run of 1.4 for the home team.
The Saints would get one back against the tide when Dan Butler got on the end of a brisk slingshot started by Brad Hill at half-back. Tom Fullarton and Jarrod Berry would again kick the Lions clear before Jack Steele snapped one from a ball up in the goal square. The Saints would trail by 10 points at the last change but could have been within a kick if not for a late miss by Max King.
Eric Hipwood would kick an early behind for the Lions to extend the margin to 11 points in the final quarter. This would represent the Lions only score for the term with the match almost exclusively at the Saints end of the ground from this moment onwards. Max King and Josh Battle would both miss chances before Jack Billings, with a goal of the year contender, closed the gap to within a kick. Tim Membrey and Zak Jones would both have chances in the minutes that followed but when the final siren sounded the Saints charge fell two points short.