Lions cubs do it for star man Brownie

IT JUST wasn't quite the same was it?

Seeing big Jonno Brown leading the Brisbane Lions off after the most courageous of wins at the Gabba ... with his suit on.

In an ideal world, Brownie would have been chaired off in a Lions jumper after a final game as a player ... with match ball in hand after kicking the sealing goal in the last minute of play.

But, watching his 'boys' register a stirring victory from the stands - in his own private box - was clearly the next best thing for the man who had given the club so much blood and sweat, if not tears - this is Brownie after all.

And the vision of him celebrating with family and friends when the siren finally sounded to signal the Lions had hung for a five-point win over North Melbourne was priceless.

Next minute he was down on the Gabba turf embracing (now former) teammates who had willed themselves over the line for the big fella.

At one point he made it clear he was not to be raised up on anyone's shoulders - he'd already been in that position earlier this season after he played his 250th game.

He would only play six more, of course, before the old-fashioned knockabout bloke from Warrnambool had received one too many knocks to the head.

The threat of a heavy downpour left thousands away but 15,000 fans still turned up to send Brownie off during a half-time lap of honour with two of his three children, Jack, 1, and Olivia, 4. Macy, born just a day after he announced his retirement last Monday, was home with mum Kylie.

Thankfully, the Kangaroos came to the party too and presented a lacklustre showing that left coach - and one of Brownie's former premiership teammates - Brad Scott fuming.

North had beaten Fremantle in Perth and Sydney in Sydney but was blown away by the 17th-placed team during a 40-minute burst from the start of the second term when the hosts booted nine of 10 goals.

Lacking genuine match-winners, the Roos failed to produce the match-winning play when they had Lions, who did not kick a goal in the final 50 minutes, on toast.

But take nothing away from the inspired young Lions, 13 of which had less than 50 games experience.

Putting in Brownie-like efforts were Pearce Hanley (35 disposals), Tom Rockliff (28), Rohan Bewick (27), impressive youngsters James Aish (23) and Lewis Taylor (23), and Josh Green (three goals).

He admitted he was a bit cheeky to Brent Harvey after the game, but you gotta love the passion of captain-in-waiting Rockliff.

"I guess all the romantics out there will be very pleased the fairytale's complete and Brownie got sent off in the right way," Lions coach Justin Leppitsch said.

If there was one gripe.

The big fella's absence aside, where was the Brownie finger point after each of the Lions' 10 goals was slotted?