Livewire Brisbane forward Charlie Cameron set the tone all week and then delivered at the Gabba, procuring four first-half goals as the Lions hung on to beat Fremantle by 12 points on Saturday.
The heavy favourites threatened to pull away numerous times but the Dockers kept firing back, getting within four points in the final stages before ultimately falling short 12.9 (81) to 10.9 (69) in a near-replication of their tight first-round loss to Essendon.
Cameron's early inroads looked to be enough before Michael Walters kicked two final-quarter goals to breathe life into the Dockers' charge.
Brisbane then missed multiple chances to seal the win before captain Dayne Zorko's nerve-settler got the Lions, beaten comprehensively by Hawthorn in round one nearly three months ago, on the board.
Cameron ran rampant in the first half before being well held by Griffin Logue after the main break.
Lachie Neale's (29 touches) composure and fitness shone late, his two goals against his former club both oozing class, while Dockers captain Nat Fyfe overcame a quiet start to kick three goals and accumulate 23 disposals.
Cameron was electric whenever he was near the ball, snapping three goals before guiding a tight set shot through for his fourth early in the second quarter.
"It was (a relief). It's been an interesting time, I wasn't sure what was happening today, so will take a win of any sorts," Brisbane coach Chris Fagan said.
"It was great to see Lachie play so well against his old club. I know he was a little disappointed last year with his performance but today he was critical for us.
"I loved Charlie's pressure today ... he brought energy to the club all week, he's been up and about."
Fagan was critical of his side's wastefulness, but stopped short of blasting them for their ill-discipline after penalties late in the first and second quarters led to goals that kept the Dockers close.
Fremantle were wasteful too, Matt Taberner (two goals) deemed to have juggled a mark through the goals to start the final term, while two quick behinds followed to seemingly end their charge before the late surge.
"There's a mixed range of emotions. We came here to win so to not get that done is very disappointing," Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir said.
"We took some good steps forward ... but we had plenty of chances to win that game of footy.
"Start of the last quarter we were well and truly on top, just couldn't kick that extra goal ... that final nail to get us in front."
Lion Tom Berry almost had his hero moment late to cap a solid debut.
Berry ran back and bravely marked about 30 metres out and lined up for what would have been the sealer, only to push his kick across the face of goal.
Fremantle ruckman Sean Darcy (knee) will have scans after limping off in the second half, while rucking opponent Stef Martin struggled in his comeback from a round-one knee injury.