AFLW Round 2 – Brisbane Lions v Western Bulldogs : Fitting it all in

3.35pm Sunday 11th February 2018

South Pine Sports Complex

Yvette Wroby

 

There’s a lot of footy and life to fit in such a small window.  With a short season, every game matters, and every game needs to be watched.

 

Friday found me sitting in my comfy chair watching the weather gods play havoc with women’s footy yet again.  Having been at the first game last year at Casey Fields, I know exactly the feeling of rain, wind and lightning to be your companion for the night.  From the standing on the boundary in rain gear last year, to lazing at home this year, there was footy to be enjoyed.

 

The weather made it a tough contest, and Carlton were able to pull off a dominating win.  The worst part were the injuries to key players. Brianna Davey out for a year. Tayla Harris was in a fair bit of discomfort with her shoulder at game’s end (she tweeted on Sunday night she’ll be back soon), and Britt Tully hurt her shoulder too. Darcy Vescio was overcome with emotion to see her team mates badly injured. Watching these women being taken off the field in pain breaks my heart. Can Carlton still win without their best players?

 

On Saturday, I had the time of my life when Kate and Cinta picked me up in Caulfield and drove me (like the Queen) to Casey Fields.  I felt spoiled and loved, and like a mamma, I bought the food for the footy as a thank you.  We were expecting the coolness of the morning, but Casey Fields turned on the heat and sunshine.  My one minor complaint is the only good shade under the stand was closed to people like us. It was standing almost empty while we fried in the sun.  I found another good use for the Footy Record, and the shading of the eyes came in handy. Kate found she still had sun lotion from her time at the tennis.  Yay for footy records and suncream.

 

Hot work for the players.

 

Standing at the fence line with new Almanac writer Alyce and Cinta both in their Melbourne jumpers and Kate in her Doggies one, we watched a cracking game of footy.  Melbourne showed enormous determination and crushed the Crows.  It was stunning to see the difference from last year, without their elite players, Adelaide seemed lost and unco-ordinated.

 

 

We loved hearing the girls on the boundary screaming their support for Melbourne players as we exited the ground.

 

 

Jumping into the car on the way home, we listened to the Fremantle v Collingwood game, and reached my place by ½ time.  We watched the second half of the game in my comfy chairs.  Love my comfy chairs. Fremantle broke the record for attendance at a woman’s game and won in a dominant fashion. Tick. Another good game.  More great stories.

 

On Sunday, I feared my game watching would not happen in real time, with Nanna duties on the cards. Little Sienna, almost three, was  due for a night and day at Nanny Yvette’s house, I had the intention to watch the game on replay.

 

Luck would have it that they arrived with only 30 seconds left to play. My phone companion, sister Denise, and I watched the disappointing Brisbane lose to an exciting, determined Western Bulldogs outfit. I thought the 35-degree heat warranted a ‘heat policy’ decision that didn’t keep the players burning under the summer heat, but these athletes didn’t seem fussed.

 

The first quarter was messy, with two missed opportunities to Brisbane and one for the Dogs. Maybe it was the heat, maybe it was nerves. Maybe it was warming up and getting into the game.

 

Or maybe something was put in the drinks as the coaches did their magic.  The Bulldogs women were all lying about on the ground, and the Lions on their feet in the first break.  Perhaps the Lions needed a lie down too.

 

In the second, St Kilda Shark 2017 best and fairest Jenna Bruton kicked perfectly to Isabel Huntington to get the first goal. Huntington scores again with a huge mark and kick in the goal square.  Just as the commentator, an ex-women’s player, was saying that Huntington was the best player she had ever seen, Huntington hurts her knee chasing the ball in a contest. Captain Katie Brennan stays by her side as Huntington’s right knee is clutched and she is stretchered off the ground.  My heart is breaking into a zillion pieces, as yet another brilliant, best on field player is stretchered off.

 

It could have shattered the Doggies women too but no, Hannah Scott goals truly.  The women on the field are dealing with heat, injury and for the Bulldogs, being away at a new ground. But it is Brisbane who seem unsettled and the Bulldogs have rattled them.

 

There is more rattling when Jenna Bruton kicks another for Western Bulldogs fourth.  Sabrina Frederick-Traub only manages a behind.  Like Adelaide, last year’s grand final contestants are not what they were.

 

At half time, Brisbane have the magic drink/talk/rest and we see more what we expected. Jess Wuetschner played a trickster move, tapping the ball onto the oppositions boot, and getting a free from the last touch rule.  She followed it up with a perfect goal.

 

Huntington hobbles out to sit on the boundary and watch her team mates, and the sight of her leg all strapped up with ice shatters me a little more. Brisbane have peppered for goals, but their inaccuracy drains them a little more.  Dogs are 18 points ahead at ¾ time.

 

The last quarter sees Brisbane kick itself out of the game.  With more behinds, they are at least in attack. There are tired players and finally Ally Anderson scores truly, kicking long before Bulldogs get into the goal square to defend.  It is Brisbane’s best bit of play yet. There is now only 8 points the difference and Brisbane have stepped up but Leah Kaslar is now hobbling off with knee issues.

 

Bulldog second gamer (and hockey and footy star) Aisling Utri settles her side with a confident goal from a great kick.  Captain Emma Zielke answers back but it’s too late.

 

My baby arrives at the door as I rush to see the last moments before watching ‘Frozen’ for the umpteenth time, having a Nanna and Sienna party of cake, chips and a cling peach we picked from my front garden, reading books and getting to bed.

 

Sugarless treats at Nanna Yvette’s house.

 

Other than all the awful, terrible injuries, the footy this weekend has been engaging and entertaining and surprising.  My tipping has failed – I think only two correct tips. I was backing all the home teams.

 

With Sienna sleeping, I reflect on the gift we have of watching athletes strut their stuff. I feel a part of something bigger than footy.  I feel fundamentally altered. My world has shifted. I am watching younger versions of my fantasy self, having a crack.  And being in there, boots, injuries, heartache and all.

 

Footy is a tough game. And it’s only round two.

 

Brisbane Lions                  0.2         0.3         1.4               3.6         (24)

Western Bulldogs            0.1         4.2         4.2               5.3         (33)

Goals: Brisbane Lions: Wuetschner 2, Anderson

Western Bulldogs: Huntington 2, Bruton, Scott, Utri.

Best:

Brisbane Lions: Anderson, Bates, Zielke, Lutkins.

Western Bulldogs: Huntington, Bruton, Lamb, Kearney, Blackburn.

Crowd: 5,300

Umpires: Broadbent, Adiar, Strybos

 

 

 

 

 

About Yvette Wroby

Yvette Wroby writes, cartoons, paints through life and gets most pleasure when it's about football, and more specifically the Saints. Believes in following dreams and having a go.

Comments

  1. John Butler says:

    Real highs and lows this weekend, Yvette.

    I think we’re seeing how quickly things are developing, despite the off field chatter.

    Melbourne have looked very slick. So have the Doggies, in patches.

    A couple of huge games next week.

    See you Saturday.

  2. Good effort to cover all four games, particularly of such an exhausting round. Melbourne and the Dogs looking irresistible.

  3. Yvette,
    I felt exhausted just reading this piece.
    Well done, what a huge weekend. And Nanna duties as well !!

    I watched three of the games – and continue to be impressed by the players’ endeavour.

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