AFLW Round 2 – Brisbane vs Western Bulldogs: Pride of the West

Brisbane Lions v Western Bulldogs
3.35pm, Sunday 11 February 2018
South Pine Sports Complex, Brisbane

Danielle Croci

 

I’m in the middle of Pride of Our Footscray community bar at a Bulldog Pride event to watch today’s away game with a close friend. There’s more than a little excitement in the air, not just because of the Doggies’ flying start to the season. The upcoming Pride Game has been announced this week in this very bar. One of many firsts for the AFLW, and a special one for the members of LGBTQI supporter group Bulldog Pride.

 

It seems like everything’s falling into place – a win against Fremantle, captain Katie Brennan back and firing, worth the hype (and the unfortunate wait). And the proof was in the pudding when Brennan (and her trademark zinc) marked 15m out early, although she would only end up with a minor score.

 

Speaking of, the scoreline was initially looking like the bane of the AFL and its infamous memo’s existence, but I think this game was proof that goals don’t necessarily equal excitement. It was a goalless first quarter and yet it was a tight and rather skilful contest that kept us glued to the screen.

 

After some fans were questioning last week why the Dogs had not drafted the impressive Chloe Molloy at pick 1, Izzy Huntington silenced the doubters in a second quarter minute-long blitz. She out-marked her opponent in the goal square twice to kick the first goals of the game truly.

 

But it was only a minute later close by that Huntington went down clutching her right knee after chasing the ball. The room was momentarily silent, only stopping to wince at the continuous replays of the incident as the stretcher was called. She drew comparisons in importance to Friday night’s devastating ACL injury for Carlton captain Brianna Davey, and fellow Bulldog Daria Bannister’s same injury last week.

 

But the Bulldogs refused to let it get them down, piling on two more goals for the quarter. It was instead Brisbane who would lose their composure. We erupted as Hannah Scott scored on the run from 45 metres out. How could she not be a fan favourite in this room after sharing her story at the Pride Game announcement this week?

 

Fan favourite Sabrina Frederick-Traub found it difficult to make her mark, finally taking a contested grab late in the quarter only to have similar inaccuracy issues to last week.

 

At half-time, with things looking comfortable, my friend and I pondered whether the heat policy rule was in, with a predicted temperature of 37 degrees. 20km away in the W-League semi-finals, the players were having drink breaks to sustain themselves. Not so here. Ah, the intricacies of women’s sport.

 

The third quarter was a hard slog, with an early goal from the Lions’ Jess Wuetschner the only major score. Brisbane failed to capitalise as a result of some clumsy kicking and dropped marks. The combined pressure from the Bulldogs’ defence and midfield, particularly in the forms of Hannah Scott, Emma Kearney and Kirsty Lamb, didn’t help matters. It was close enough for us to anticipate the last quarter, although the promise of a blowout lingered.

 

The fourth quarter was scrappy, with Brisbane bringing the margin back to nine points as a result of another goal from Wuetschner and a big one from Ally Anderson. However, it was too little, too late for the Lions, especially in the Queensland heat. In hindsight, the home side’s fate never quite looked in doubt.

 

The Bulldogs go into round 3 with a lot more confidence having knocked off last year’s grand finalists, despite what looks to be another serious injury to the side. Brisbane appear chastened and will be looking to put up a good performance in a challenging away game to Carlton next week.

 

Meanwhile, my friend and I left the warmth of the bar to sample the cakes of Footscray and mull over the game, a little prouder than usual to be daughters of the west.

 

Brisbane 0.2 0.3 1.4 3.6 (24)
Western Bulldogs 0.1 4.2 4.2 5.4 (33)

GOALS
Brisbane: Jess Wuetschner 2, Ally Anderson
Western Bulldogs: Isabel Huntington 2, Hannah Scott, Jenna Bruton, Aisling Utri
Umpires: Broadbent, Adair, Strybos
Crowd: 5,300
VOTES: Emma Kearney 3, Hannah Scott 2, Jenna Bruton 1

 

Daughters of the West in Brisbane
Photo: Ingrid Baade

About

The heart of a jock in the body of a clumsy nerd - here to talk women's footy, past and present, gender issues and union stuff.

Comments

  1. Yvette Wroby says:

    Be very proud! Was a great show of strength and character. Great to have Pride Round too!

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