AFLW Round 4 – Brisbane v Fremantle: Revelations

Revelations   

 

Brisbane versus Fremantle

3.35pm, Saturday, 24 February

South Pine Sports Complex, Brendale

Jamie Simmons

 

I’m not one for overstating things. Ok, there was that one time when I announced Justice Crew would be ”Bigger than The Beatles” but in my defence, I had been painting indoors all day with the windows closed. That said, I don’t think I’m being overly dramatic when I say that The Rapture is upon us, so get your affairs in order. Ladies bring a plate.

 

For 40 non-stop hours Brisbane has been blanketed by rain. Ex-tropical cyclone Gita, recently downgraded to a Category 5 pain in the ass, has sauntered into the South East corner of Queensland and, like the unemployed uncle at a housewarming party, simply refuses to leave.

 

I know Queenslanders can be a little precious where weather is concerned. Anywhere outside of the Goldilocks Zone (24 – 26 degrees Celsius and zero precipitation) and Queenslanders take to barricading themselves indoors and start drawing straws to see which family member will be eaten first, but this is seriously wet. How wet? I just saw a bloke out walking his dugong.

 

On the positive side, the Apocalypse pauses just long enough for me to make a less perilous journey out to my old nemesis, Brendale.

 

I’ve made my feelings known about the suburb of Brendale previously. We just don’t get along. I think what Brendale needs, apart from Martial Law, is a large sign erected on the outskirts of the suburb that says: If you can read this sign…you probably shouldn’t be here.

 

Dark clouds lurch over the South Pine Complex once more. Respite will be brief. I have my Lions coat but it is destined to be inadequate. This is a hell of a time to remember the difference between water proof and water resistant. The complex offers so little in the way of shelter, so I accept that I am destined to soak through. My last second decision not to wear my sheer white jump suit appears a wise one.

 

The southern end offers the curious addition of tee pees, presumably for extra shelter. Unsurprisingly, this space fills quickly. They’re an incongruous choice but shelter is shelter. Both clubs emerge and it’s Fremantle who will be kicking to the Pocahontas end.

 

The atmosphere is light. There are stilt walkers and face painters on hand. The face painting is a concern in these conditions. Little Sally might be every bit the cute little kitty now mum, but sometime before quarter time you’ll have a pint sized Alice Cooper on your hands.

 

The ground has drained as well as could be expected but onballers will struggle today. I feel for the players. Bamboo would struggle out there today.

 

The siren also heralds the return of the rain. At first sprinkle, umbrellas leap into full bloom on the fence, blocking my and everybody else’s view behind them. I bid a hasty retreat to higher ground.

 

The first quarter is a slog. It’s fifteen minutes of Turkish wrestling interspersed with rolling mauls. The conditions will allow for little else. The tackling pressure is unwavering and it ensures each hopeful advance is overpowered and subdued.

 

Best players will be decided only after tallying their bruises. Forget possessions. Fitness will be key.

 

Sabrina Frederick-Traub soccers one through congestion and into the path of the ever crafty Wuetschner who toes it across the line for the quarter’s only goal. These are the half chances that could decide the result.

 

It’s at quarter time that I rekindle acquaintance with one of last season’s great characters. I don’t see her, I never do, but I hear her distinct song reverberating around the ground for all to enjoy. This raspy voiced pundit will spruik succinct messages of support for the Lions all quarter long. Then she gathers herself, gargles another bottle of Domestos and away she goes again. Always squawking the same short phrases.  Today she has elected to go with: “Help her!” and “Get it out!” I think she would be less distracting to me if she were perched on a pirate’s shoulder but her passion is undeniable.

 

It’s half time and dilapidated dads waddle about in crocs and sandals on the hill. Their flat punts wobble in unison with their mid-sections. Their kids revel at the rare opportunity to wrestle in mud, unsanctioned. There’s an almost festive, Woodstock kind of feel about things, only minus the fear of Sha Na Na making an appearance.

 

Frederick-Traub simmers in the second half. Close to erupting. It’s been a season of frustration for her thus far.

 

The Lions continue to use quick handballs as a means to break the congestion. Finally, it works. Gibson finds rare space to be on the end of a breakaway goal.

 

Tahlia Randall’s transition to the ruck is a master stroke. Her volleyball background has made for quite the revelation. Even deep into the last quarter she continues to soar skyward though she were Icarus. She needn’t fear the sun here today though. She has provided the first hands to the football that we desperately lacked last year.

 

Kate Lutkins has been superb again. Playing largely in the formidable shadows of Kaslar and Sam Virgo last season, she has emerged to reveal star qualities, uniquely her own.

 

For Fremantle, I admire Filocamo, Donnellan and Hooker. They are quality footballers in need of support.

 

There’s five points in it at three quarter time. Instead of my usual complaints about the umpiring, today I leave it to captain Zielke to question some puzzling interpretations. He offers her the look of a man that may have to Google his answers.

 

I’ve always been a little old school in my reporting endeavours, preferring the splash of ink on paper to more modern methods. This has proven problematic now that my notes have effectively paper mached themselves to my legs. I fear the onset of enthusiastic children who have mistaken me for a piñata.

 

Wuetschner sneaks over the back once more for a second goal that steals the contest. She’s an Artful Dodger this one, both in skill and charm. She’d pinch your fillings if you yawned too long in her presence. I just love her.

 

A squadron of mozzies have taken formation above me, looking to dine al fresco this evening. Don’t get me wrong, when I’m in Brendale I expect to be bitten…though it’s usually it’s by a local. I begin packing in anticipation of departure.

 

Siren! They’ve done again what they do best, defend their way to victory.

 

Looking to bid a hasty retreat I fashion a shortcut across a dormant playing field and it’s than I learn why I am alone in my endeavours. I find myself padding across the oval in an ankle high cocktail of recycled water and Dynamic Lifter.  What a perfect accompaniment to the drenched clothing I now find myself peeling off inside my car. It’s Saturday night, I’ll be heading home in only my underpants and smelling like the Mayor of Werribee. It’s college all over again. And yet I smile.

 

If the Springfield project sees daylight in 2019, and I am very much hopeful that it will, this will mark the last time that Brendale and I are forced to share an awkward few hours together.

 

As far as portents are concerned, things do not bode well for our last home game.

 

Game one we stewed in our own juices under oppressive heat. Today we sought buoyancy in the face of an incessant deluge. Game three: Expect pestilence of biblical proportions. Plagues of boils, locusts…telemarketers. You have been warned.

 

 

Brisbane    0.0   1.1  2.2  3.4  (22)

Fremantle  0.1   0.2  1.3  2.3  (15)

 

Goals:

Brisbane – Wuetschner 2, Gibson 1

Fremantle –  Barr , Atkins 1

 

Best:

Brisbane – Lutkins, Wuetschner, Randall, Hildebrand, Exon, Stanton

Fremantle –  Filocamo, Antonio, Donnellan, Atkins, Hooker, O’Sullivan

 

Umpires: Mirabile, Rowe, Howorth                                                                            Crowd: 1,500

 

Our Votes: Lutkins (Bris) 3, Wuetschner (Bris) 2, Randall (Bris) 1

 

About Jamie Simmons

Born in Melbourne, a third generation Fitzroy supporter, in 1972 before emigrating to Tasmania during The Great Broccoli Famine of 86. Leaving my island lodgings, largely at the request of locals, to settle once more on the mainland in 1997. These days living out a peaceful existance on the outskirts of Brisbane, where I spend most of my time serving as a fashion warning to others.

Comments

  1. DanielleSpicer says:

    I have to be honest, this just makes me want to fly up for the last game! Awesome write up Jamie, very entertaining!

  2. Dave Brown says:

    Very funny as always, Jamie. Will be interesting to see how the finding of suitable venues plays out over the next few AFLW seasons. No-one has a perfect venue for a crowd <=10,000, although some are closer than others (even a venue like Norwood Oval, while well situated with a reasonable number of undercover seats, struggles with parking, toilets and refreshments compared to the large AFL stadia). I reckon Brisbane can go all the way this year, and hopefully they can do it in front of a decent crowd at the Gabba.

  3. John Butler says:

    I believe the Brendale tourist bureau are on the phone. They want to have a word….

    Love your work Jamie. :)

  4. I’ve just sent the dugong paragraph to my parents-in-law who are Queenslanders. Thanks Jamie.

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