Fickle Fev Fires Up in Fourth Quarter Surge

By Steve Healy

The Lions are in danger. After five losses in a row following a 4-0 start, Brown and Fevola have supposedly playing injured and they have arguably lost their three best defenders in Merrett, Drummond and Adcock in the blink of an eye to bad injuries. This puts enormous pressure on blokes like Ex-Saint Maguire, Patfull and McGrath to perform in the back half while Brent Staker, who was set to be the third tall in the Brisbane forward line before the year’s start, has had to play a role in defence. Inexperienced players like Hawksley, Rockliff, Collier and Sheldon are now in the side that many experts called ‘the best’ after round four.

Despite the fact that this was a home game against the Pies, Collingwood were hot favourites with the inclusion of Simon Prestigiacomo to play the role on either Fevola or Brown.

The ball was bounced and things looked terribly ugly for the home side. A quick clearance resulted in a missed shot on goal from Cloke, and a turnover from the kick in gifted Didak a goal. Johnson chipped it inside fifty to Jolly, who also kicked it through from just inside the arc. The Lions got their first from a booming kick from Daniel Rich- who has finally found his magnificent form again- from inside the centre square, reminding me of a similar goal he kicked against the Demons last year. Didak curled his second through, just, but the Lions weren’t giving in. Banfield had a flying shot on goal but missed, while Swan missed a sitter at the other end which was a case where he shouldn’t have dribbled it through like he does so often. Rich kicked a second, while his look alike Banfield got another. Dawes answered for the Pies but a lightning fast clearance from Redden hit Brown directly on the chest who goaled from 25, which was one of the cleanest passages of play I’d ever seen. The efforts from Brisbane went to waste as Anthony and Sidebottom added goals to the Collingwood scorecard just before the break. The Pies lead by 13 in a shoot-out of a quarter.

The high scoring first quarter was followed by a low scoring second quarter, but far from a bad one. Dawes’ boot would’ve been mistaken for a catapult as his huge kick split the middle from 55.  Banfield ran into an open goal for his second before Captain Brown added another one to his sheet. However, like their last home game against Geelong, Fevola was nowhere to be seen. Things seemed really tight at this point as the Pies’ forward line was being well held. Luke Power, in his 250th, was dominating. A talking point of this match occurred when Brown and O’Brien got into a scuffle right next to the fence, which resulted in a second tug of O’Brien’s dreadlocks in three weeks. Sidebottom made amends for a bad shot on goal from Cloke by crumbing and snapping superbly. The Pies still lead by 15 after a scrappy quarter but the Lions were right in the match. Staker was surprisingly good for the Lions up to this point, already racking up 19 touches.

Pendlebury got on to the end of some good work to the put the Pies in front by a game-high 20 points, but Brisbane’s veterans all stood up, Brown stuck his third through (before falling one short from 45) while Fevola received bronx cheers when he  popped his first through from an impressive mark. This gave the 29 year old a burst of confidence and he kicked a magnificent goal where he somehow extracted the ball and threw it on his boot over his head from the point of the square. Rockliff looked very impressive and already had 25 possessions by three quarter time, in which the Lions trailed by a bare margin of three points, 9.8 62 to 9.11 65. A big last quarter would follow.

Collingwood needed an experienced player to lift if they were going to win this game. Daisy Thomas kicked one through to open the last quarter but Brown popped up with his forth as a result of a booming kick from 60 out. Rich kicked it inside 50; Buchanan got on to it and handed it to Power who kicked the goal to put them in front. The Gabba crowd was alight. What followed was another good goal, Redden kicked it long off his boot and Fevola marked on the goal line. Despite a massive O’Brien goal, the Lions held off the Pies by eight points with a magnificent snap from Fevola. The crowd roared, their Lions were back.

I have to give my three votes to Brendan Fevola, who tore the game apart with four goals in little more than a quarter, as good as Brown and Power were. Collingwood now have many selection dilemmas, but it doesn’t take rocket science to figure out that Anthony, Macaffer and Wood shouldn’t be in the team. They should replace these three with Davis, Medhurst and Fraser if all fit. Dale Thomas had 34 possessions, a career high, along with 12 marks, three tackles and a goal, but didn’t have that much of an impact, which goes to show that disposals may not mean as much as they used to.

Well done Lions.

Brisbane 4.4—6.6—9.8—13.10 (88)

Collingwood 6.5—8.9—9.11—11.14 (80)

Goals

Brisbane: Brown 4, Fevola 4, Rich 2, Banfield 2, Power.

Collingwood: Dawes 2, Didak 2, Sidebottom 2, Jolly, Pendlebury, Anthony, D Thomas, O’Brien.

Best

Brisbane: Fevola, Brown, Power, Black, Rockliff, Staker, Rischitelli, McGrath Rich, Banfield, Johnstone, Clark.

Collingwood: Ball, Pendlebury, Jolly, Didak, Johnson, Thomas.

Umpires: Stevic, Stewart, Pannell.   Crowd: 34,239.

My Votes: 3. Brendan Fevola (BL), 2. Jonathon Brown (BL), Luke Power (BL).

About Steve Healy

Steve Healy is an entity of a Melbourne supporter.

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