AFL Round 1 – Western Bulldogs v Brisbane: I’m Single Again

The start of a season is like being with a new girlfriend; everyone is excited but no one has any idea how it is going to turn out. Both teams have had no success for several seasons so it’s like they have been single for quite a while and then along comes the new partner. Could this be it?


The omens were good for the Brisbane Lions. They’d won the NAB cup and more importantly Julia Gillard was the single pundit in The Age to go for the Doggies. To keep this single thing going, she has not got a single bit of good news for years and if things don’t improve her popularity ratings may finish up in single figures. Once I pointed out her prediction to everyone at the bar at the North Fitzroy Arms everyone was backing the Lions.


Brisbane had two new players, Martin and Moloney, both from Melbourne while The Dogs had a twenty nine year old, Brett Goodes, making his debut. A better in for the Doggies was Dale Morris who’d suffered a terrible broken leg a few years ago. He got a cheer on his first possession and it was great to see him fit back into footy like he had never been away. His return meant that Murphy moved forward which I think will be an advantage for the Doggies this year. He has the knack of finding the goals and when there is space he can exploit it. He certainly is a team player and is likely to engineer many a forward thrust.


By quarter time the romance for Brisbane supporters with this season was over. We wanted a divorce. We wanted to be single again. Indeed the word single was all over this game. The Doggies had six single goal kickers in the first quarter while Brisbane had six single point kickers. Rich and Polkinghorne had a single disposal each for the term – both while playing on the ball, showing Brisbane’s lack of run and carry. In contrast, all day, Footscray were disciplined and would hang onto the ball deep in defence and would wait until an avenue forward would present itself.


The second term opened up with Moloney scoring Brisbane’s first goal and he set up another one soon after. This was Brisbane’s single good patch for the day. After this the Footscray on-ballers dominated the match. Griffen had the better of Moloney and Minson (BOG) took young Longer apart. Liberatore was hard at it and used the ball well. Rockcliff got a lot of the ball but he had no influence on the match. During the last quarter my sister asked where had Rockcliff been all day.


Cross’s return meant that Murphy moved forward where he was a mobile  creative forward. The Doggies did not have a large target but played with enough flair to create goals at will. Brisbane’s day is best summed up by Aaron Cornelius who took a mark in the last quarter, twenty five yards out, and nearly directly in front. We all knew he was going to miss it.


Best players for the Lions were Hanley and Merrett. I refuse to name a Brisbane on-baller as they were well beaten all day around the packs. Brown and McGrath looked old and slow; a single season too many?


For the Doggies Minson dominated his position all day. Griffen, Libber, Giansiracusa and Murphy lead their Brisbane opponents a merry dance.


Next week the Doggies host Fremantle who knocked off West Coast, one of the premiership favourites while Brisbane host Adelaide. This match is up at the Gabba so I will be sitting at home in front of the telly.


Single again!

Leave a Comment