AFL Round 11 – Brisbane v Carlton: I don’t have the blues any more

Brisbane versus Carlton

4.40pm, Saturday 31 May

Gabba, Brisbane

Andrew Weiss

It is the last day before winter officially starts but up in the Adelaide Hills today is like a typical wintry day – cold, dark, gloomy and raining constantly. I should know as I have just been out in the elements for the last four hours, umpiring some footy games in the local Hills competition. By the time I get home ready to watch the Lions take on Carlton, I am starting to get a bit of feeling back in my fingers and some warmth in my body.

The season so far, for a Lions supporter like myself, has been like the depths of winter. There have been plenty of dark and gloomy moments, with 100 point loses and injuries to key and experienced players. But there have also been glimpses of sunshine, with debutants like Aish, Taylor, Gardiner, Roberstson looking like they could be decent AFL players in the seasons to come. Today the Lions have another debutant in their team; mature age rookie Zac O’Brien, who will hopefully be another ray of sunshine for this season.

As the players run out onto the ground it looks like the weather is similar in Brisbane to what it has been in the Adelaide Hills; overcast with a bit of rain about. Maybe this might help the Lions make a game of it and we won’t have a 100 point plus loss today.

The first quarter is quite encouraging, with the Lions attacking the ball with determination and ferocity. A quick goal to new player Jackson Paine, a miraculous goal from the boundary line and along the ground from “Sauce” Merrett gives me optimism that the Lions have come to play today. An undisciplined act by captain Adcock gives Blues player Ellard a 50 metre penalty and a goal; which is the only blemish by the Lions, who kick 5 goals to one in what has been our best quarter of football this year. Ironically as I look outside, the rain has stopped and there even looks like there might be the chance of a bit of sunshine appearing; just like there is hope that the Lions could get their second win on the board this year.

Within minutes of the second quarter it has not only started raining outside but also raining goals, this time for Carlton, as Menzel, Everitt and Murphy kick goals in quick succession, followed up by Gartlett (who has just been subbed on). A bit over half way through the second quarter it gets darker and gloomier outside just like it does for the Lions at the Gabba. Trent West going up for a boundary throw-in contest has gone down with a suspected major knee injury. Can it get any worse for the Lions? The answer is ‘yes,’ as in the next ruck contest Warnock (who is now against a much smaller Merrett) easily taps the ball behind to a running Garlett who kicks his second and puts Carlton in front.

Here we go again. The Lions put together one good quarter before being over-powered and out-played by the opposition. Henderson kicks another to make it six for the quarter for Carlton and we haven’t even hit red time (where the Lions this year have let their opposition kick numerous goals). Is that thunder I can hear outside? Can it get any bleaker? Amazingly the Lions, for probably the first time this year, actually run out a quarter well and not only stop Carlton from scoring again but get two goals themselves, to lead at the half time break. Time to get some more wood for the fire.

The third quarter gets going and the Lions extend their lead as Brown kicks one from a set shot on the boundary line. That seems to kick-start Carlton as they tackle harder and start to win the clearances again. Pesky Garlett kicks his third with his third kick of the night and then Doherty, playing his first game against the Lions since he left them last year (due to so-called homesickness) kicks one. He has played well tonight. Looks like he might do what Jarred Polec did earlier in the year and play his best game against his former team. Far out, what a gloomy day it has been.

Just like the second quarter the Lions actually show a bit of fight, rather than rolling over like they have done so many times this year. With two goals, one after a great show of running football and the other from a courageous and excellent mark from Zorko, they are only five points down at three-quarter time.

The last quarter sees Carlton starting to shine as the better team. A goal to Henderson and then to the other Irishman on the field Tuohy and the Lions are down by sixteen. Looks like it is going to be another loss to the Lions but at least it has been a reasonably good performance this time. As I glance at the combustion heater it seems that not only has the Lions chances of a winning been snuffed out, but also due to lack of attention, the fire in the combustion heater has also.

As I think about how miserable the day has been, and how miserable the Lions season has and will probably continue to be, something seems to change that turns around the match. A great goal by Beams fifty metres out on the boundary line and a dubious free to Brown which results in a goal, seem to cause momentum to shift in the Lions favour. The Lions are running and are winning more of the clearances. Debutant Zac O’Brien gets a free kick on the centre square and then the dark clouds start to surface again. This time not around the Lions, but around Carlton, as an undisciplined act by Waite gives O’Brien a fifty metre penalty. He kicks his first AFL goal and puts the Lions in front. The gloom continues for Carlton, as Yarran is not paid a mark in the Lions’ goal square, only for Green to crumb and score what will be the match-winning goal.

The rain has stopped outside and the fire is roaring again as the Lions hold on for their second win of the year. There has been some sunshine for this Lions supporter in what has been a miserable day in the Adelaide Hills. With the Lions playing the Western Bulldogs and GWS in the coming weeks maybe there is some more sunshine on the horizon. The Lions’ season may end up overall as a dark and gloomy one. But as we all know, spring follows winter and with the young players the Lions have played this year showing plenty of potential, maybe there will be lots of sunshine in the future years for the Lions, just like there has been a glimpse of tonight.


Brisbane Lions     5.5.    7.8    10.10    14.14   (98)

Carlton               1.1.   7.4.     11.9    13.13  (91)


Brisbane Lions: Brown 3, Merrett 2, Zorko 2, Green 2, Paine, Redden, Paparone, Beams, O’Brien

Carlton: Garlett 3, Henderson 3, Ellard, Menzel, Everitt, Murphy, Docherty, Waite, Tuohy


Brisbane Lions: Redden, Zorko, Rockliff, Patfull, Brown,

Carlton: Murphy, Warnock, Simpson, Docherty, Henderson

My votes: Redden (Bris), Rockliff (Bris), Murphy (Carl)

About Andrew Weiss

Andrew is one of the few Brisbane Lions supporters that lives in the Adelaide Hills. He still has bragging rights over any Crows or Port supporter by mentioning the back to back to back premierships the Lions achieved in 2001-2003. After playing for over a decade for the mighty Adelaide Lutheran Football Club better known as 'The Doggies' he now spends his Saturdays running around footy ovals as an umpire, getting abuse no matter what decision is made. Coaching is probably next on the agenda as his two sons have started to play the great game of AFL. Andrew is a sports fanatic who when not watching or reading about sport is teaching secondary students about Biology, Nutrition and Psychology.


  1. Malcolm Ashwood says

    We’ll done Andrew certainly a game which ebbed back and forth as a redlegs man keep a close eye on the lions due to , James Aish ( still can’t believe he fell to draft choice ,7 ) . Brisbane were more disciplined and got a lucky decision in the end glad they got up good report , Andrew

  2. Thanks Andrew,
    I did miss this game and I felt good for Brisbane when I heard they had a win. I can only imagine the size of the expanded artery in the Carlton Coach’s neck as he presented for the presso!
    I spent the day jogging between the telly (Port vs. Melbourne in the Alice heat) in the Salisbury Football Club and back outside to watch the Jets take on the Maggies in D3. Definitely winter one day early.

Leave a Comment