AFL Round 12 – Fremantle v Brisbane: A Black day for Brisbane

This week Brisbane have to do what is probably the longest trip in the AFL as they travel over to the west to take on Fremantle at Paterson Stadium. Playing the Dockers at their home ground has never brought much success for the Lions, especially last year where they only had 20 inside 50s to score a miserly 5.5. This year Ross Lyon has got Fremantle playing tough, hard, highly intense football – something the Lions have not done consistently since their successful NAB Cup campaign.

As I sit down to watch the match I am somewhat optimistic that the Lions could cause the upset of the year. It is not because we have 3 of our better young guns coming back, in the way of Leuenberger, Rockcliff and Rich but more because today we salute a great of the Brisbane Lions – Simon Black. Today Black will play his 319th game to break the record for most games played by a Brisbane Lions player. Surely the Lions can show some real spirit and hardness at the ball today to try and get a win for Black, a champion footballer and bloke, not only for Brisbane but the AFL. They must play better than there insipid performance against Collingwood a fortnight ago.

As the teams line up for the start of the match Ryan Crowley, Fremantle’s number one tagger, who is also celebrating a milestone of playing 150th games, lines up on Black. I think to myself “Come on Ross Lyon have a bit of heart and don’t tag Black today”, but soon realise that this is the ultimate compliment to Black, having the  Fremantle coach think that even at the age of 34 he is still the most dangerous midfielder the Lions have got. Within the first minute Black gets his first touch receiving a handball from Leuenberger and kick it out of the Lions defence. A minute later Lisle scores the first goal not only for Brisbane but for the match. Is an upset going to occur with Black being the hero?

The first quarter is one where both teams try to keep possession with precision or chip kicking, with some ugly football in between. Even though it is early in the game you can already see that it is easier for the Dockers to move it out of their defence and into their forward line compared to the Lions. The highlight for the quarter is Black reading the tap at the centre bounce, getting clear of the congestion like he has hundreds of times before in his career and swinging onto the left foot, pin pointing a pass to Leuenberger in the forward line.

The Lions start the second quarter well, with run and carry football that is breaking through the Dockers’ well-structured zone but cannot convert their opportunities into goals. Momentum then shifts on a consistent basis but neither team can kick accurately when they do have it. Eventually the Dockers midfield of Mundy, Barlow and Fyfe start to get more of the ball and towards the end of the quarter kick a couple of goals to be three goals up at half time. There has been a bit of niggle throughout the match so far which continues with a bit of push and shove and a few words spoken as both teams head to the rooms at half time. Black in his milestone game has had 12 disposals (most of them clearances) at half time which has been a good effort considering he has had Ryan Crowley on his back and in his face for the whole half. Could a fairy tale still occur, with the Lions not too far behind?

It’s another dour, tough struggle in the third quarter which does not produce too much open, eye catching football. Pressure on the ball carrier and fierce tackling is the main priority for both teams.  With the quarter coming to an end there is no way I would predict what was about to happen. Simon Black comes off for what I think is just a normal rest, when out comes the red vest. MICHAEL VOSS WHAT ARE YOU DOING SUBBING OFF SIMON BLACK IN HIS RECORD BREAKING GAME!  I think to myself. HAVE YOU LOST THE PLOT? WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? I am dumbfounded. It is not as if Black’s the worst player on the field, in fact he is leading the clearances for the Lions. It’s not as if leaving him on is going to cost Brisbane a chance of playing finals football this year. I just can’t believe Voss has done this. As far as I am concerned it is just one big kick in the guts. I quickly lose interest in the game. Today was meant to be all about Simon Black and his game time has just finished like that. YOU DON”T SUB OFF A CHAMPION PLAYER LIKE BLACK!

The game finishes as expected with the Dockers comfortably winning by 40 points. They have been the more consistent team over the four quarters making fewer mistakes in what has quite often been an error riddled match. Even though they were not convincing today, Fremantle have the players, the coach and the game plan to not only make the finals but if Pavlich and Sandilands come back maybe even push for the premiership. As for the Lions their season, if it wasn’t already, is over. The main talking point for me is Simon Black being subbed off in his record breaking game. As far as I am concerned it was no way to treat one of the real gentleman of the game and an absolute champion of the Brisbane Lions. I hope he continues next year and breaks the record for most games played by a Brisbane Lions or Fitzroy player but after today I am not too sure. Simon Black I salute you, as all Brisbane fans do and even though I have great admiration for Michael Voss as a player maybe it is time to hand him the red vest as the Brisbane Lions coach. Only time will tell.


Fremantle       3.4  6.7  8.9  12.14 (86)
Brisbane           2.1  3.7  4.9    6.10 (46)

Fremantle: Mayne, Mundy, Johnson 2, D Pearce, Hannath, De Boer, Crowley, Hill, Clarke
Brisbane: Lisle 3, McGrath 2, Rockcliff


Fremantle: Mundy, Barlow, Ibbotson, D Pearce, Johnson, McPharlin

Brisbane: Golby, Lester, Rich, McGrath, Redden, Lisle

Umpires: McBurney, Dangleish, Fleer

Official crowd: 33,384

Our Votes: 3 Mundy (Frem) 2 Barlow (Frem) 1 Black (Bris) – purely for sentimental reasons



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. The Wrap says

    I’m not sure, when does Vossie’s contract come up Andrew? And what’s the general feeling amongst The Faithful? Are you alone in feeling it might be time for Boss Voss to slip into the red vest?

  2. Andrew Weiss says

    You pose a couple of interesting question The Wrap. Vossies contract finishes at the end of the year when the club has said a decision will be made after a review of how he has gone this year. As for the feeling among the faithful i would have to say (and this is my perspective as well) that with Voss being a favourite son at the Lions we all would want him to do well as the coach there but it just does not seem as if we are improving like we should with the list we have and the young players coming through. If Voss does get replaced Brisbane needs a big name coach to replace him not only to lift the profile of the club both in Queensland and Australia but also to get these young players (Rich, Rockcliff, Redden, Golby the list goes on) to take the next step. Many of our young players excel in the reserves but then struggle to make a consistent impact when they get to the big league.

Leave a Comment