AFL Round 13: Brisbane v Melbourne: We just need Watts to do a Naitanui

By Steve Healy

Another Saturday had come, and it was back off to the Bentleigh Club in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs. The school holidays had finally arrived and I could now spend a whole weekend not worrying about completing homework and concentrating only on footy. I didn’t rate the Demons much of a chance in the game, but I thought Watts and Jurrah could team up and put on a bit of a show. Dad had agreed to come with me and we arrived at the club in good time, for dinner and then the game.
I had been to the Bentleigh Club two times before this year. The game wasn’t on downstairs so we had to travel upstairs. When travelling up the stairs, there was Melbourne memorabilia all over the walls. One that really caught my eye was one painting of the Melbourne team of the century, where Norm Smith is in the photo twice, once as a player and once as a coach.
Dad and I, along with 20-30 other supporters, assembled in the upstairs room, which resembles a bingo room at a retirement home. The projector screen showed Daniel Rich dribble one through for the Lions within the first minute and the people around me weren’t happy. Cale Morton kicked Melbourne’s first, which raised an almighty cheer. A few minutes later Robbo marked and goaled, and the Demons were in front, 8 to 12. The ball came down the other end far too easily, however, and Bradshaw kicked a goal. Aaron Davey had started well with 11 disposals in about twenty minutes. Polkinghorne kicked the Lions’ third and opened up a lead. The Demons stayed in the contest, and went to the quarter-time break trailing, 3.4 (22) to 2.0 (12).
The second quarter failed miserably for the Red and Blue, and a big Brisbane lead opened up. Several missed targets by players made it a terrible show for the Melbourne faithful to watch.
Jonathon Brown is a great player to watch. He knows the Gabba so well and is such a reliable set shot at a goal. He kicked three in a row in the quarter, before Melbourne finally scored, a behind from Robbo. Jack Watts then took a clever mark inside 50, which lightened the mood. He missed, adding a behind to his tally of 2.2 in three games. Defender Jason Roe kicked a goal for the Lions, and the score was 9.7 (61) to 2.2 (14) and it was half-time. The party pies and sausage rolls came into the room, and were an instant hit. I grabbed a couple of pies before they were all gone, and went back on to my seat for the third quarter.
It wasn’t much better. Jack Watts kicked into the man on the mark and the ball went out of bounds. Stefan Martin marked strongly in defence but then turned it over by missing the target 15 metres sideways. The margin could have been more, but Brisbane missed a few opportunities going forward but the Dees could never capitalise.
McLean was playing a quiet game, which was probably a good thing because he can’t turn the ball over when he doesn’t have it. Jack Grimes was playing well, and was generally kicking effectively. Bradshaw kicked his third and then Rich kicked his second from sharking the ball off Mitch Clark from a stoppage. Sherman snapped a goal and then Brown kicked number four, and the score was getting embarrassing. Ricky Petterd missed late in the quarter from a shocking shot at goal, and the score was 13.13 (91) to 2.5 (17) at three-quarter time.
A respectable effort for the Demons in the last quarter netted them six goals. Cameron Bruce kicked a goal from outside 50, which brought up Bronx cheers. Bruce has done enough to not be criticised in the last few weeks, or at least by me.
Nathan Jones, who came into the team late for Bate kicked a goal from the boundary about five minutes later. Jetta missed an easy one on the run, but I was impressed by his game. He found the ball occasionally in some dangerous spots. B1 and B2 kicked one each for the Lions, who both easily won their contests against Frawley and Warnock respectively.
Sylvia kicked a good goal, followed by a relaxed set shot goal from Jurrah. It was good to see Liam get some game time under his belt; he didn’t do anything unbelievable but he stood strong for the night. Polkinghorne kicked his second for the Lions and then Sylvia kicked his second. Watts picked up the ball and passed it to Davey, who ran in and kicked a goal. It was a good assist from the 18-year-old. It was a good last quarter from Melbourne, winning the quarter 6.3 (39) to 3.2 (20). They just need four-quarter efforts.
I left the Bentleigh club and came home to see the end of West Coast v Hawthorn. Naitanui kicked three amazing goals and won the game off his own boot in the last quarter. How long would it be before Watts is winning games for our team?

Brisbane 3.4  9.7 13.13 16.15 (111)
Melbourne 2.0 2.2  2.5  8.8 (56)
Goals – Brisbane: Brown 5, Bradshaw 4, Rich 2, Polkinghorne 2, Roe, Sherman, Stiller.
Melbourne: Sylvia 2, Bruce, Davey, Jurrah, Jones, Robertson, Morton.

Best – Brisbane: Black, Brown, Power, Brennan, Adcock, Bradshaw, Clark, Stiller, Rich.
Melbourne: Davey, Bruce, Grimes, Sylvia.
Umpires: Donlon, Hay, Jeffery.                        Crowd: 23,750 at the Gabba.
My Votes: Black (B) 3, Brown (B) 2, Power (B) 1.

About Steve Healy

Steve Healy is an entity of a Melbourne supporter.

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