AFL Round 8 – Brisbane v Essendon: So close yet so far

This was a sort of annual grudge match because all of my extended, my misguided extended family, barrack for the Dons and I had been getting heaps for years about how hopeless the Lions had become. If my mob won I would make the point with quiet satisfaction, if the Bombers won I would surely hear about it with somewhat more emphasis from our offspring located in Toronto and Auckland. Indeed our daughter had just rung from Auckland ostensibly to remind me that the game was on but more with the purpose perhaps of having a quiet gloat in anticipation of an easy Bombers win.

Anyway, I was more hopeful, Essendon after a ripper start to the year had started to come off the pace and in so doing had been less than impressive. They had been getting little up forward in recent games

We had been less than flash as well but at least we had Brown and Hanley coming back. Most supporters would agree Brown wasn’t the player that he was but still, it would help if players up the field could direct the ball to him with a little more finesse.

Brisbane ran onto the ground in that Bears strip. Why the Brisbane Bears, that jumper was something that they would have wanted to forget, surely.

I wondered why teams have to gather in a huddle and have a mutual hug fest having just run out onto the ground. Surely all that could be said should have been said by now. Bloody bonding nonsense in my view, just get on with it.

Merrett took a great contested mark against Hurley having received a good pass from Paparone. Some would argue that the mark had been taken with the help of a slight push in the back getting Hurley out of the way. Anyway, from a sharp angle, GOAL!!!!

Zaharakis kicked for goal, ball dropped short, Goddard took an uncontested mark in the goal square. Goal. Where were our defenders? Bombers by two points, were the flood gates about to open?

The magician attempted a goal square soccered goal, the ball boggled around a bit, snuck through over the line. GOAL.

Lovely pass from Adcock to Brown MARK GOAL, really good stuff.  18 points to 8

Essendon’s Zac Merrett kicked a magnificent running goal on the siren, hate it when our team gets scored against in junk time.

Alastair Lynch not impressed by either teams’ start, James Aish 9 touches.

Merrett took a great screamer at centre half forward, missed a seemingly easy shot which would have given the Lions a handy break.

Daniher fluked a sort of drop kick from just out of the square, nice goal, damn! Essendon back in front.

Hanley kicked the ball out of bounds where had it been a decent pass to the leading forward Brisbane would have been in.

Carlisle received a really lucky 60 metre penalty, Goal. Would Brisbane now get run over? Now down 27 – 18.

Another goal from a long way out this time, kicked by Zaharakis, the game was loosening up Brisbane couldn’t stay with them.

The magician gave a fifty metre penalty away, he was mouthing off apparently. Essendon’s Merrett kicked an easy goal.  Bombers 19 points up. They had kicked the last five goals.

Daniel Merrett missed a much needed goal for Brisbane, was gettable.

Green GOALED at half time, having been the beneficiary of a fifty metre penalty against Courtney Dempsey, reducing the Bomber lead to 13 points, Dempsey lacked discipline in giving away that penalty.

The second half started, I was reasonably happy with the state of affairs, Brisbane had not really been outclassed.

In a possibly match changing mark attempt James Aish stopped Daniher going forward and a Brisbane GOAL resulted  with the deficit being reduced to 9 points.

Courtney Dempsey chased Green down with a brilliant tackle just as he was heading to goal.

Brown bluffed the boundary umpire into not calling out of bounds from which play then resulted a kick to a pack from which Green emerged to score another MAJOR. Brisbane down 2 points.

Green kicked a fantastic GOAL on the rushing out of the forward pocket. BRISBANE BACK IN LEAD

Jobe Watson goaled, having applied a really good tackle against a Brisbane defender. Bombers had regained the lead. Watson was having a quieter day but he is still a great player.

Jackson Paine outmanoeuvred Fletcher and received a free kick just out of the square. GOAL: LIONS BACK IN FRONT. Brisbane lead at three quarter time 8 6 to 7 8. The game had suddenly become very exciting.

Alistair Lynch said that the game would be decided by an individual act of brilliance.

Zorko tried to be that player as he weaved his way towards the half forward flank but his gathered momentum meant that as so often happens the kick forward was not particularly accurate as it rolled past Brown toward goal but then it didn’t make it and was quite easily cleared.  I was screaming very audible obscenities.

From a Brisbane perspective two other great opportunities were lost, one being when Tent West missed a chest mark in range and the other when at the last gasp an advantage was taken at centre wing from a free not picked by the television cameras.

Unfortunately for Brisbane, Jackson Merrett was the player who pulled out from somewhere the outstanding act, that is, a brilliant scything winging goal from out of a pack on the right forward flank. Ryder confirmed the win with another goal very late in the match.

I received the phone call from Auckland, our son in law was reasonable enough…

Finally, I really admired Justin Leppitsch for his calm reasoned approach to the loss. No point in talking up the minuses when he could talk up the pluses which he did and they were many.

Essendon     2.3                  6.4                  7.8                  9.11   65

Brisbane       3.0                  4.3                  8.6                  8.9      57

Goals Essendon: Z. Merrett 2: Goddard, Zaharakis, Carlisle, Daniher, J. Merrett, Watson, Ryder

Goals Brisbane: Green 3; Merrett, Zorko, Brown, Paine, Paparone.

Best Essendon: Watson, Heppell, Goddard, Dempsey

Best Brisbane:         Rockliff, Paparone, Adcock, Green, Aish

Report: M. Maguire, (Brisbane) reported in third quarter for tripping J. Daniher (Essendon).

Umpires: Meredith, Mitchell, Leppard.  Crowd at Gabba 26,432

OUR VOTES: 3.Watson, 2.Heppell, 1.Rockliff.




About Peter Schumacher

Wannabe footy commentator and writer, used to be a wannabe footballer


  1. Malcolm Ashwood says

    This game was a great contest how , James Aish fell to draft choice 7 still has me stuffed he supposedly didn’t get enough inside ball at the parade , which just showed a complete lack of research and understanding of his roll under , Bassett
    In Mayes , Redden , Rockliff etc there is enough young talent to build , Brisbanes revival on thanks , Peter

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