AFL Round 9 – Brisbane v Carlton: Texts from Greg

By David Southgate

Greg and I met through our wives, but our friendship was sealed once we discovered a common football allegiance.  We’ve done Queensland road trips for the Blues before, but tonight Greg’s at the Gabba on his own, or at least without me.  He promises a stream of Gonzo texts to balance what I’ll hear from the Foxtel team of Hudson, Dunstall and Shaw.

Reporting from the Chairman’s pre-match function, Greg’s first text tips that Bootsma will be wearing the sub’s fluoro green construction jacket.  Indigenous round is ignored as guest speaker Stuart Law talks cricket; no mention from Greg on whether the former Queensland captain taunts Victorian visitors about his controversial role in the 2001 Sheffield Shield final.

A shootout looms as the game starts at a frenetic pace with the teams trading goals – “both teams have come to play” texts Greg, while also appreciating the red in his host’s private box.  He notes the Blues’ interesting forward structure includes their trio of now mature number one draft picks Kruezer, Murphy and Gibbs.

But it’s Jarrad Waite and surprise packet Kane Lucas who do most of the early damage with a brace of goals each.  Brisbane’s defence is stretched without Daniel Merrett, and Waite is repeatedly outmarking the hapless Patfull and sometimes a second defender as well.  The quicksilver Bewick at least answers for the Lions.

Warnock, “second best tap ruckman in the comp”, is clearly on top.  At the stoppages the Blues prefer to use the bigger midfield bodies of McLean, Cachia, Ball and Robinson as Mick Malthouse is clearly tinkering with his team.  If only he could have them kick straight too, as Greg laments that “we’re smashing them on inside 50s, taps, and scoring shots – should be further ahead”.

Early in the second term it’s all Carlton again as they dominate the air and storm to a six goal lead.  Mitch Robinson thinks he’s a centre half-forward and takes two overhead marks inside 50, both of which he converts.  Jeff Garlett takes a Stephen Bradbury grab as two Lions fall down around him and it’s turning ugly for the hosts.  Waite continues on his merry way and Greg says “we should fine him $100,000 if ever he misses again through stupidity!”

Amongst the carnage there’s the odd glimmer for the hosts such as Black’s sublime handball in traffic to Handley.  Then there’s a subtle change in the game that the commentators seem instantly aware of.  Moloney finally breaks Cachia’s shackles on the way to a 10-possession quarter and the lift in the Lions’ intensity is particularly evident in their tackling.

A 50-metre penalty to a subdued Marc Murphy prompts Tony Shaw to say of the umpire, “three times he blew the whistle, and they don’t blow the whistle just because they like it”; I’m surprised there’s no argument from his fellow commentators.  Greg laments us not having buried the Lions when we had our chance, as we concede a three-point lead at half time.  But there are other problems such as Judd having had only nine possessions and Gibbs seven.

After the break the commentators are fascinated by Jarrad Waite as he continues to literally give Patfull the runaround.  Order is restored as Greg explains, “the key was that we all went back to our original seats – you can’t change seats when you’re leading!”  A deft Leuenberger tap to Bewick sees the crumber notch his third, and Lucas replies in kind.  In the shadows of three-quarter time, Armfield’s run and checkside kick gives the Blues a 15-point break.

For the last quarter the teams score predominantly in behinds in a wasteful display.  Greg reckons the Blues’ 13.20 should have been 20.13 while the Lions were only slightly less culpable.  At the siren former Melbourne team mates McLean and Moloney catch up for a chat.  Judd, who somehow finishes as Carlton’s leading possession winner, and Staker similarly reflect on their days at West Coast.

After a peek at Mick’s presser I’m off to bed, but Greg’s in the bus with a posse of Carlton identities and no doubt out for a night to deplete Brisbane’s reserves of Crown Lager.  It’s time for me to turn the phone off and hit the sack, but with the Blues having won fairly unattractively I don’t think I can quite start dreaming of a flag in 2013 yet.

Brisbane              3.1          9.4          10.10     12.13 (85)

Carlton                 6.5          8.7          12.13     13.20 (98)



Brisbane: Bewick 3, Moloney 2, Staker, Brown, Green, Polkinghorne, Redden, Hanley, Rockliff.

Carlton: Waite 3, Lucas 3, Garlett 2, Robinson 2, Judd, Armfield, Murphy.



Brisbane: Hanley, Bewick, Rockliff, Black, Redden, Moloney

Carlton: McLean, Waite, Lucas, Murphy, Robinson, Jamison


UMPIRES Jeffery, Chamberlain, Armstrong.   CROWD 24,037.


OUR VOTES: McLean (C) 3, Lucas (C) 2, Waite (C) 1.


  1. David, a weird game. I watched with my significant Bluebagger but had tipped Brisbane, so I was keen for the Lions to get up. I thought they would run all over the Blues having finished the second quarter so strongly but then they turned it up. It’s not fitness with the Lions, it’s something else. They almost seem disinterested, or lazy.
    Your boys in the 8 now. Is finishing on top of Collingwood this year as good as it gets (sans flag)?

  2. David Southgate says

    Cookie – faced with the choice of beating Collingwood (or the ASADA poster boys for that matter) or finishing above them on the ladder, I’d prefer the former. And I’m not greedy, but I’d rather have both! We have had seasons in the last decade where we’ve finished at or near the bottom of ladder, but beating the Pies, the Bombers and/or the Tiges has made it seem not so bad!

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