AFLW Round 5: Melbourne v Brisbane Lions: For the Love of the Lions

Melbourne  v Brisbane Lions

Casey Fields, March 2, 2018


Danielle Spicer



This is the big game I wait for each year. Following an interstate team obviously means you aren’t going to see them live very often, but once a year they come to a ground within 20 minutes of where I live.


Beyond excited is an understatement.


The sky was clear, and although there was a bit of a breeze, it was nothing compared to the usual conditions at Casey Fields. It can be 30 and sunny 5 minutes down the road, but as soon as you are at Casey Fields it can be snowing and blowing a gale.


At the ground, Demons supporters were everywhere. Melbourne had lost two games in a row (both away games) and the supporters were clearly hopeful of balancing the ledger. I sauntered around the ground with the confidence one only finds when they know they are on enemy territory, but there are a lot of cameras watching.


We found a nice spot to stand behind the goals, watching on as the Melbourne girls ran through their warm up. This also put us in prime position to offer words of encouragement during the game.


Daisy Pearce quickly wiped the smile off my face though. I’m not sure what she thought I was shouting, but she kept trying to kick the ball to me. As I was standing behind the goals, this was disastrous to my beloved Lions. We headed into the first break without a score.


The second quarter started better, but the Demons press just wasn’t letting anything through easily. Combined with a couple of misses in front of the big sticks, the Lions just didn’t look like breaking the game apart at all.


To the left of me, a group of Melbourne supporters had joined us on the fence, and had made a sign for Richelle ‘Rocky’ Cranston, and were excitedly waving it around. I retaliated by loudly referring to her as ‘Kransky’ everytime she came our way, which seemed to settle things down somewhat.


At half time we walked the boundary soaking up the atmosphere. My team wasn’t winning, but I was in a state of bliss.


As the third quarter began I commented that AGAIN, Nic Hildebrand seemed to be getting knocked around more than the average punter.


Little did I know.


Towards the end of the term, there was a sickening collision with Tegan Cunningham, Melbourne full forward. Both Hildebrand and Cunningham stayed down for a while, before being helped from the ground, a bit of claret on display.


Melbourne were doing their very best to kick themselves out of the game, heading into the last break with 10 behinds to add to their three goals.


Sabrina Frederick-Traub was at her powerful best and kicked her third goal of the match to set up an exciting last quarter, pushing her opponent out of the ruck, and slamming the ball on her boot.


By this point, I was absolutely screaming.


With 2 minutes to go, and just 6 points in it, all of the action was in the Lions forward 50.


Emma Zeilke landed herself a free kick, and should have been given 50 metres as well had the umpire seen the Melbourne player drop the ball on the ground. She hurriedly handballed it over to Brittany Gibson, who did her best to unleash one of her signature monster kicks, but shanked it.


Just on the siren, the Lions were pleading for a free following a holding the ball tackle, but the umpires weren’t cooperating. The score would stand.


We made our way around the ground to where the Lions were greeting the fans but found ourselves stuck in some kind of holding pen for the family of the players. By the time the players came over to where we were, they were busy commiserating with their loved ones, and it didn’t seem an appropriate time for a photo opp.


I took one anyway. Its kind of a close up of my head with Leah Kaslar in the background describing what went wrong to a person I assume is her Nan. Its pretty creepy.


In the car as we were leaving the ground, my fiancé turned and with a quivering voice said ‘I can’t leave them. I’m too invested’.


We had been discussing prior to the game what we were going to do next year when Geelong enters their AFLW team. We are both die hard Geelong supporters, so it would seemingly make sense to keep all of our eggs in the same basket.


But we just cant. We love these Lions, and its impossible to jump ship now.


Frank Costa was right. There is a huge disadvantage involved with not being granted one of the initial AFLW Licenses.


MELBOURNE     2.3     2.6     3.10     4.10     (34)
BRISBANE           0.0     1.1      2.2       4.4       (28)

 D Pearce 2, Cunningham, Hore
Brisbane: Frederick-Traub 3, Gibson

Cunningham (head knock)
Hildebrand (head knock)

Umpires: Dore, Buwalda, Atkins

Crowd: 2100 at Casey Fields, Cranbourne




  1. Yvette Wroby says

    Lovely report Danielle. So many thoughts…agree that the 8 clubs to get the first women’s AFLW teams will be seen in a particular attached way even when Geelong get a team (and Saints the year after). We’ve fallen for these players and these teams and it will take time for a new team to take my heart. Even in my own beloved colours.

    It would have been a tough game to watch, the Daisy Pearce force was to be reckoned with. Sabrina is a force unto herself, but I think the Demons had more warriors that the Lions on this occassion.

  2. DanielleSpicer says

    Thank you Yvette.
    Yes its definitely going to be an issue. I saw a report by Deb Waterhouse the other day where she has encountered a similar thing.
    I took out foundation memberships regardless of there being a Geelong side, as I have waited so long for the AFLW, I simply had to find a way to support it. But they have absolutely won me over.
    Daisy Pearce is incredible. But, I wouldn’t take 10 of her for Sabrina. She is truly majestic!

  3. Yvette Wroby says

    Hi again Danielle, I am a foundation member last year and normal member this year of Western Bulldogs women, and I’ve just bought my VFLW membership for Southern Saints. Very excited. So I may be won over more easily than I imagined. A sucker for the red, white and black. That’s why I fell in love wtih the St Kilda Sharks in 2015. And Sharks are in GWS, WB, Collingwood and Carlton. No wonder I am fluttering all over the shop.

  4. DanielleSpicer says

    Yes they are a very successful side so it is no surprise they are spread out! I myself have an illustrious playing career of 5 games with Melbourne Uni, and am very happy to see players from there all through the AFLW – There are even at least two at the lions!

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