AFLW Round 5 – Melbourne v Brisbane Lions: I need vitamins for heart failure

Melbourne  v Brisbane Lions

Casey Fields, March 2, 2018



So here we are, round five of seven, and Melbourne is done. Two losses on the trot has them out of finals contention and now they’re playing Brisbane – the team they lost so comprehensively to last year on this same ground.


Advantages – We’re back at Casey Fields, Melbourne’s home ground. Melbourne have nothing to lose so they may as well have fun out here tonight.


Disadvantages. This is Brisbane. The team which didn’t drop a game last year and has only dropped one this year.


And yet, Melbourne just keep giving me heart failure.


They’ve come out hard and strong and two minutes in, Daisy Pearce kicks a goal, her first for the year!


Maybe this is what the kidlet was asking her about in the SuperDrugBarn* commercials.


A few minutes later, those NeutralEuroCountryVitamins* Daisy also promotes have kicked in, because Pearce kicks her second!


Plenty of heavy tackles and classic ‘desperation football’ keeps the Lions scoreless in the first quarter. Great for Melbourne, bad for the scoreline.


Second quarter and Melbourne start to wobble, adding only three points to the score, while Brisbane’s Sabrina Frederick-Traub kicks her first goal of three for the game. It’s a fantastic goal under pressure and the Lions are sniffing a chance.


Brisbane is keeping up the pressure, but it’s all in the defensive zone. It’s frustrating to watch when it’s all defence and no real momentum.


Who’s #15 for Brisbane? She has a Lion’s mane of a mullet. Nat Exon, take a bow. Turns out, it’s a mullet for a good cause as she’s joining in the World’s Greatest Shave and will be cutting it all off for charity at the end of the season. Here’s the link to help her reach that goal.


The third quarter is a masterclass in wasted opportunities, frustration and kicking into the post. Brisbane kick another goal and a point, while Melbourne kick one goal and four points. Frederick-Traub takes a spectacular mark right in the teeth of the goals, she kicks a weird banana. It’s an ugly kick but it’s a goal, and Brisbane are only six points behind. Or one kick.


One accurate kick.


Alas, accurate kicks are few and far between until in the last minute, Cunningham takes a contested mark for the Dees and kicks – for a second it looks like it might fly across the face of the goals, but it curves through for a proper score.


In the final moments of the quarter Cunningham and Hildebrand have a sickening clash – the replay shows they were so focused on the ball they didn’t see the danger. They’ve both gone down hard, but manage to walk off the ground (with assistance).


The fourth quarter sees Melbourne kick a single goal, courtesy of Hore, drawing the lead out to 14 points. Brisbane’s never-say-die persistence sees them kick two more goals and two more points, but it’s not enough and Melbourne squeak home for the win.


Special shout out to Karen Paxman. Daisy Pearce might get a lot of the glory, but Paxman deserves credit for being Melbourne’s engine. 25 disposals, 16 kicks and a stack of handballs. She keeps on keeping on, keeping things moving for the team.


I’m getting worried about the low crowds and the low scoring matches. On the screens, there seem to be plenty of people cheering, but the official count is just over two thousand. Maybe 7pm on a Friday night, 55 clicks from the CBD is asking too much. It’s too much for me, I’m at home watching it on the computer.


But that shouldn’t stop the teams from kicking four majors a quarter instead of four each for the whole game.


Melbourne’s percentage keeps them third on the ladder, Brisbane’s keeps them second. Melbourne is in the same position they were last year – waiting for someone else to fall over for a chance to win. I’m gonna need more than vitamins to get me through this.


*Names have been changed to protect commercial innocence.


POINTS: 3 Frederick-Traub (Bris), 2 Pearce (Melb), Paxman (Melb)

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


Ebony McKenna was a contributor to The Women’s Footy Almanac 2017. Read more about the book HERE







Ebony McKenna is a total show off and has trouble shutting up. The most important reason she's here at The Footy Almanac is because she's Rod Oaten's daughter.


  1. Jarrod_L says

    Karen “Engine” Paxman at it again!

    I think for a lot of people, a trip to Casey late on a Friday is just too much. It seemed like that was the main reason people I know didn’t flock down to watch.

    P.S. Thanks for not giving SuperDrugBarn any further bandwidth; as a community pharmacist in an earlier phase of my life who actively avoided working for them, it annoys me no end seeing their banners everywhere!

  2. You alerted me to remember Paxman from last week, and you were right. Game after game, there she is getting the job done to help the team.

    Also, as a community pharmacist – good stuff. (Yeah, that SuperDrugBarn is everywhere) Can you recommend a good nerve tonic? I’m gonna need it!

  3. Kasey Symons says

    This was such a tense game Ebony, I’m so glad I didn’t have a team in this or I would have needed something more than vitamins too! Glad to see the Dees got the the W.

  4. Hi Kasey,
    My nerves are shot!

  5. Rick Kane says

    Excellent write-up Ebony. And a phew win for the Dees.

    Rant starting now: It’s just ridiculous to play a game at Casey Fields at 7pm on a Friday night (with little to no advertising) and expect a (big) crowd. I was astounded that 6,500 turned up last year to the same game, played on a Sunday afternoon at 5pm. The weather was atrocious (game was suspended due to lightning at one point), there was no cover for most of the crowd and amenities were not suitable. Yet we turned up, got drenched to the bone, and barracked our heads off. The support for the game, competition and teams is clearly there. The support for a venue like Casey Fields and the way the AFL/Ch 7 is treating us? Not so much.

    Oh, and Paxy is a gun.


  6. Nodding away here Rick, I was at that game and began sweltering in the heat, then the lightning cracked overhead and they suspended play for a while, then the rain came and kept on coming. That was a crazy game.

  7. DanielleSpicer says

    Poking my head up here at the risk of having it cut off..
    I loved both of those games. Last year I was absolutely drenched, but the theatre of it all just couldn’t be ruined by anything.
    I understand about it being difficult to get to (Im lucky enough to live very close) – but I struggle with games usually being closer to the city, or even the other side of the city. One persons convenience is another persons hinderance.
    I dont mind the games at Casey, but I did get stuck in an area after the game which prevented me from getting near any of the players, so that was a bit sucky.

  8. Yvette Wroby says

    I’m on the couch for this one too and was there last year in the storms. Maybe I am getting old and grumpy. City is easier by public transport! Meaning Etihad!

    Was a tense and terrific match. Such an interesting season.

  9. Not biting your head off at all Danielle. It’s a tricky balancing act to create games for the people. Casey Fields is a great location, and there are plenty of suburbs all around. It’s also great to have games in more isolated places such as Alice Springs, to give more people a chance to see games live.
    (Can I add, it was actually fun to get drenched last year. I found Yvette and we stood together, gathering more and more water in our shoes and laughing at how crazy it was.)

  10. D’oh, hit post before I was finished.
    My worry is the ‘low turnouts’ for the games could be an excuse to not bother broadcasting them either. I want to see bigger turnouts. But that also means I have to get off the couch myself!

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