AFLW Round 6 – Brisbane v Collingwood: Putting it into Perspective

Collingwood vs Brisbane

4.35pm March 9

South Pine Central Sports Complex (Burpengary, Moreton Bay, QLD)



So, I’m sitting there, on my couch, preparing to write today’s AFLW story on Brisbane vs Collingwood, in a far-away place (at least for me) Burpengary.


Suddenly, I hear a crack and a scream from the front door.


It’s my mum, lying on the front porch, ankle swollen up.


She’s in agony.


This doesn’t look pretty.


Dad gets us in the car and we head to the hospital.


Her foot looks broken to me, but I’m trying to stay positive.


I look at the time, noting that there is only 30 minutes until the Collingwood v Brisbane match, but that’s the least of anyone’s worries.


We’re stuck in the waiting room and my mind temporarily leaves the situation to think of how grateful I really am for my mum, a great, helpful and all-round superstar of a woman.


So many of these pioneer women’s footballers remind me of my very own mother.


From Moana Hope’s heroic comeback, despite what the outside world believed she wasn’t capable of, to Irish star Cora Staunton proving that she can make it in the AFLW just like anyone else.


I think of Carlton captain Brianna Davey, who injured her ACL in her knee at the start of the 2018 season.


And even Kate Sheehan, whose season ended in less than one game last year after her horrific career-ending knee injury.


But despite all the issues they faced, these were the women who continue on their paths.


They keep pushing, even with the numerous setbacks they have previously faced.


Just like my mum.


By the time I can stream the game on my phone, I see that Collingwood have kicked four goals to the Lions one.


Moana Hope has kicked two and the Pies are up by 20 points. Nat Exon gets one back for the Lions, but the Pies seem to be on top.


The rain starts to fall just before quarter time and I wonder how this game will play out.


I look at Mum in the emergency room and she is thinking ahead to tonight and the rest of her weekend and how she is going to manage.


My brother James has planned to have eight of his mates around for their annual sleep over tonight.


On Monday night, she was supposed to see Ed Sheeran in concert.


She’s so disappointed and insists that James carry on with his night, but he cancels anyway.


‘There’s no need to worry,’ I assure her, keeping my mind on one thing at a time.


“You’re such a mum,” I smile, “always thinking of everyone else first.”


I check in again at the end of the first quarter to see that the Pies are leading comfortably. Brisbane are down by 14 points and Collingwood are buzzing.


Mum’s had some painkillers and has settled in, so we continue to wait.


No one has kicked a goal in the second quarter. The rain has really slowed both teams down.


My mum however has sparked up – the painkillers are working well.  She is scrolling Facebook, finding ‘relatable’ posts to show me. They’re not really that funny, but I laugh like there’s no tomorrow just to make her smile again.


Mum then goes in for her x-ray as Jasmine Garner kicks Collingwood’s fifth goal to start the third quarter.


I sit back alone with my thoughts and think about Mum again.


She’s getting discouraged and I hate to see her like this.


She thinks that she’s somehow letting us down, which, obviously, couldn’t be further from the truth. I wish I could tell her that she’ll be better in no time and I wish that I could heal her pain faster. There’s nothing I hate more than seeing my own mother, my power and strength, so disheartened.


Speaking of strength, the Lions team seem to be counteracting the Pies dominance in the last quarter.


They’re fighting back in order to retain second position on the ladder and keep their Grand Final dreams alive. But they can’t push the more polished side in Collingwood over and their late attempts fall short.


The Magpies come home 14-point winners, but the Lions are still contenders.


I get home from the hospital with my brother at 9pm and collapse on the couch, saddened by the news that Mum needs surgery on her ankle next week.


Much bigger things were put into perspective today and those two hours on a football field, kicking around whatever colour Sherrin the AFL chooses next, seemed miniscule.


My Mum has broken her ankle, but definitely not her spirit.


That’s the thing about my Mum.


She has this mentality, this strength and willpower, to get through anything.


And even though this is a long road to recovery, I know that she’s strong enough to get through.


So, while we wait for her to mend, I guess it will be up to me to cook dinner for the next little while…damn it.



Brisbane 2.2, 2.4, 2.6, 5.9 (39)

Collingwood 4.4, 4.4, 6.5, 8.5 (53)



Brisbane: Frederick-Traub, Exon, Wuetschner, Lutkins, Ashmore
Collingwood: Hope 3, Bernardi 3, Garner, Hutchins


Crowd: 2,600 (approx.)

Umpires: Young, Strybos, Curtis


VOTES: Best on ground – My Mum, obviously.

Bernadi (Collingwood) 3, Hope (Collingwood) 2, Frederick-Traub (Brisbane) 1


About Anna Pavlou

Anna 'Pav' Pavlou is a current student and a born and bred Melburnian who has a passion for sport and sharing people's stories. She is an intern journalist for AFL VICTORIA and writes for The Roar, the Victorian Amateur Football Association (VAFA Media), the Mongrel Punt and is a Melbourne Cricket Club contributor. She also appears on North West FM 98.9 radio show. Most winter weekends you'll find her down at the Ross Gregory Oval in St Kilda, supporting Power House FC, who play in Division 2 in the VAFA. She works as the Division 2 writer for the VAFA. She completed work experience with 3AW Radio and has been published in The Age as well as with Carlton FC and Geelong Cats. Check out her website below for more sport pieces!


  1. Yvette Wroby says

    Love this piece Anna. There are much bigger things than footy but you show again how footy helped in a broader context- it helped you contemplate and manage some hard stuff for yourself and your family. Footy became both a helpful distraction and a point of intersection. We are writing about tough women – and you and your mum fit the bill. Good luck with the cooking and your mums recovery. And keep writing. It helps through tough times.

  2. This is a great piece Anna. I hope your Mum recovers quickly.

    I agree with Yvette, keep writing!

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