AFLW Round 7 – Carlton v Brisbane: Today did not go to plan

Carlton versus Brisbane

3.35pm Sunday 19th February, Princes Park



What a glorious day in Melbourne. 30 degrees plus – great weather for my team. An hour before the game I receive a phone call. A friend has died unexpectedly on a flight to Geneva. Elena is only 40! In shock I spend the next hour phoning, texting, Facebooking friends around the Pacific.


I go to the game in my Lions scarf, cap and t-shirt with some friends who don’t know Elena. I look the part but feel heavy in my heart, with (unusually) only a little excitement at seeing my team play.


It’s a tough pack forming first quarter, with the first score coming just before quarter time. The crowd of 5,801 is all bunched up in the stands where there is shade. Too hot for us. What about the players?I smuggly think that Brisbane players will out last the Blues; they are used to playing in the heat.


The second quarter is another tough one – although a bit more open play. I’m a bit distracted by a group of Lions male supporters sitting nearby who are deaf. I wonder if they know Elena – who is also deaf – my heart grows heavier. But back to the footy. A Lions goal! Who kicked it? I don’t know – we are behind one set of goals and the Lions are kicking to the other end! Half time and the scores are locked up at 1 goal all.


At half time one of my friends talks about her excitment at the spirit of the crowd. Everyone loves the good play of either team – the marks, the passing, the long kicks and of course the bumps! I even clap good passages of play by Carlton. Unheard of in the men’s comp.


The third quarter starts with a great Lions mark in the forward line – but a poor kick results. The Lions continue to dominant, but kicking points doesn’t seal it. I still am not fully there. I watch the packs and think, I need to be with my pack – the ones who are hurting like I am!


The fourth quarter is a stunner. The Lions are 25 points up with about 5 minutes to go. The look to be cruising to a win, but the footy gods take revenge. Carlton score quickly – again and again! And it’s a draw! What a quarter.


None of us get to sing the song. That strange feeling of a draw. That was not the plan!


I have to go and find my pack – we need to get close when we lose someone.


About Robyn James

I have loved sport all of my 65 years - playing, coaching, encouraging others, watching. Any sport with a ball was tried in my younger years and watched now. Especially footy, hockey, soccer, cricket.


  1. John Butler says

    Sorry to hear about your friend Robyn.

    That was quite the shock ending to the football. I didn’t see it coming. Neither, I suspect did the Lions.

    But they will be looking to next week.

    All the best.

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