Round 1 – Hawthorn v Brisbane: A Lions perspective




Hawthorn v Brisbane

3:35PM, Sunday March 22




Well, I certainly wasn’t expecting to be writing my first Almanac contribution under these circumstances. Ordinarily I try to avoid watching Lions games on the TV, the confines of a screen seem to enhance my anxiety and I’m sure my neighbours appreciate the quiet. However, these are not ordinary times and so I braved the small screen with the knowledge I may not get many chances to watch the mighty Brisbane Lions play this year.


For the most part, I thought the Lions were scratchy. While I never felt we were on top of the game I also never felt as though we were out of the game either – that is with the exception of a short 5 minute period where we lowered our colours at the end of the match.


Hawthorn were good; Wingard was excellent, Silk was superb. The Hawks moved the ball well from their back half and were able to get behind our last line of defence on too many occasions. Their skill execution – as we have become accustomed to with Clarko-coached teams – was very good. This is where the game was won.


Where Hawthorn moved the ball with precision and dare the Lions fumbled. Where the Hawks were strikingly accurate in front of goal, the Brisbane missed many a gettable shot. Indeed, it could be said this is where we lost to Richmond in the qualifying final last year.


We shouldn’t be disappointed with our effort or endeavour. For the most part we turned up in spades. However, we will rue a number of missed opportunities and our inability to move the ball cleanly.


On the positive side, I was really impressed with Hipwood. His work rate was superb and when he pushed up the ground he was able to create a number of opportunities.


Harris was fantastic and showed no signs of slowing down after deservedly receiving maiden AA honours last year. We have been watching his development with keen interest over the last few years and it is fantastic to see him receive the accolades he deserves.


It was also good to see Rayner spend some time in the middle. By no means did he set the world alight, but he certainly held his own.


A special shout out to, in my not so biased opinion, the most underrated defender in the comp, our man “Dizzy” Gardiner. Ever reliable down back and continues to develop into an A grade defender.


We don’t know when we will get to see the Lions play again, but there is plenty there to work on. Some reason for concern, but plenty of reason for optimism as well.


Some other thoughts/observations from the round:


How good’s the footy? – it has been difficult to escape the news these last few weeks. It feels as though it is everywhere. So I enjoyed a distraction, even if for a short while.


16 minute quarters – I loved the shorter quarters. The games were easy to consume and for the most part closely contested. Those that were one sided didn’t drag on.


Women’s footy – it’s such a shame for the season to end the way it did. But what a fantastic display of footy we’ve had over the last few months. The competition continues to grow in leaps and bounds vindicating the calls for expansion. I look forward to its return next year.


All clear umpire – as a former umpire I keep a keen eye on the boys and girls in green and was intrigued to learn of the decision to revert to signalling a goal anywhere between the big sticks. By no means will I lose any sleep over the matter, though I always liked the rigidity of signalling a goal from the middle of the goal line – it makes it a bit easier to know the score when you’re at the ground.


Rebel goal squares – I’ve always liked the polish of which the AFL presents its grounds and have noticed the gradual creep of sponsorship on to the playing surface over recent years. I guess this helps pay the bills if nothing else. I would love to see home clubs able to personalise aspects of the playing surface a la the NFL or NBA. Maybe one day…


Until we meet again. Stay safe out there.



HAWTHORN   3.1       6.2       10.2     14.6 (90)
BRISBANE       3.3       4.5       7.7       9.8 (62)


Hawthorn: Burgoyne 3, Breust 3, Wingard 3, Smith, Hanrahan, O’Brien, Patton, Scully
Brisbane: Hipwood 3, McStay 2, Cameron 2, Neale, Rayner


Hawthorn: Wingard, Mitchell, Burgoyne, O’Meara, Sicily, Stratton
Brisbane: Neale, Andrews, Hipwood, Robinson, Rich




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  1. Daniel Flesch says

    Nice Almanac debut , Sam , from an old Hawthorn supporter. Speaking of old , how about Shaun Burgoyne and the way he makes it all look so easy ? Such a pivotal part of the team , and been on one year contracts for the last six or seven , i think.

  2. As a relative newcomer to the Almanac fold welcome aboard the ship and to be part of the voyage ahead !! hopefully not to hit too many icebergs on your maiden voyage !!!
    as normally a Bris Vegas resident ( presently I am the Arctic almanac correspondent in splendid and literal isolation) my yellow and black heart does have room for a bit of Maroon blue and gold !!!
    Brisbane are gradually building a new culture not before time with the steady influence of an older wiser head of Fagan ( nothing against Leper or Vossy – they are absolute legends but both needed some more tools in the shed to take on the challenges that the Lions bring )

  3. Thanks for the welcome Daniel and Richard.

    Daniel, perhaps there’s something in the water at Waverley – we benefitted greatly from Hodge in our youthful backline and believe Birchall will do the same.

    Richard, we went through some tough times and frankly some poor management for a number of years. You are right in saying both Leppa and Vossy are absolute legends, unfortunately they were let down by the organisation which at the time, was poorly run. Don’t underestimate the influence of Noble and Swann also!

  4. Welcome Sam. I’m with you on Silk Burgoyne.

    Good to have another Brisbane correspondent in the fold.

    Perhaps you have an umpiring story or two. No doubt you have run into Murray Bird and Swine over the years (my assumption here).


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