Round 15 – Fremantle v Brisbane: Going West and Seeing the Light

What a difference a week makes (or three weeks if you’re the Demons). After last week’s capitulation against GWS I was filthy about the loss of our best player thanks to Jeremy Cameron’s fine sense of sportsmanship. I still hadn’t moved past the injury to Charlie Cameron that saw him rubbed out for the rest of the season so the blow to Andrews felt like a case of salt, meet wound. As it turns out, all we needed was a trip out west to play the Dockers to turn a frown upside down.

 

I must admit that I didn’t see the game, I was on a plane from Brisbane to Melbourne and was pleasantly surprised at the score when, like everyone else on board after wheels down, I turned my WIFI on and embraced the warm glow of the mobile phone screen, feeling rejuvenated by being reconnected with the world once more.

 

Looked like a great day out for the youngsters of the team, of which there are many. Yet again we’ll be knee deep in the good stuff when it comes time to draft. Fagan has us playing with an intent to win that, prior to his arrival, has only shown up sporadically at the Gabba – largely during Test matches against the Poms.

 

It’s been an odd year for the Lions.

 

In some ways they’ve outperformed expectations and in other ways they’ve equalled them. Their standing on the table is where most pundits had them pre-season and they’re likely to finish in the same position as last year. But judging them on ladder position alone is foolish and despite the team sitting near the foot of the table, results don’t solely reflect the way in which they’ve gone about their football this year.

 

Watching them play this season is far more enjoyable than the past couple of years. Its amazing what being competitive can do for supporter morale. Instead of mumbling into pots of beer about lack of skills and errors and non-existent tactics, I rue the missed opportunities and the games that snuck away.

 

I consider the difference an extra two metres makes on the length of a snapped goal, running out of steam after ceding too much early ground to an opponent, a sprayed behind instead of a goal. Are these the thoughts of a supporter whose team is on the cusp of something? Or just a desperate man?

 

If I may digress a little and return to last week’s incident – Harris Andrews is 21 years old. He’s already the most important player in the Brisbane Lions team and one of the best fullbacks in the comp. The Lions put out a statement last week that confirmed Andrews had bleeding on the brain following the hit from Cameron.

 

We know that there are dangerous and lasting effects of concussions. My primary concern is what effect Cameron’s elbow will have on Andrews.

 

I like tough footy. I enjoy the solid contact in the game when it exists within the rules of the game. The last incident that made me feel this disgusted was when the Suns played the Lions a couple of years ago and Stephen May ran through Stefan Martin, knocking the ruckman out cold.

 

The AFL has, rightly, come out hard on contact to the head. Until some tweaks to the rules, Joel Selwood was making his living off the duty of care being provided to players in the league. Incidents like the Cameron hit pose a dilemma for the AFL, who want to protect players but also don’t want to remove players from the game for an extended period. 5 weeks on the sidelines is what it is. I just hope Andrews is back sooner.

 

It’s difficult to be too enthused by a win over Freo, who are themselves languishing in a prolonged period of football purgatory. Perhaps I should be celebrating the wins because they’re so few and far between but I feel as if I should expect more from this side now. These types of wins should become commonplace soon, the bottom of the eight isn’t a pinprick of light in all-encompassing darkness anymore. We want more.

 

And maybe, just maybe, something is really happening north of the border.

 

Comments

  1. Jarrod_L says:

    Love to see a Lions piece Brin, they’re unfortunately few and far between.

    I think the emphatic nature of the win should be the focus – that’s enough to tell me the cogs are starting to line up & we might see such performances becoming more common in the future.

    All for one, one for all!

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