Round 2 – Brisbane v Fremantle: A Brisbane perspective


Two years ago I would have been thrilled with a win like today. We got in front. We withstood the fightback. We gutsed it out. We held on. We won! Wins are few and far between so they should be savoured and enjoyed.


Why is it then that I feel disappointed? Why am I unconvinced? Why when the final siren sounded was the overwhelming emotion not excitement but frustration? After all, the Lions won! And wins are few and far between so they should be savoured and enjoyed, right?


The Lions entered the match as firm favourites and it was clear from the outset the Lions had gone to work on their defensive fifty rebounds during the COVID enforced lock down, showing a willingness to be swift and direct with their ball movement out of the back half. Harris Andrews was superb early, cutting off any and every Fremantle foray that dared offer a little too much flight. A fantastic battle with Matt Taberner ensued for the remainder of the match.


The Lions were ill-disciplined, giving away far too many free kicks in their defensive fifty and at critical times as well. We were also scrappy. Very scrappy. It was a high pressure contest and it was clear the players, from both sides, were coming off a near three month break. The Lions will need to improve their skill execution next week against a West Coast team that will be smarting from a shock loss to the Gold Coast Suns.


Fremantle tried hard. After a lousy opening they pulled their socks up and put their head over the ball, beating the Lions in the contest. In the end it was the Lions defensive structure which got them over the line. Fremantle were not able to catch the Lions out over the back, as has becoming a concerning habit for the Lions over the last four games.


On the plus side, Charlie Cameron was back to his scintillating best, dominating the first half. While the first half belonged to Charlie, the second half belonged to Sonny Walters who, with the help of Captain Fyfe, almost plucked an unlikely victory from the jaws of defeat.


A shout out must go to first gamer Tom Berry, brother of Jarrod. He looked very comfortable making his debut and a Jonathan Brown-esque mark late in the match almost clinched victory if it weren’t for an errant set shot. Errant goal kicking – it almost did the Lions in again. That must be a focus moving forward.


The Big O, Oscar McInerney, played a fantastic match and may almost push big Stef out of the side if he keeps this up, particularly with Stef struggling to play a 50-50 ruck role. Young defender Brandon Starcevich – who has forced his way into the team with a stellar off-season – also impressed, offering plenty around the contest. The Lions are starting to build some defensive depth with Witherden, Adams (injured) and Noah Answerth all sitting on the sidelines.


So why is it that I am frustrated after a win? Despite coming off a four game losing streak the Lions are expected to compete this year. Maybe not for the flag, but for the eight for sure. We are expected to be there or there abouts come September, or October, or November. So these are games we are expected to win.


Expectation. It’s not something we are used to up here. We’ll have to learn to live with it.



BRISBANE      4.2     8.2    11.5    12.9 (81)
FREMANTLE    3.0     7.3    8.5    10.9 (69)


Brisbane: Cameron 4, Neale 2, McInerney, Zorko, McStay, Hipwood, Ah Chee, Zorko
Fremantle: Fyfe 3, Taberner 2, Walters 2, Matera, Schultz, Banfield


Brisbane: Cameron, Neale, McInerney, Zorko, Andrews, Robinson
Fremantle: Fyfe, Walters, Aish, Taberner, Ryan


Brisbane: McStay (ankle)
Fremantle: Darcy (knee), Wilson (back) replaced in selected side by Hayden Young



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  1. Sam, great to have another Brisbane-based Lions fan in the mix (and from my old suburb of Bardon too). After quarter time, I didn’t see a lot of this game, but your report reflects what I saw. I thought the Lions were about to blow it open at any stage but poor disposal and decision-making prevented them from taking control.

    Charlie Cameron is a pleasure to watch.

    Interesting re The Big O. I wonder what coaches/match committees will do with the ruck brigades.

  2. Shane Reid says

    Thanks Sam. It was frustrating to watch wasn’t it. I’m hoping that some of the scrappiness in skills was as much to do with the long layoff and limited training (most of the games seemed to have rusty sides).

    I actually don’t mind it when Big O drifts forward as well, he is a presence.

  3. Sam Evans says

    Thanks Shane and John, for the record, I expect Stef will keep his place for a while yet and wouldn’t be surprised if he is on modified game time due to his PCL injury suffered in round 1. But a challenge for him to adapt to a lesser ruck role which is something he has long struggled with.

    Hopefully skills and execution will improve with the weeks ahead. I believe we have a very solid game plan so if we can execute well should be difficult to beat.

  4. Jarrod_L says

    Good to see another Lions post floating around, Sam. As for the expectations, what a difference a year or two makes hey?

    Berry Jnr’s mark certainly caught some attention for its similarity to Brown’s over Hawthorn…funnily enough it’s been claimed that he’s been calling himself “Browny” ever since the siren; I smell a teammate stitch up though!

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