AFL Round 3 – Brisbane v Richmond: The same old story

Brisbane versus Richmond

7.10 PM, 18th of April

The Gabba, Brisbane

Jonathan Sloan


It’s getting hard to write reports for Brisbane matches. In fact, it’s getting pretty damn hard to be a Brisbane supporter at all. All through the off-season, all us supporters heard was how much better we would be in 2015. New recruits Dayne Beams, Allen Christensen and Mitch Robinson would join the midfield brigade of Tom Rockliff, Pearce Hanley, Lewis Taylor, Daniel Rich, Jack Redden and James Aish, getting fed the ball by elite ruck duo Stefan Martin and Matt Leuenberger. We would be unstoppable. The season couldn’t come quickly enough.


I don’t know why we bought into the hype. Because this happens every year. Brisbane talks a big game in the off-season, before choking as soon as the season proper starts. Last weeks embarrassing display against North demonstrated this. So coming up against Richmond, a side we haven’t beaten since 2009, expectations were at an all time low. And even then, I wasn’t prepared for what would follow.


At this point, every Brisbane match appears to follow a generic template. Our firsts quarters are serviceable. They’re decent. We’re never winning at quarter time, but we’re never too far behind either. One young player will show that we might have a potential new key forward to structure around. This week, it was Dan McStay’s turn, who popped up for a nice early goal. That was the only time we would see him all match. An older, experienced player would take the role of Rockliff and amass huge amounts of disposals around the centre. Last week it was Jed Adcock, this week it’s Beams. However, they would be let down by an immense amount of fumbling and skill errors, demonstrated by a kick-in that went straight to Trent Cotchin, who kicked an easy goal.


The second quarter is where it all starts to go downhill. We will never kick more than one goal in the second quarter. Unfortunately, this week it happened at the 2 minute mark, meaning the Tigers dominated play for the rest of the quarter. Three quick, consecutive goals to Richmond stretch the margin out to four goals at half-time. The third quarter continues where we left off. The tigers continue to pile on the goals, with Cotchin dominating in the centre, Riewoldt proving too much for our undersized defence to handle and our oppositions bit-players being allowed to strut their stuff. We’re very good at this. Fringe players would love it when they line up against us, because they appear to do the most damage. Already in 2015, we’ve saved the careers of Jesse White and Jarrad Waite. This week, it’s Nathan Gordon’s turn, who ends the night with 21 disposals and 2 goals, while Shaun Grigg is also allowed to roam on his own. 200 cm 18 year old Harris Andrews kicks a goal on debut, making him approximately the 486th young tall we’ve debuted in the last five years.


The final quarter is the only real mystery for Brisbane. Sometimes we turn up again and bring some scoreboard respectability, spurred on by our constant motivation we draw from our come-from-behind miracle against Geelong a few years ago. And then sometimes we just crawl into a hole and wait for the match to end and that’s what happened this week. Any remote trace of skill and decisiveness is well and truly gone, shown in one glorious moment where Martin marks on the back flank, only to kick 40 metres backwards straight into the arms of Dustin Martin. An eight-goal final term for the Tigers is well deserved by them, they’ve well and truly been the better side on the night. They did what they needed to, they followed the blueprint that we set out for them.


The sad thing is, I know all this without even watching the game. I was at work throughout the entire match. All I needed was one look at the scoreline and I knew exactly how it had happened. And if it’s this obvious to the supporters, imagine how easy it is for opposition teams to understand your game plan. Come on Brisbane. Just once give me something different to write about.



Brisbane 3.1 4.5 6.7 8.10 (58)
Richmond 4.4 8.5 13.7 21.11 (137)


Goals: Brisbane: Zorko 2, Christensen, Andrews, McStay, Aish, Green, Paperone.

Richmond: Riewoldt 4, Griffiths, Gordon, Grigg, Newman, McIntosh, Martin 2, Edwards, Cotchin, Lloyd, Knights, Morris.


Best: Brisbane: D. Beams, Rich, Martin, Zorko

Richmond: Cotchin, Edwards, Martin, Houli, Hunt, Grigg, Griffiths, Gordon


Umpires: Stevic, Hay, Pannell. Crowd: 22,441


Our Votes: Cotchin (RIC) 3, Edwards (RIC) 2, D. Beams (BL) 1




  1. Saves mefrom saying anything this week, you have said it all.

    What makes it worse is that being rubbished by barrackers from other teams, even Essendon for heaven’s sake has become a normal part of life.

    Can’t understand what is ailing Aish at the moment, he is a shadow of what he was like last year, is he just sick of the whole thing or what? I had hoped that he might become a sort of Matthew Pavlich for the club in that unlike Buckley he might stay and become an out and out champion.

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