Round 4 – Brisbane v Gold Coast: Steven May – Enjoy your holiday

It is very rare that I get angry when watching a game of AFL these days. I think that as I have got older I have also become calmer when watching my Lions play but that all changed with less than two minutes to go in first half of the Brisbane v Gold Coast game. Up until that moment the main feeling I had was frustration as the Lions looked like they had kicked themselves out of the game again after registering eight behinds for the second quarter and having 4.14 to their name, trailing the Suns by nine points.


Then the incident happened.


After poor handling skills by the Lions, Stefan Martin was running through the middle of the ground trying to pick up the ball when BANG!  Steven May absolutely knocks Stefan Martin into the next week with a bump that will be the talking point for the next couple of days.


Now I know that I am a passionate supporter of the Lions, but as far as I am concerned what Steven May did was an absolute blight on the game. Yes, AFL is a hard game with plenty of hard knocks, but seeing May run past the ball and jump into Martin with his only intent being to make sure Martin would not get up after the hit just made my blood boil. I felt sick seeing Martin lay motionless in the middle of the Gabba not knowing the full extent of the damage May may have caused to Martin. He was definitely concussed, but did he have a broken jaw or even worse bleeding on the brain?


After having seen Justin Clarke retire due to the effects of concussion after one bad accidental head knock and then also watch Jonathan Brown and Matt McGuire retire as well due to multiple concussions (all accidental), I was only thinking the worst for Martin.


As for May, as far as I was concerned the AFL needed to throw the book at him. There is no need for his actions to be part of the game anymore.


As for the match, it was the best Q Clash of the eleven that have occurred so far. You could now say that there is a definite rivalry between these two clubs. It may not have the same history of rivalries like Carlton versus Collingwood, the Showdown in S.A. or the Derby in W.A., but it is gaining momentum. It is fair to say that these two teams do not like each other and Steven May’s hit on Stefan Martin will only accentuate that now.


The Lions played four quarters of hard, tough, high intensity footy, which was pleasing to see as they quite often drop off for periods of time during a game. Daniel Rich had his best game for the season and Dayne Zorko also busted his backside for four quarters. Tom Bell was superb in his fourth game for the Lions. He looks like a man playing for the club he barracked for as a kid. Even though his Brisbane career is four games old he already looks to be a Lion through and through. He runs hard. He attacks the footy. He puts his body on the line. A player the Lions really need.


Pearce Hanley, the Marcus Ashcroft medallist, led a brilliant second half revival and his goal at the start of the third quarter demonstrated why many AFL commentators believe he could be the best player to come out of Ireland. Josh Walker fought bravely in the ruck in the second half and Josh Schache continued to show why he is the future of the Lions.


For Gold Coast, the one Sun who continued to shine was Tom Lynch; his contested marking was excellent. At three-quarter-time, with the Lions in front by a point, Lynch already had five goals and looked like the only player standing between the Lions and an unlikely victory. Aaron Hall and Gary Ablett battled hard and were constant worries for the Lions but were quiet compared to their sizzling starts to the season.


But the main talking point of this game will be Steven May’s hit on Stefan Martin. I have to agree with Justin Leppitsch’s post-match comment that: ‘it’s up to the Match Review Panel to their bit.’ I hope this is a lengthy suspension as it is the only way to demonstrate that the game is treating concussions seriously and incidents like May’s are no longer part of the game.


A heavy penalty will not suggest that the game is going soft but rather that player welfare is at the top of the agenda when incidents like this occur.


For me what Steven May did is no different than a player king hitting another player, but that is just my opinion. All I can say is – Steven May, enjoy your holiday.


BRISBANE LIONS 3.6  4.15  10.20  14.23 (107)
GOLD COAST SUNS 4.2  7.5  12.7  14.10 (94)


Brisbane Lions: Bell 2, Cutler 2, Hanley 2, Christensen, Bastinac, Green, Bewick, Martin, Zorko, Schache, Taylor
Gold Coast Suns: Lynch 5, Sexton 2, Rosa, Martin, Day, Cameron, Hall, Rischitelli, Malceski


Brisbane Lions:
 Hanley, Rich, Bell, Taylor, Robinson
Gold Coast Suns: Lynch, Malceski, Hall, Ablett, Day

About Andrew Weiss

Andrew is one of the few Brisbane Lions supporters that lives in the Adelaide Hills. He still has bragging rights over any Crows or Port supporter by mentioning the back to back to back premierships the Lions achieved in 2001-2003. After playing for over a decade for the mighty Adelaide Lutheran Football Club better known as 'The Doggies' he now spends his Saturdays running around footy ovals as an umpire, getting abuse no matter what decision is made. Coaching is probably next on the agenda as his two sons have started to play the great game of AFL. Andrew is a sports fanatic who when not watching or reading about sport is teaching secondary students about Biology, Nutrition and Psychology.


  1. Well said Andrew. Watching that hit was like being transported back to 1976. Neanderthal stuff. The Lions win was my favourite result of the weekend. You showed a lot of spirit after Martin was stretchered off. Your boys look to be playing for Leppa. More than can be said for Rocket’s rich kids. Handley’s run and goal was one for the ages. I reckon you have something to look forward to.

  2. I was at the game Andrew. It was good to see the Lions get up. It was a massive improvement in skills and decision making. I remember thinking at half time that even if we still lose by 4 or 5 goals it was still a much better performance.
    Re – the hit. It was a very scary moment. I thought exactly the same as you, there could be some serious damage to Martin. It certainly fired up the crowd. Credit to Leppa for moving Walker and Andrews into the ruck and others around keeping their heads. No sympathy for May but it certainly affected his game. A lengthy stint in the stands will hopefully see him adjust that part of his game and concentrate on what he’s good at. He is a talented footballer.
    I was at the reserves game last year when McGuire got clobbered. It wasn’t an accident.

  3. Dave Brown says

    Yeah, it was a horrible hit, Andrew. A very poor decision on May’s part. Tribunal will throw the book at him which would put him only a couple a bad offences away from deregistration. Hopefully he learns from it and hopefully Martin recovers with no problems.

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