Round 4 – Essendon v Brisbane: Wow!

Caspar enjoying the footy

Essendon v Brisbane Lions

2:10PM, Saturday April 13





Two weeks is a long time in footy. This is constantly proven in our sport. Hawthorn in the 2015 final series got hammered by West Coast in the Qualifying Final, before returning to Perth a fortnight later and comfortably beating Freo on the way to flag number 3. In 2014, Sydney lost round 4 to the Kangaroos and the vultures circled. Two weeks later, everything was back in control en route to the Grand Final (the result of which wasn’t so great but still).


Essendon is proving this statement true again in 2019. Two weeks ago, we backed up a hammering by the Giants with an upset loss against the Saints. We had scored less then 10 goals in each of our first two games, and we hadn’t scored a goal in the opening quarter of either game.


Since? One word can summarise how awesome we have been since: “WOW.”


Brisbane two weeks ago followed up their smashing of the reigning champs by narrowly beating North, gaining an important win in Melbourne.


Now? Their seemingly one true flaw remaining has been exposed: they can’t play that well at the MCG. Their last game at the ‘G was a frightful smashing against Richmond, when they scored only 17 points for the whole game. At half time today, it was looking like it would repeat.


Sitting in the Brisbane Lions cheered squad with dear friends of mine dressed in their maroon and blue, I sat, head to toe in red and black, nervous at first. Brisbane, until today, had been really impressive. Essendon, until last week, hadn’t been. Which Essendon team was going to show up was the question on my mind.


It was obvious straight away which Essendon team was going to show up today.




We looked amazing as we transitioned the ball from the backline to the forward line with skill and ease. It was effortless, like the Bombers of years and years ago. Like premiership winning Bombers. Almost. Not quite. But still, it was exciting.


The young Lions were overawed today. Before going to the game, I was trying to reason that they couldn’t continue the form they were in for the first three games all season; it had to come to an end sooner rather than later. It came to a grinding halt today.


Even when Brisbane were challenging late in the third and early in the last, and I started to get nervous, the Bomber boys never did. And it is here I should mention the next Cyril Rioli: Tippa. Seven goals in an immaculate display. What a legend. Simply…wow!


I did find it interesting that the Brisbane supporters were almost constantly voicing their distrust of the umpires, when, in the end, they won the free kick count comfortably. But alas, it made no difference in the end for us.


The Lions supporters sitting to my left let it rip to any Essendon players who made mistakes. “THAT’S YOUR GOAL, HURLEY,” when he had his kick smothered, resulting in a Brisbane goal. Regularly came the cries of “WORST PLAYER IN THE AFL,” whenever Zac Clarke touched the ball (which I think is highly unfair even if I take off my black and red glasses for a second). By the end of the game, both players could hold their heads high while the supporters next to me were left cheering for Lachie Neale to get more touches (one said during the last quarter “No, he has to average forty touches this year!”).


Today, to summarise for both teams:
Essendon: Wow. Dangerous. SO exciting.
Brisbane: Team for the future. Off day. Not quite.


Even better? I was permitted to hang my Bomber scarf out the window of the Brisbane Lions car I got driven home in by my dear friends.


And I flew it with pride.



ESSENDON     7.2       11.6     13.8     17.10 (112)
BRISBANE       2.2       3.5       7.8       9.11 (65)


McDonald-Tipungwuti 7, Brown 3, McGrath 2, Fantasia 2, Stringer, Merrett, Baguley
Brisbane: McStay 2, McCluggage 2, McCarthy, Berry, McInerney, Mathieson, Hipwood


Essendon: McDonald-Tipungwuti, Merrett, Zaharakis, Brown, Hooker, Heppell
Brisbane: Neale, Berry, McCluggage, Witherden, Zorko


Crowd: 48,289



About Caspar McLeod

Third Culture Kid at Heart. Grew up in Asia, discovered footy at age 9. AFL has since been my burning passion. Ask me who were the winners all the grand finals between 1938 and last year's decider, and I'll be happy to tell you. I'm a footy nut with a passion for writing and acting. All though I love writing and acting, during the footy season, AFL is my true passion. Waiting ever so patiently for the day when Essendon Next win the flag.

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