Round 5 – Brisbane v Essendon: A wet and dismal night in Brisbane for the Dons


When I switched on the tele and the cameras showed the Gabba, I thought there must have been a mistake. Surely it was a huge wading pool for little kiddies to play in – the water seemed to be about 1 centimetre deep over the ground and the rain kept bucketing down; ideal conditions for all things marine, not footy.


But no, out came the teams and, as they went to their positions it was like Essendon had picked a junior side to play against a team that looked physically stronger all over the ground.


And so it turned out Brisbane were handling the conditions a lot better than Essendon. They were better at ball control, better at kicking to team mates and better at marking the slippery ball. At quarter time the Dons backline looked exhausted – the footy was down there all the time. Brisbane had kicked 4.2 to the Dons one solitary behind.


If you thought things could get better for tragic Don supporters like me in the second quarter, then think again – it got worse. The rain continued to bucket down and Brisbane continued to dominate with clean hands and superior team work. Once again for the vast majority of the quarter, the ball was in Brisbane’s forward line. Somehow the ball was finally in Essendon’s forward line and Cale Hooker conned a Brisbane player to move on the mark and Essendon got its first goal just before half time, courtesy of the 50 metre penalty.


After half time the rain stopped, or at least eased, and the Dons lifted to at least make it look like a game of footy, with more tackling and better control of the ball. We kicked three goals, however Brisbane piled on five. The Brisbane half back line was impassable and they dominated the centre. The Dons didn’t stop battling away but were outclassed all over the ground.


Nothing much changed in the last quarter. Essendon gave it their best but Brisbane were far too good all over the ground. Even Joe Daniher, who could only manage a handful of games over the last three years for the Dons, took marks all over the ground and kicked a couple of goals.


I reckon it’s going to be a tough season for Dons’ supporters.



Brisbane     4.2      7.5      12.6      15.12 (102)

Essendon     0.3     1.5      4.6      6.9 (45)



Brisbane: Hipwood 3, Daniher, McCarthy, McStay, Neale, Prior 2, McCluggage

Essendon Hooker 4, Stringer, McDonald- Tipungwuti



Brisbane: McInerney, McCarthy, McCluggage, Neale, Zorko

Essendon: Hooker, Merrett, McGrath, McDonald- Tipungwuti



23,544 at the Gabba



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