Round 6 – Geelong v Brisbane: I much prefer footy on a Sunday


Geelong v Brisbane

7:40pm, Thursday July 9




I’m not used to my team playing on a work night and obviously, my team is not used to playing on a work night. For so long the Brisbane Lions have been relegated to a Saturday or Sunday afternoon – pushed to the corner as it would be to appease the television broadcasters. Frankly speaking, we were bottom of the ladder and were told we needed to earn the right to play in the big ticket timeslots. But this team has come a long way; it is the flavour of the month and has now earnt the right to a national audience in prime time.


The last times these two sides met was the most memorable of occasions. The Miracle on Grass 2.0 with milestone man Linc McCarthy riding high to claim the match winner. I would be lying if I claimed I haven’t revisited the highlights of this particular match when a pick me up is needed.


On this particular Thursday night, the Brisbane Lions have travelled to the Sydney to take on Geelong at the SCG. Now there’s a sentence that would have made no sense 12 months ago. The first quarter was a bit slow as both teams seemed to be sussing the other out. Geelong started a little better but were guilty of missing their chances. The Lions rebounded and finished the quarter strongly, but also missed chances.


In the second quarter the Lions were dominant and looked every bit the premiership contender the media have claimed them to be. The midfield purred like Charlie’s Harley. Jarrod Berry continued his stellar season and Cam Rayner was up and about again, spending more time on the ball. But again, we didn’t capitalise on our chances. In the last ten minutes Geelong got some momentum and managed to go into the main break only 10 points down.


I wish the third quarter never started. Geelong were humming. The trusty old firm of Selwood, Dangerfield and Ablett were instrumental and Hawkins got the better of Harris Andrews. Geelong kick one goal, then another, then another, then another – it went on. Then the Lions started to drop like flies. Hugh McCluggage went off again with a stinger to the shoulder, Zac Bailey looked hobbled and hard man Robbo limped off with a corkie. Will it end?


I don’t really know what happened in the fourth quarter. It was a work night after all and I somehow need to emotionally recover so I can muster the energy to head to work in the morning. At least the Lions stopped the rot and didn’t let the margin blow out to something unsightly.


And so it would seem the Lions have come crashing back to earth and have again failed under the bright prime time lights and under the weight of expectation. It is becoming a concerning trend over the last twelve months that we simply need to right before we can be considered a genuine flag contender.


Coming into this match no club had had more scoring shots than the Lions and no club had been more inaccurate then the Lions, who have converted less than 50% of their chances. Whether or not it cost us in this game is debatable, but surely it must be an area to focus on. Perhaps I am looking for light where there is none, but if memory serves me correctly there was a certain team that was dreadfully wasteful in front of goal – this team have addressed that issue and have since one two of the last three flags.


Undoubtedly what did cost us the match was our inability to quell the influence of Geelong’s superstars. Dangerfield, Ablett and Hawkins were simply brilliant. Did the Lions poke the bear? Or should we take heart that this is what it took to topple us? Perhaps you could argue this Geelong team remains too reliant on these players? But when you have such calibre in your line up then it is only fair that you use the weapons that are at your disposal.


It is though of concern for these Lions that we have let certain players dominate games. Patrick Cripps put the whole of Carlton on his shoulders last year and dragged his team to a memorable victory at Marvel Stadium last year. We almost let Marcus Bontempelli do the same for the Bulldogs at the Gabba later in the season. The Lions have been good at quelling an oppositions momentum this year, but remain vulnerable to the influence of the games elite – is there still a role for a run with tagger in the modern game?


I’m not too concerned. This team is still young – the fourth youngest in the competition I am told– and to the Gospel of Fagan I still prescribe. An opportunity awaits next weekend at Giants Stadium against another genuine flag contender. Until then we lick our wounds and will watch some more highlights of Linc’s big ride in Round 22 of last year.




GEELONG        1.4       3.4       10.7     11.7 (73)
BRISBANE       1.6       4.8       4.9       6.10 (46)


Geelong: Hawkins 3, Ablett 2, Rohan 2, Menegola 2, Ratugolea, Parfitt
Brisbane: Rayner 2, Cameron, Neale, Hipwood, McCluggage


Geelong: Dangerfield, Menegola, Hawkins, Simpson, Blicavs, Ablett
Brisbane: Neale, Rayner, Zorko, J.Berry, Lyons





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  1. Shane Reid says

    Thanks for your report Sam. I think Cam Rayner definitely poked the Dangerfield bear when things were going swimmingly for us! We do seem to win more when we are in the off broadway times lots don’t we, I’d never thought of it until now. How we play this week (win or lose) will probably be telling for our season I think.

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