Round 6 – Gold Coast v Brisbane: Peering into the Glare

 

 

I knew a bloke from Castlemaine who came down to play for Fitzroy in the 80s. He only played reserves, but he had two years at the Junction Oval and played at all the old VFL grounds. He regarded this as a most worthwhile achievement.

 

I played cricket very poorly but over the years I have collected a full set of Wisdens, Cricket, A Weekly Record of the Game, all the Lillywhites and a few other sets that show that my wife is a saint to indulge an obsession.

 

Footy does not have such literary roots but you can still collect things. I have been to all the old VFL grounds, including University (note it’s not out in Clayton at that place that calls itself a university) but there are a few AFL grounds that I have not graced with my presence so it was up to see the Gold Coast against my Brisbane Lions at Metricon Stadium for me, all by myself. I plan a visit to the Adelaide Oval (I am a SACA member) and the Perth stadium to see some footy.

 

Caught an early flight and then an Uber to the ground but immediately I realised I was on foreign ground.   There were all these blokes wearing shorts and thongs. The Footy Records were only on sale inside the grounds and when I sat down, the two blokes sitting next to me had taken their shoes and socks off. It was bloody hot.

 

While the ground is attractive there is a problem similar to what happens at Marvel Stadium when they open the roof. Most of the play is on the shaded side of the ground and when you are sitting on the other side, in the sun, it is very hard to see. I know the Brisbane players well enough to pick them up by the way they move and their body type but I was largely blinded to the Gold Coast players. For once complaining about the umps wasn’t the most frequent comment. “Who was that?” was heard all day.

 

Brisbane opened the game well having all the play but kicked poorly for goal, something they did in the first half. Halfway through the quarter the Suns exploited a few turnovers and ran the ball attractively through the middle corridor, scoring easily and were in front at quarter time. The second quarter was more of the same but the Lions were six behinds in front at half time, which was an accurate description of what had happened.

 

The second half was a procession as the Lions started to convert their all around the ground dominance into scoreboard pressure. Lachie Neale extended his Brownlow Medal lead. Rich continued his best season. He won plenty of contested ball but the Suns seemed to want kick it to his advantage and I thought Fagan should have tried him up forward to see if the Suns would continue giving Rich turnovers. He might have kicked six!

 

Walker is becoming an elite defender and he and Darcy Gardiner, in the absence of Andrews, controlled the aerial route to goal down back. Brisbane have usually won when their captain, Harris Andrews, is injured. Those Fitzroy diehards can probably remember a season or two where we always won when Garry Wilson was out.

 

Witts, the only Gold Coast ruckman, was run over in the second half by Stef Martin and the Big O. Witts did his best, on a very hot day, but it was the only possible outcome. Poor team selection from the Gold Coast.

 

There were two debutants on the day: Answerth for the Lions and Corbett for the Suns. Corbett is a big bloke and while he didn’t get much of the ball, he kicked two beautiful long goals. Never looked like missing. Sav Rocca was one of my all-time favourite players. I love a bloke who can kick. Answerth is a small defender who looked at home on a back flank, winning the ball easily, had sure hands and disposed of the ball well.

 

Brisbane now have a succession of winnable matches (they have an easy draw for once) and so they can look forward to the rest of the season. I think the best thing that has happened in Queensland footy is that the two northern teams now look like competent organisations. With TV rights being the financial driver of the AFL, this is something we need.

 

The Gold Coast have a few toughies coming up: Geelong and the Eagles but wouldn’t it be marvellous if one day the ‘Q Clash’ was the match of the day?

 

 

GOLD COAST     3.1      6.2     7.3          9.8 (62)
BRISBANE         2.5      6.8    11.10      16.15 (111)

 

GOALS
Gold Coast: 
Corbett 2, Sexton 2, Wright 2, MacPherson, Lukosius, Miller
Brisbane: Robinson 3, Rayner 3, Lyons 2, Cameron 2, McCarthy 2, Hipwood, Witherden, Neale, Taylor

 

3 Votes Mitch Robinson

2 Votes Lachie Neale

1 Vote The two blokes who gave me the idea to take my shoes and socks off

 

 

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