Round 5 – Brisbane v Collingwood: Powerful and Poignant

 

Brisbane v Collingwood

7:55pm, Thursday April 18

The Gabba

 

 

How about these Thursday night games?

 

Just as I think they’re done, the week seems to fly by and Collingwood are slated to play again. Not that it’s a bad thing – I’m eager to sit up at home and see how we fair against the resurgent Lions who seem to be dangerous at home.

 

Following a sell-out for the first time since the Fevola Lions in 2010, the Gabba looks like it’s bubbling with atmosphere and expectation. Combined with Good Friday being the next day, everyone looks relaxed and happy in Brisbane. One can only imagine that was what it was like when the Lions of the early 2000s was dominating the competition.

 

Expecting a fiery clash between Beams and his teammates, Neale and the best midfield in the league, old rivals who were both improved, the game was on early.

 

Within the opening minute De Goey registered the first goal, easily pushing aside the aged Hodge to continue his unusual habit.

 

Five minutes into the game and you can tell both teams have come to play – both are heavily improved from their queasy round four performances. The Pies flex their more mature muscles – their pressure forces an interception that frees Mihocek to dribble a goal, that actually hit the post. But shh, the AFL will investigate that later.

 

McLuggage settles his young comrades through a quick goal after intercepting a shocking Maynard handball – the heat is already rising on a balmy Brisbane night. Umpires interrupt play, blocking Brisbane and allowing Collingwood to take the ball and surge – Stephenson happily goals from it in his return to the forward line.

 

Berry’s powerful goal brings the Lions back onto an even keel, but the Pies are longing for a first term lead. Through this hunger, their class comes to the fore and Thomas and Cox quickly pile on goals. Never satisfied, Elliott and Stephenson cause more pain for Brisbane, as they have slipped up and let Collingwood march to a commanding quarter time lead.

 

Their second quarter is better – Brisbane stem the flow and put up a brave fight. Neale is nowhere to be seen, whereas Treloar is in and under, then outside the back and delivering well in a rare display of accuracy and composure. Beams, Pendlebury and Sidebottom are quelled by Brisbane’s diligent midfield, but Grundy ensures that Phillips and Adams can join forces with Treloar to get on top in the middle. Despite some Rayner magic from outside fifty after going end-to-end, the Magpies hold firm and boot enough goals of their own to hold a three-goal lead at the main break.

 

Following Channel 7’s look into Beams’ career decisions, the booing doesn’t stop – not even after he is pushed in the back and kicks it out on the full, only for the ball to be brought back due to the free kick. Collingwood look to press hard early – the first two ball ups of the quarter equal two clean clearances and hence goals to Brown and Mihocek. Josh Walker has been a reliable defender for Brisbane, but he is no match for the pace and awareness of Mihocek.

 

Collingwood score heavily again in the third quarter, replicating their first quarter efforts as Cox slams on another one. But McLuggage brings Brisbane back into it, and Langdon interrupts a solid defensive game by waltzing out and being pinged for deliberate. Rayner gladly slots the present on his left foot.

 

But just as the contest intensifies in the final ten minutes of the quarter, Collingwood surge again, exhausting their petrol tickets in a steamy Brisbane climate that makes both players and the ball glisten with sweat. Mihocek breaks clear twice and boots his third and fourth, before Callum Brown finishes off a dominant patch and a break out game with a neat sidestep and lovely finish. Moore keeps taking intercept marks down back, whereas Brisbane’s defence is too big and slow for the zippy Collingwood forward line. Even Hodgey’s old body has cramped up, meaning he gets interrupted mid-rub for an interview. Lucky him.

 

The nail in the coffin comes in the dying ebbs of the third quarter. Beams is illegally taken down without the ball, meaning he gets a look from fifty metres. His set shot is never in doubt, subsiding the boos and causing an almighty roar from the many Collingwood fans as Beams poignantly points to the Gabba bar in recognition of his father while being mobbed by his mates. That’s what footy is about – raw emotion and mateship. Plus a 51 point lead at the last break ain’t bad.

 

From then on the contest fizzles out. In their big homecoming in front of a sell-out crowd and live TV, the Lions have dismally failed for the second week in a row. A three goal last quarter peters out, as the Magpies slowly celebrate a season-defining away win that is strong – exactly what is needed before Anzac Day and the confident Bombers. De Goey ends up with 3 goals, Mihocek stays at 4. Treloar dominates for 36, keeping Neale to an ineffective 22 touches. In Brisbane land, it’s a Collingwood night. What a Good Friday it’ll be.

 

 

BRISBANE          3.2   5.6    7.9    8.13 (61)
COLLINGWOOD  7.5   8.9  16.12  18.15 (123)

 

GOALS
Brisbane: 
McCluggage 2, Rayner 2, Hipwood, Christensen, Berry, Martin
Collingwood: Mihocek 4, de Goey 3, Cox 2, Stephenson 2, Elliott 2, Thomas 2, Brown 2, Beams

 

BEST 
Brisbane: 
Rich, McCluggage, Berry, Zorko
Collingwood: Treloar, Mihocek, Grundy, Stephenson, Crisp, Beams, Phillips

 

Crowd: 34,017

 

 

 

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