The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 13 – Brisbane v Port Adelaide: Brilliance over grit

The first printed edition of The Footy Almanac came out in 2007, before we had a website. In the absence of a real 2020 season, we will be publishing the 2007 pieces for the first time ever on Follow the season!



Brisbane Lions versus Port Adelaide

7.15pm, Saturday, June 30

The Gabba, Brisbane



BRILLIANT FOOTBALLERS ARE OFTEN INCONSISTENT. When blessed with such natural talent, hard work comes as an afterthought. But, then, how can you be brilliant all the time? Players such as Allen Jakovich, Adrian McAdam and Peter Bosustow shot across the sky like comets before fizzling out.


Port Adelaide’s Daniel Motlop is a brilliant player. He may have promised far more than he has actually delivered in an eight-year career, but he has almost unbelievable skill. On this night against the Lions, he was in the zone. His six goals pretty much won the game. And this on his first game back from a serious shoulder injury.


Two of those goals are worth highlighting. His second was astounding; a reverse right-foot banana, kicked on the boundary from the fifty arc while on the run. His fifth was more straightforward – a low-trajectory drop punt while running into an open goal on a moderate angle – except that he kicked it from close to 65 metres, with no one in front of him for another 30. He made it look like a short pass.


Motlop’s heroics were just as well, for without them the Lions might have stolen a game in which mostly they looked out of their depth. They started well enough, with Luke Power setting up numerous scoring opportunities and Nigel Lappin collecting a small mountain of possessions. Once, however, the Motlop show began in the second quarter, the Power took over.


Motlop was aided by his Indigenous Australian brethren further upfield. Peter and Shaun Burgoyne were instrumental players, Peter in particular. He cut Justin Sherman to ribbons. Sherman’s fall from grace – he was second in the Lions’ best-and-fairest count last year – has been telling; many young Lions who started this season brightly have dimmed with him.


Another to suffer was Jared Brennan, who was playing his 50th game for the Lions after four years. Here is a player seemingly born to suffer the tag “enigmatic” for an entire career. (He might be described as “mercurial” on a good day.) Brennan was chopped up by Justin Westhoff, who, in just his fourth game, kicked three goals in the first half. Westhoff is an impressive player – a 199-centimetre forward with phenomenal agility.


Port took a 19-point lead into half-time and quickly stretched it to 37 points after the break. From there, the two teams traded goals before Port went into the final quarter protecting a 28-point margin. The Power then looked in command. What happened in the final quarter came from nowhere.


Chad Cornes, who was good all night, kicked a goal three minutes in. Motlop kicked his sixth and from there it seemed a matter of how far the Power. Then the Lions charged. Colm Begley, Jamie Charman and Josh Drummond all split the goals. The Lions were back within 25 points and on a roll. Jonathan Brown, menacing all night, bagged his third before Tim Notting bagged his own third goal, in the 23rd minute.


Brown’s fourth goal, in time-on, levelled the scores. The Power looked gone. A Power loss would have been an injustice. The Lions’ enormous last quarter was built on a pride of some 10 players who had good nights. The remaining 12 were barely noticed. Perhaps it was fitting, then, that as the ball returned to the centre square for the penultimate bounce, an act of stupidity all but cost the Lions the game.


Port won the clearance before sweeping the ball straight to Brett Ebert. Ebert had played a shocker but now he had the game in his hands. Then Jamie Charman, for some unknown reason, chose this moment to mouth off at the umpire. Ebert was paid a 50-metre penalty, and the stunned home crowd watched as he booted the ball deep into the stands.


The Lions had been brave, but the Power had been better and deserved the points. Motlop had been the difference. Brilliance had triumphed over grit.


It was a satisfying result.



Brisbane Lions 3.4 5.10 8.15 15.15 (105)

Port Adelaide 2.3 9.5 14.7 17.10 (112)



Port Adelaide: Motlop 6, Westhoff 3, Rodan 2, Pearce,? S. Burgoyne, Gray, Lonie, C. Cornes, Ebert.

Brisbane: Brown 4, Notting 3, Brennan, Charman, Drummond 2, Rischitelli, Begley.



Port Adelaide: Motlop, P. Burgoyne, S. Burgoyne, Cassisi,? C. Cornes, Pearce.

Brisbane: Lappin, Adcock, Brown, Drummond, Power, Macdonald.



Brennan (Brisbane) 50 games.



Dzufer (Brisbane).



Sully, Head, Goldspink.



Motlop (PA) 3, P. Burgoyne (PA) 2, Lappin (B) 1.



Motlop (PA) 3, K. Cornes (PA) 2, S. Burgoyne* (PA) 1.






For more Round by Round reports of the 2007 season click HERE


Printed copies of The Footy Almanac 2007 can be purchased here.


2007 Footy Almanac

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