The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 9 – Brisbane v Collingwood: Lions smacked in Black’s 200th

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 Collingwood

7.15pm, Saturday, May 26

The Gabba, Brisbane




PERSONAL MILESTONES: WHAT DO THEY MEAN TO A SIDE? A player, drilled to deflect individual achievement for the greater glory of the team, routinely downplays his own achievements, often with gratingly false modesty. His teammates, of course, unashamedly want to do it for (insert name here).


Two players celebrated significant milestones in this match. Simon Black, one of the pillars of the Lions’ triple-premiership years, and in more recent times one of the few to keep this once-great team competitive, was playing his 200th game. He is the heart and soul of his club. You fancied his teammates would do it for ‘Blacky’.


For Collingwood, Brodie Holland was playing his 150th game – less significant than Black’s achievement, maybe, but only in raw figures. So few players, after all, even reach 50 games. ‘Dutchy’, as the one-time Fremantle forward pocket turned Collingwood hard man is predictably known, had earned his black and white stripes.


As it turned out, the two could barely have had more contrasting games.


Black was easily best on ground, while Holland – made captain for Collingwood in the absence of Nathan Buckley and James Clement – lacking match fitness after recently returning from suspension, started on the bench. He was serviceable at best.


Despite this, Collingwood won in a canter. The Pies’ victory came even though they were smashed around the ball and in the clearances, especially by Black, who accumulated 37 possessions, many of them hard-won. He just couldn’t carry his team with him.


The Lions’ Mitch Clark, playing his first game for the year and just his seventh overall, kicked five goals and should have had a couple more. His kicking action is as rough as an F.J, Holden’s gear change, but he is tall, quick and mobile. He proved too good for Maxwell, who was eventually shifted.


For three quarters, Black and Clark helped keep the Lions within striking distance of the Magpies, who had maintained a slender advantage due to a greater depth of running power (Johnson, Lockyer, Swan, O’Bree, Burns and the gifted Pendlebury were too good for Black, Power, Rischitelli, Sherman and Stiller), a greater spread of goalkickers (11 to six) and a superb effort at full back from Simon Prestigiacomo, who played a classic nullifier’s game on Jonathan Brown.


There was also a significant moment late in the third quarter when Jed Adcock crashed headlong into a stationary Anthony Rocca. Adcock, who had whipped Alan Didak, was concussed and Didak’s two final-quarter goals were enough to break the Lions’ resistance.


That six-goals-to-two final quarter may have told a tale of these two teams, which seem to be at similar stages of redevelopment after squaring off in the 2002 and 2003 Grand Finals. Both sides feature an experienced leadership group guiding a very young and exciting core of players with fewer than 30 games to their credit.


However, whereas Rischitelli, Sherman and Stiller have tapered off dramatically in recent weeks, and Jared Brennan has been banished to the reserves, Collingwood’s kids appear more versatile. And in the case of Pendlebury and Dale Thomas, they are tinged by something approaching genius.


Pendlebury’s first half was a wonder to behold – not so much for his handful of possessions as what he did with them, displaying a quality for which talent- starved Pies fans have been longing. He is a finisher. His capitalisation on an uncharacteristic Nigel Lappin error early in the second quarter had quality stamped all over it.


Thomas had had a quiet game until moved into unfamiliar defensive territory in the second half. Once there, he excelled, his bravery and terrier-like attack on the ball outstanding.


The Magpies also look a much better side for the rapid development of Travis Cloke, who now looks a long-term proposition at centre-half forward. Cloke’s method is simple: he never stops presenting. He has taken the pressure off Rocca, now a permanent, if hopelessly inaccurate, full forward.


The Lions? Well, Clark’s five goals provided Brown with the foil he has lacked in Daniel Bradshaw’s absence this season, while Daniel Merrett’s performances at full back have meant that Mal Michael’s loss has barely been felt. But there are now question marks over the group’s fitness – to be fair, many players are coming off injury-hampered pre-seasons – and depth of genuine talent.


There was one great moment in the final quarter in which Brown ran a full 40 metres with the flight of the ball to mark; it was as courageous an act as one would ever see. If the Lions indeed wanted to “do it for Blacky”, he could not have wished for more. It’s just that, on this occasion, courage was no substitute for class.



Brisbane Lions 4.4 7.6 11.7 13.9 (87)

Collingwood   5.2 8.7 12.10 18.12 (120)



Collingwood: Davis 3, Burns, Pendlebury, Fraser, Didak, Cloke 2, Medhurst, Swan, Johnson, O’Bree, Lockyer.

Brisbane: Clark 5, McGrath, Power, Brown 2, Patfull, Black.



Collingwood: Lockyer, Johnson, O’Bree, Burns, Prestigiacomo, Pendlebury.
Brisbane: Black, Clark, Power, Charman, Notting, Stiller.



Black (Brisbane) 200 games; Holland (Collingwood) 150 games.



Kennedy, M. Nicholls, Woodcock.



Black (B) 3, Lockyer (Coll.) 2, Johnson (Coll.) 1.



Black (B) 3, Lockyer (Coll.) 2, Johnson* (Coll.) 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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