It wasn’t a happy return to prime time for the Lions on Easter Thursday with Collingwood handing them a 62-point defeat at the Gabba. About the only satisfaction the 34,017 supporters would be able to take away from the match was the hostile welcome they gave to former skipper Dayne Beams on his first return to Brisbane since leaving for Collingwood.
Led by Adam Treloar with 35-possessions, and Brody Mihocek with four goals, Collingwood were too slick and strong for Brisbane. Daniel Rich and Hugh McCluggage were two of the very few Lions who managed to play near their best in defeat.
Full House at the Gabba
In the modern age of hot-takes and short memories, it perhaps isn’t surprising the amount of teeth gnashing in recent years about the level of support for the AFL in Queensland. Which makes the full house sign outside the Gabba on Thursday all the more exciting.
It may have taken a strong start and a prime time game to make it happen, but the crowd size still illustrates the fact that there are supporters keen to be stirred by and cheer on a strong Lions team. While many also express a distaste at crowds booing players, the ‘welcome’ afforded Dayne Beams is another reminder of the passion in Brisbane for their home town team.
Collingwood’s midfield depth makes the decision of whether or not to tag a specific player an incredibly difficult one but you would think in hindsight, Chris Fagan would choose to attempt to quell the effectiveness of Treloar. The 26-year-old was in the middle of everything as he tormented the home team. With 25 uncontested possessions he was an important outlet option for the Pies and dissected the Lions with his creativity and ball use.
Much like their midfield stocks, Collingwood is blessed with small-medium options galore up forward. With players like Jordan De Goey and Jayden Stephenson getting most of the plaudits, the impact or importance of Brody Mihocek to the Pies is sometimes overlooked. With four goals against the Lions this will come to at least a temporary pause this week, but you can expect to see Mihocek doing all the little things well again next week and the week after and the week after that.
The weakest point to any video review system is generally the human beings managing it. This fact was on full view once again on Thursday night with a pair of decisions resulting in goals for Collingwood. Despite evidence that Mihocek goal struck the goal post in the first quarter, it was allowed to stand which made the mistake in the last quarter all the more confusing.
A Josh Thomas shot for goal was adjudged by the goal umpire to have been touched before passing the goal line. The subsequent review overturned this decision despite their being inconclusive evidence one way or the other. Yep, you’ve read that right, conclusive evidence was not enough to overturn a goal but inconclusive evidence was enough to overturn another review.
It isn’t the world’s easiest job, but it isn’t this hard either.
Despite being outplayed, Brisbane found themselves still in the contest at half time. This quickly changed after a third quarter that quickly descended into little more than a training exercise for Collingwood as they ran away with the match. Almost completely unable to lay an effective tackle, the Lions had no answer when Collingwood dominated the stoppages and contested ball. The end result was a record breaking term for the visitors at the Gabba kicking eight goals to two.
What was going through the Lions skipper’s head when he came across Taylor Adams after the Collingwood midfielder had fired off a handpass to Mihocek in the first quarter. Whatever it was, it is unlikely the $2000 sanction from MRO Michael Christian will be a deterrent from him doing it again. Thankfully Adams was able to play out the game but it doesn’t make the cheap shot from Zorko any more palatable.
AFL ROUND FIVE
BRISBANE 3.2 5.6 7.9 8.13 (61)
COLLINGWOOD 7.5 8.9 16.12 18.15 (123)
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
Brisbane: Rich, McCluggage, Berry, Zorko
Collingwood: Treloar, Mihocek, Grundy, Stephenson, Crisp, Beams, Phillips
Brisbane: Andrews (hamstring), Mathieson (hamstring)
Collingwood: Aish (concussion)
Umpires: Rosebury, Williamson, Fleer
Official crowd: 34,017 at the Gabba