There’s a common thread to a whole heap of mooted player exchanges looming large over the 2018 off season. And it suggests players, their agents and many clubs are growing more sophisticated in how they deal with player exchange.
A last minute goal from first-year player Jaidyn Stephenson saw Collingwood squeeze a seven-point victory over the winless Brisbane Lions.
Former Magpie Dayne Beams kicked a 50-yard goal against his former club with just over two minutes on the clock to put the scores level, but Chris Mayne kicked a behind before Stephenson ran into an empty goal to ice the contest 19.7 (121) to 18.6 (114).
The visitors overcame an injury to skipper Scott Pendlebury, who left the game in the third quarter after a knock to the ankle with the game still in the balance.
The 21,850 people at the Gabba were treated to a pulsating contest as the visitors repeatedly kicked ahead but the Lions kept pulling themselves back into the game.
The eventual entertainment could not have been predicted at the end of the first quarter which Brisbane Lions lost as they have every opening term this season.
The messy quarter saw neither side impress with classy goals from Jordan de Goey – one of his five – Pendlebury and Jeremy Howe rare bright spots as the Magpies took an eight-point lead.
Next came a 13-goal deluge in the second term shoot-out, even if poor defending was as attributable as daring attack.
The Lions kicked four goals in a row to take the lead for the first time midway through the second stanza when Lewis Taylor snapped home but three at the other end from Josh Thomas and one from Darcy Moore restored a comfortable advantage, before Dayne Zorko, Charlie Cameron and another from Taylor reduced lead to three at the long break.
Taylor’s second came after he comically took an air-swing at a soccer kick inside the square before gathering the ball and kicking home.
Taylor scored two more in the third but Collingwood had the last word with Stephenson marking smartly to give them an eight-point advantage going into the last.
Previously out of form Zorko was granted the luxury of not being tagged, and took full advantage grabbing 34 possessions and kicking four, the last with an impudent 35-yard check-side kick.
Another goal from Daniel McStay and Beams’ major looked like setting the Lions up to break their duck before the Magpies’ late rally.