The Roar
The Roar


Brisbane's best day of 2018

Cameron Rayner of the Lions celebrates kicking a goal. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
Roar Guru
21st May, 2018

There are casual fans who do not pay to watch AFL games, thus the only matches they see are the ones on Channel Seven. Sunday was the first time that such a match had featured Brisbane all year (with the exception of AFLX).

Of course, they probably would have had some knowledge of Brisbane’s season to date – respectable losing margins as the rule, not the exception. A team that was good but not good enough. An unfamiliar cast that they never see, never enjoying team success, perpetually on the brink of breaking the dam wall.

They finally did.

Sunday was a good day for football in Brisbane because when the Lions finally did win, it was on free-to-air television, with all the benefits of its access to a mass audience.

It was obvious they were trying to maximise a rare opportunity. Rarely does a football team allow quite the level of access that the Lions allowed Channel Seven. Moreover, the audience wasn’t being asked to fall in love with an old team, but a new team.

Leigh Matthews was in the commentary box, Simon Black was interviewed by a commentator, and the soundtrack provided by Daniel Merrett was analysed by commentators, but it didn’t look like a win from premiership days or even ’09 – the year that Brisbane last won against Hawthorn.

It just looked like a normal win from a normal team, one that took the aggressive option at every opportunity, made the most of forward-50 entries, kicked straight, and whose major flaw was not being able to keep their feet at all times. The likes of Harris Andrews and Charlie Cameron were a pure joy to watch.

Luke Hodge, who had consented to be interviewed during the match, was also interviewed immediately after its conclusion. It was the last part of Channel Seven’s coverage before going to the news coverage of the royal wedding, thereby transiting from one 33-year-old enjoying the best day of his life to another. OK, maybe the day of his own wedding is ahead of Sunday. And the days on which his sons were born. And the days he won premierships.


The point is, Brisbane won.