Is Brisbane the worst top two side ever?

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PCORF

Premiership Player
Jul 3, 2007
4,898
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During the national anthem you could see how nervous Brisbane were. They were scared sh***ess knowing that if they win they were going to play in a home GF. And Tom Hawkins, oh that grin. I knew all week Geelong were going to win.

I still thought Brisbane had a better than expected season and there are only two ways they can go in 2021, up or down. Real teams keep fighting year after year no matter how badly they underachieve and it paid off for Geelong in the end. I think Geelong will win it too.
 

Winky

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Jan 7, 2009
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I've thought this narrative was unsurprising but drastically overstated all year. A tradition just about as old as the sport itself is decrying any possible advantage of a successful opposition team.

Brisbane of the early 2000's had salary cap concessions, Geelong of the late 2000's benefited from Kardinia Park and the help of the father/son rule, Hawthorn in the 2010's were just lucky to peak when other clubs were hindered by expansion club drafts, Richmond got to play a great deal of their premiership seasons at home with less travel than other sides, Sydney had COLA, Collingwood had buckets of cash before the off field cap was tight and facilities nobody could match, the Bulldogs got the best umpiring run of all time etc.

If you play it that way as many like to do, there has probably never been a completely legitimate premier in the history of the competition. Another way of looking at it is that we have one of the most even and balanced competitions in the world. And ultimately, I can't think of too many instances if any where a season had an undeserving premier at the end of it.

We definitely did have some kind of an upper hand this year in the competition being based here and that's been completely obvious from the start. The Suns had the same advantage, Port & the Crows similar but slightly lesser, and West Coast, Freo, Sydney & GWS also advantaged but another rung down. But I think the level to which it was an advantage for us or any of those clubs was always exaggerated. We were still restricted by the same rules as were the families and partners of our players, so it wasn't as though our players were living a normal life while others were essentially imprisoned. In one sense, you could argue they missed out on the community-focus that other clubs got living alongside each other while our guys were stuck at home on their own.

Ultimately though, the advantage we got this year clearly wasn't enough to boost us to being ready for a premiership. Let's say we are 70% of the way to being flag-ready, perhaps this season's conditions boosted us 5-10%. They were never going to make us the best club in the competition though if we weren't actually the best club in the competition. We're still quite new to this whole 'not being a rabble' thing, and the majority of the core players of our side are under 25. It was the first prelim final for almost all of our squad tonight, and only the fourth ever final for the majority of them too. Just on timelines of development, it was always going to be a little early.

Who knows if we'll ever develop to being a premiership side from where we are at the moment. I'm not a great list judge nor can anyone ever predict these things accurately, but I am confident that we have the right people in charge who it would be a bit foolish to doubt on the turnaround they've brought about so far. 1 win out of 4 finals is one way of framing it - another could be reviving a club quite genuinely not far from folding to two finals series with increasing success over four years. The trend has been upwards since they arrived, and naturally I hope that can continue.

Richmond might be a pretty good comparison. After years in the wilderness, they finally made the finals in 2013 only to go 0-3 in finals over the following three years and then miss the one after that. Plenty wrote them off, said this list was never going anywhere, and that they'd need to start again. Now they're on the brink of a dynasty with that same list and that same coach on that same timeline.

Progression as a footy club always seems to come in this sort of a way, and expecting that it was going to be rapidly accelerated a few years down the timeline just because we were sleeping in our own beds was an absurd narrative from the start.

At any rate, at least if we're able to win a flag in the coming years now there won't be the doubting around our credentials when that day comes. Of course, that's probably a bit optimistic of me - I'm sure people will find something. Our academy, our medical team, the AFL help in 2016, the nicer weather. There'll be options to delegitimise any success with, as there always are. I just think it's a pretty petulant and immature way to follow footy.
Brisbane have the makings of a good side and even though they did have some advantages this year it was no more than Victorian teams get every year in terms of travel advantage. most people have enjoyed watching Brisbane play and the majority of their good players have years in front of them. I think the team still lacks a key forward and that may be fixed next year if Daniher joins them. the other thing holding them back is this attitude that they need experienced players To compliment the young players. Sure it worked with Hodge who was still a skilled, smart player with exceptional leadership skills but both Ellis Yolman and Birchall should not have been in the team. Towards the end of the season Robinson’s effectiveness also waned and he may be nearing the end
 

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Lsta062

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 15, 2014
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When Richmond were stumbling in 2012-2016, I felt that our group of players would get a Premiership along the way. I have that same feeling about Brisbane. They’re not good enough right now because they are a young group. They still have a lot of lessons to learn. If they stay together as a group, then they’re heading towards the right direction in my opinion.
 

who_let_the_dogs_out

Premiership Player
Aug 1, 2005
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**** no

Footscray of 92 and Geelong of 17 surely take that cake as worst top 2 ever.
Yeah righto pal. 2 prime brownlow medallists in Wynd and Libba senior, Grant, Hawkins, Royal, Wallis senior were more high-end talent than this Lions side, though comparing eras is pointless. sh*t, even Danny Del Re kicked 70 goals that year, Brisbane doesn't have forward quality like that. We finished that high in 92 for a reason.
 

brutus76

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Jul 26, 2016
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Yeah righto pal. 2 prime brownlow medallists in Wynd and Libba senior, Grant, Hawkins, Royal, Wallis senior were more high-end talent than this Lions side, though comparing eras is pointless. sh*t, even Danny Del Re kicked 70 goals that year, Brisbane doesn't have forward quality like that. We finished that high in 92 for a reason.
And this "allmighty" scoring Footscray side lost a quali and a prelim by a total of 125 points (61 and 64) to the same team (Geelong) didn't they?

you can score 100 points ok if the oppo is scoring 160 it's still the one of the worst top 2 sides ever finals performances.
 

who_let_the_dogs_out

Premiership Player
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And this "allmighty" scoring Footscray side lost a quali and a prelim by a total of 125 points (61 and 64) to the same team (Geelong) didn't they?

you can score 100 points ok if the oppo is scoring 160 it's still the one of the worst top 2 sides ever finals performances.
For a long while there the Cats had our measure, and that 92 Cats side probably should have won the flag that year. No surprise they belted us during the finals. We still had a top 2 worthy season though.
 

WCE Wizard

Premiership Player
Jun 14, 2015
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When Richmond were stumbling in 2012-2016, I felt that our group of players would get a Premiership along the way. I have that same feeling about Brisbane. They’re not good enough right now because they are a young group. They still have a lot of lessons to learn. If they stay together as a group, then they’re heading towards the right direction in my opinion.
Whilst I agree with you, you are not guaranteed to play in prelim every year they need to seize their chance
 

HairyO

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 13, 2015
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Either Fagan screwed up or Rich wasnt listening.

All you have to do to neutralise GAJ is be between him and the goals. One way runner who only looks up.

And how the hell do you let Hawkins take the ball in every single ruck contest all night.

2 weeks to do player research and drill for it.
 

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Lionheart182

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 29, 2008
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Can’t understand why it was a given we should win the flag just because it happened to be in Brisbane this year, we are at where we are at in our development, that doesn’t suddenly change because of the pandemic. Pretty clear we are another a grade mid and a key forward short.

Another year of development into this squad plus hopefully getting Daniher in the squad makes us stronger for next year.
 

JasRulz63

Norm Smith Medallist
May 26, 2007
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Normal comp next year and they get a tough draw too. Slide is coming.
It'll be interesting to see how we go. We're still pretty tough to beat at home despite other teams having more experience playing at our home ground this year, so 11 games there will help. We'll have a harder draw than we did in 2019 based on our finishing position, but I think we're also a better team than last year.

If the season had gone ahead as planned this year (with our "top 6 team" fixture), our double ups were against Geelong, Collingwood, Hawthorn, North Melbourne and Gold Coast.
 

Lionheart182

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 29, 2008
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They were inexperienced they said. They will learn. Lions average games last night 121. Collingwood last week 111
Where did you get those figures? Our board had last night as 118 average games experience vs 160 odd for Geelong. Huge experience gap which is even bigger when comparing median games/ages as well.
 

JasRulz63

Norm Smith Medallist
May 26, 2007
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They were inexperienced they said. They will learn. Lions average games last night 121. Collingwood last week 111
I think it was 114 in the end with the late change (118 before), but I agree with your overall point. I still think we were relatively young for a contending side, with our average games played higher than our average age would suggest because of the games we put into our younger players over the last few years. I think from next year however, our experience and age are no longer an excuse.
 

PerthBoy86

Norm Smith Medallist
May 23, 2016
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Brisbane thoroughly disappointing last night. After vanquishing the roaring Tigers, I expected a heroic performance over a Cats outfit that had mauled the Magpies. Instead we got an amatuerish, insipid performance...the real Lions were wearing blue and white, while Brisbane were the pussycats. Maybe it was stagefright, maybe the pressure got to them, but this performance was a step down from last year's straight sets exit.
 

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