Viewers have vented their frustrations with Channel Seven AFL commentator Brian Taylor after accusing the caller of bias during Collingwood's defeat to the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba on Thursday night. Many have tipped the Magpies as being the team to beat in 2023, but the Lions flipped the script on its head with an impressive 18.8 (116) to 11.17 (83) victory.
The Magpies were sharp early on and had chances to establish a decent lead in the second quarter. However, the Lions kicked ten straight goals to blow the visitors off the park in the second half and end Collingwood's unbeaten start to the season.
'APPALLING': Joe Daniher under fire as damning vision emerges
Charlie Cameron led the way for the home side after booting six goals, while Cam Rayner was also immense for the Lions, blasting them clear with four goals and 10 score involvements after being shifted from defence into his customary role up front. He marked strongly, crashed tackles and distributed with poise, with Cameron profiting from Rayner's class on numerous occasions.
It was a crucial bounce-back victory for the Lions (2-2), who were flat in their loss to the Western Bulldogs last week that had Brisbane great Jonathan Brown insisting the club could not win the premiership with tall forwards Eric Hipwood and Joe Daniher at the helm.
Brisbane were up by a game-high 38 points at one stage in the second half, although viewers noted that Taylor - who played 97 games for Collingwood - was trying to make it out to be a much closer contest than it actually was. The veteran commentator was accused of constantly focusing on Collingwood, even when the Lions were running away with the contest.
It's nothing new for a commentator to provide hope for fans that a comeback could be on the cards during such a contest, but many viewers felt he overdid it by failing to balance it with an appreciation of how Brisbane were playing. “It’s a 38-point margin now, but kick the next two before three quarter time, Collingwood, that’s all they have to do," Taylor said. “It’s not a big target to be back in the game.”
Even during Brisbane's stunning run of 10 consecutive goals, Taylor's focus had turned to Collingwood's need to chase percentage points. Melbourne Demons great Brad Green shared the frustrations of many AFL fans watching the broadcast, after calling out Taylor on social media.
“Brisbane have played well tonight, not that you would’ve heard from CH 7 commentary. All they talk about is Collingwood. Understand they are a big club, but two sides are playing,” he posted on Twitter.
— Americans Watching The Footy (@AmericansFooty) April 6, 2023
Spot on. I'm a neutral and BT was so biased
— brendan (@bunners26) April 6, 2023
— Brian Coyle (@hairplugss) April 6, 2023
BT talking his usual garbage his biased commentary is a disgrace #AFLLionsPies
— Mark Shanahan (@MarkSha34828016) April 6, 2023
He is seriously doing my head in 🙄 I mean there is biased commentating but BT has taken it to a new level
— Kirsten White 🐯💛🖤 (@wildetigress) April 6, 2023
Brisbane have played well tonight, not that you would’ve heard from CH 7 commentary. All they talk about is Collingwood. Understand they are a big club, but two sides are playing.
— Brad Green (@bradgreen18) April 6, 2023
Jack Crisp video saga no excuse for Collingwood
Jack Crisp kicked a fourth-quarter goal but was otherwise quiet, the Magpies star playing a day after a video was leaked that will be the subject of an AFL investigation. Collingwood coach Craig McRae said after the match that the saga was no excuse for his side's performance.
"I wouldn't have thought so," McRae said when asked if the episode had an impact on their preparation. "We don't make excuses for anything. Brisbane are really good, let's face it. They've beaten Melbourne up here and everyone's saying Melbourne are the team to beat and we've gone down as well."
Nick Daicos (38 disposals, two goals) was brilliant but, incredibly, had only one disposal in the second quarter when the Lions, trailing by 13 at the first break, bit back. Hipwood and Daniher (both two goals), who had a team-high 13 disposals at halftime and 20 for the game in a week his work-rate had been questioned, were both physical and took their chances.
"I was glad that we played well tonight, but I didn't think the picture that was painted last week, I didn't think it was as bad as that," Brisbane coach Chris Fagan said. "I think the reason we won the game was that we were brave enough to come forward and get some intercepts on the handball chains, and we were able to score off those.
"You've got to do that well against them; if you retreat, they'll just run straight through you."
Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.