Shadeau Brain is player #349 on the all-time Brisbane list, and has played barely 30 minutes’ football, but already he’s done something that 347 of the 348 players before him didn’t do. He played in a draw on debut.

The Lions’ 13-12 (90) to 13-12 (90) draw with Adelaide at Adelaide Oval yesterday capped off an emotional roller-coaster ride for the 20-year-old Sunshine Coaster, who, after being called up for his first game, conceded a hot ‘holding the ball’ free kick with his first possession before showing some real class and poise with four disposals, three marks, two tackles, one clearance and one goal assist in the stalemate finish.

The only other Brisbane player to debut in a draw was Chris Schmidt in 2007. His first game was Round 10 2007 when the Lions finished level with Richmond at Marvel Stadium.

But it is not an historical precedent Brain will not want to follow because Schmidt, a West Adelaide (SANFL) midfielder drafted with pick #34 in the 2006 National Draft who wore jumper #13, only played one more game for the club.

That was a 23-point loss to the Western Bulldogs at the Gabba the following week.

Schmidt did play 18 games with the Adelaide Crows in 2010-11 and later had a successful career back at West Adelaide, winning the Oatey Medal as best afield in the 2013 SANFL grand final as he captained his club to a premiership win, and won the club best & fairest in 2013-16.

It’s not exactly earth-shattering news, but that’s what we get to after a two-hour dogfight like that which the Lions fought against the Adelaide Crows on Sunday amounts to nothing… except another excuse for some weird and wonderful statistics.

The draw on Sunday, the first under coach Chris Fagan, was the club’s ninth all-time, the first against Adelaide, the first at Adelaide Oval and the first since 8 August 2009.

Read the full match report here →

It follows draws against West Coast at Carrara (1992), Geelong in Geelong (1996), Port Adelaide at the Gabba in 1997 and 1998, North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium in 2003, Richmond at Marvel in 2007, Sydney at the Gabba in 2007 and Essendon at the MCG in 2009.

It was the first Lions draw for everyone in the side on Sunday, and the first career draw for all but Charlie Cameron, Joe Daniher and Conor McKenna, who each had played in one previously with other clubs.

Dayne Zorko’s 259-game wait for his first draw is a club record that will take some beating.

📸 Photo: Dayne Zorko during play of the Adelaide Clash Round 9, 2024. Charlie Cameron and Dayne Zorko walking off field. 

Indeed, Zorko, Harris Andrews (195 games), Ryan Lester (189), Hugh McCluggage (164), Eric Hipwood (162), Jarrod Berry (142), Charlie Cameron (138) and Oscar McInerney (134) all bettered the club’s previous longest wait to a draw held by Scott McIvor at 131 games.

Darcy Gardiner, who kicked a career-best two goals before his season-ending knee injury in Round 9, now holds the club record for most games without a draw at 165.

Then comes Tom Rockliff (154), Mitch Robinson (147), Zac Bailey (123) and Lincoln McCarthy (122), Lewis Taylor (112), Brandon Starcevich (104), Jarryd Lyons (102) and Brad Hardie (101).

Bruce Reville and Logan Morris, who experienced the emptiness of a draw in their second game on Sunday to cap a period of wild emotional contrasts, go into the second line of the record books behind first-gamers Brain and Schmidt and alongside Ashley Green (2) and Brendon Retzlaff (2).

Then follows Steve McLuckie (3), John Hutton (4), Shane Morrison (4), Darryl White (4), Clark Keating (4), Nigel Palfreyman (4), Brett Voss (5), Brent Green (5) and Jack Redden (5).

Nigel Lappin has played in most draws for the club with six from Marcus Ashcroft, Darryl White and Chris Johnson (5), Simon Black, Justin Leppitsch, Tim Notting and Jason Akermanis (4).

Justin Sherman holds the club record for most possessions in a draw at 33 against Essendon in 2009, from Chris Johnson (31), Craig Lambert (31) and Josh Drummond (30), while Johnson, who went 59 games at Fitzroy without a draw, shares the club record for most goals in a draw at five with White and Michael Voss.

Predictably, Lappin heads the all-time possession count in draws with 121 from Marcus Ashcroft (95), Black (79) and Johnson (77), but the club’s leading goal-kicker all-time in draws will surprise most.

It is three-time All-Australian centre half back Leppitsch, who in four draws kicked 3-4-2-3 for a total of 12 – twice that of Jonathan Brown (6), Daniel Bradshaw (6) and Akermanis (6).

📸 Photo: Justin Leppitsch, Jonathan Brown and Luke Power during training in 2005. 

Black is the only Brisbane player to have polled twice in the Brownlow Medal in a draw. His four votes heads the list from Michael Voss, Marcus Ashcroft, Brown, Keating and Lambert (3).

And for the real trivia buffs, Brandon Starcevich’s absence through injury on Sunday denied the record books their first Brisbane draw in jumper #37. It’s the only number from 1-44 without a draw.

Darcy Wilmot’s #44 jumper has played in most draws (8), while Kai Lohmann (#1), Josh Dunkley (#5), Hugh McCluggage (#6) and Cameron (#23) can claim a share of those jumper numbers with seven draws, equal with #10 which has not been allocated this year.

The first eight Brisbane draws were:-

R5 1992 – Brisbane 14-8 (92) v West Coast 13-14 (92) at Carrara – 18 April 1992
After trailing narrowly at each change the Bears grabbed a share of the points when 19-year-old Queenslander Ray Windsor, in just his 10th game, slotted a goal after the siren. A Wests junior and winner of the 1989 Larke Medal as the best player at the Teal Cup Under-17 carnival, Windsor was one of 14 players in a 20-man side under coach Robert Walls with less than 25 games experience. Matthew Campbell was the last of the ‘originals’ and only 231-gamer Roger Merrett had played more than 100 games. Marcus Ashcroft in his 49th game picked up three Brownlow Medal votes for 27 possessions and three goals.

R10 1996 – Brisbane 15-8 (98) v Geelong 14-14 (98) at Kardinia Park – 8 June 1996
In a day of fluctuating emotions at one of the toughest interstate venues, the Bears led by four goals at three-quarter time and trailed by three goals inside the last four minutes before a heads-up play from Justin Leppitsch ensured the visitors didn’t go home empty-handed. In a thrilling finish, Darryl White soccered a goal from the square to make it 12 points before Leppitsch cut the deficit to seven points from 35m and Scott McIvor, swung forward, made it one point from 45m with 90sec to play. And then, after Clark Keating had won a boundary throw-in deep in the pocket, Leppitsch had the smarts to rush a behind when nothing else was on. "It was one of the greatest things you'll see in football," said John Northey in his 10th game as Brisbane coach. "We were gone from minutes from the end ... it'll be a tremendous learning experience for a young side." Craig Lambert was best afield.

📸 Photos: Michael Voss of the Bears lines up a kick during the 1996 round 10 between Geelong Cats and the Brisbane Bears.

R20 1997 – Brisbane 13-15 (93) v Port Adelaide 13-15 (93) at Gabba – 16 August 1997
A freakish Daniel Bradshaw soccer effort from point blank range grabbed Brisbane a draw after they were 29 points down at halftime, but this was two premiership points lost by the Lions in controversial circumstances. Port’s Michael Wilson was awarded a goal seven minutes after halftime when the ball was clearly smothered by Alastair Lynch, and was soccered off the ground by Port’s Shayne Breuer after it had crossed the goal line. But after a communication breakdown between the goal umpire and field umpire the ‘all clear’ was signalled despite the fact that the two men in charge (both dropped the following week) were awarding ‘different’ goals. Clark Keating had a mixed day deputising in the ruck for the injured Matthew Clarke – he picked up three Brownlow Medal votes but suffered a season-ending knee injury – while Darryl White topped the Lions B&F votes.

R12 1998 – Brisbane 18-15 (123) v Port Adelaide 18-15 (123) at Gabba – 14 June 1998
It was Roger Merrett’s first match as caretaker coach after the sacking of John Northey, and the first game after captain Michael Voss had suffered a season-ended broken leg in Perth. And somehow the Lions escaped with a second consecutive draw against Port. The Lions were 26 points down inside the last six minutes and were gone for all money. They dragged themselves back into the contest but with just 25sec on the clock all looked lost. Port had the ball. Stuart Dew, in just the seventh game of a career that would see him win premierships with Port and Hawthorn and later coach the Gold Coast Suns, took the kick-in. It was picked off perfectly by an ever-alert Shaun Hart stationed in between three Port players in the defensive zone. Having already kicked a critical late goal to help get the Lions back into it, Hart started his 35m shot at the left post and watched with glee as it swung back straight between the posts. There were still 14sec to play, but it mattered little. Chris Scott got a hurried centre clearance and by the time the next possession was won it was all over. Darryl White claimed three Brownlow Medal votes for 16 possessions and two goals, while Hart picked up one vote for 19 possessions and three goals.

R3 2003 – Brisbane 16-13 (109) v North Melbourne 16-13 (109) at Docklands – 12 April 2003
Michael Voss kicked  Michael Voss kicked 161 behinds in his career to go with 245 goals, but few were as important as 121st behind in his 201st game. It was a 48m effort on the run with the last kick of the day to snatch an unlikely and almost comical draw in game three of what would be the club’s third premiership campaign. North had led by six points at three-quarter time, trailed by 12 points seven minutes later, and after goals to Shannon Grant and Drew Petrie, were seven points down at the 20-minute mark of the final stanza after Justin Leppitsch goaled for the visitors. What happened in the last nine minutes had to be seen to be believed. North had all the ball but little to show for it. Digby Morrell cut the difference to a point before Adam Simpson and Anthony Stevens kicked points that could have been goals. And in the middle of that Drew Petrie kicked the ball out on the full twice from makeable shots and Brent Harvey once. With 30sec on the clock Brad Scott won the ball at the back of a boundary throw-in and kicked long to a contest. It spilled over the back when Daniel Bradshaw fired off a handball to space as he went to ground. It bounced into the arms of Voss who wheeled around onto his right and let fly. It missed to the right … just … to leave the scores level. He was disappointed the skipper but he’d already done more than his share – 23 possessions, five goals and two behinds for three Brownlow Medal votes.

📸 Photos: Jason Akermanis and Blake Caracella in action during the 2003 round 3 between Brisbane and North Melbourne.

R10 2007 – Brisbane 10-13 (73) v Richmond 10-13 (73) at Docklands – 2 June 2007
The Lions led by 13 points at three-quarter time only to go goalless in the final quarter and yet escaped with a draw through two brilliant defence efforts in the closing stages. Richard Tambling kicked the first goal of the final stanza after 12 minutes to cut the Brisbane lead to eight points, and with barely two minutes to play Kayne Pettifer locked it up. All the momentum was with the Tigers but a brilliant chase-down tackle from Troy Selwood and an intercept mark from Josh Drummond saved the day. Uncertain of the time left, Drummond switched the play to give his side one last chance. He found Tim Notting at half back, and after Notting took two bounces down the wing and prepared to kick long inside the Lions 50m arc the siren beat him. Simon Black was judged best afield while Joel Patful kicked a career -best three goals for two Brownlow Medal votes.

R20 2007 – Brisbane 9-9 (63) v Sydney 8-15 (63) at Gabba – 18 August 2007
Only once in club history have the Lions had a draw after scores were also level at halftime. This it as the Lions, clinging to 8th spot on the ladder, hosted sixth-placed Sydney at the Gabba. The Swans led by 17 points at three-quarter time before the Lions kicked three goals in the first 3min7sec of the final stanza through Chris Johnson, Robert Copeland and Jonathan Brown to sneak one point in front. Adam Schneider answered for the visitors before Brown kicked his third goal to edge the Lions clear again only to see Brett Kirk give Sydney a six-point buffer with five minutes to play. Brown, sharing the captaincy with Simon Black, Nigel Lappin, Luke Power and Chris Johnson, had done the job twice. But as good as he was it seemed fanciful to expect him to do it again. But he did. After a strong mark about 40m out he kicked his fourth and the leveller on the final siren. His final quarter triple-play earned him three Brownlow Medal votes, while Matthew Leuenberger picked up his first medal vote in his seventh game for a fine effort against the Sydney ruck pair of Darren Jolly and Peter Everitt.

📸 Photos: Joel Patfull and Justin Sherman during 2007 round 10 between Brisbane and Richmond. Peter Everitt in action during 2007 round 20 between Brisbane and Sydney.

R19 2009 – Brisbane 12-15 (87) v Essendon 13-9 (87) at MCG – 8 August 2009
Daniel Bradshaw kicked the last-second goal from point-blank range to draw the game, but it was the heroics of Jonathan Brown that made the difference. He won possession from a boundary throw-in with 17sec on the clock, beat one tackle and in the grips of another while facing the opposite goal he somehow screwed a kick back over his shoulder to the square where Bradshaw marked 2m from the goalline. The Lions were 15 points down at three-quarter time, got six up after goals from Michael Rischitelli, Bradshaw and Scott Harding, and then found themselves six down after Michael Quinn and Angus Monfries replied for Essendon. Josh Drummond and Brown kicked long behinds before the captain did what the captain did. Ruckman Mitch Clark received three Brownlow votes for 28 possessions and 31 hit-outs.

Brisbane’s nine draws in 854 games equates to a draw ratio of 1.05%.

Fitzroy had 25 draws in 1928 games at 1.30%. Jimmy Freake (6) and Chris Lethbridge (6) played in most draws for Fitzroy from Alan Ruthven (5), Alan Gale (5), Percy Parratt (5), Roy Miller (5), Norm Johnstone (4), Wally Johnson (4), Horrie Jenkin (4), Bert Lenne (4), Bert Clay (4), Ken Ross (4), Stan Molan (4), George Lambert (4), Ern Elliott (4), Gordon Rattray (4), Clarrie Sherry (4) and Bert Taylor (4).

📸 Photos: Daniel Bradshaw Jonathan Brown and Mitch Clark during 2009 round 19 between Brisbane and Essendon.