Port Adelaide premiership star Peter Burgoyne had plenty of terrific moments in his career – the 2004 AFL Grand Final, the goal after the siren win against Carlton and this, a showcase of domination alongside his brother, Shaun.
Round 13, 2002 itself is not exactly a majorly memorable game, with Port Adelaide winning quite easily over the struggling Western Bulldogs at Football Park.
But, in champion Port player Peter Burgoyne’s eyes, such strong performances came from having fun playing footy as a team.
And in a Port Adelaide side that sat on top of the ladder as well, it was all part of how good it was to be playing footy at the time.
The tandem itself, Burgoyne believed, was underrated.
“For sure, I think that Shaun and I worked really well together,” Burgoyne told The Inner Sanctum.
“We probably were a lot better than people gave us credit for.
“I reckon myself and Shaun were one of the best brother duos going around.”
Peter started his game well, with three goals in the first quarter.
Such a strong start could potentially lead a player open to getting tagged to negate their influence, and Peter discussed that.
“At that stage I was pretty used to it, probably more when I was up on ball, they would often put someone on me and then when I would go forward, they would follow,” he said.
“It was sort of a badge of honour and back then, it was just a part of footy, you know?
“The good players got tagged.
“[But] We had a really good side, and you know, you can’t tag everyone.”
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Although Peter had three goals on the board, and Shaun would follow with three of his own before he got his fourth, Peter didn’t really focus on whether he, or his brother were having good individual performances, rather choosing to focus on helping the team.
“I kicked my three goals [to start], but I didn’t really think about my own game, because we were playing so well,” he said.
“The thing about that side, was we played for the team.
“We weren’t too worried about individual [accolades], because as a team from like 2001-2004, we probably had the best side in the comp [bar] Brisbane. But we hadn’t won a premiership.
“You want to be winning finals, and grand finals.
“Everyone bought in to the feeling that we were going to achieve anything.
“I had to feel [that]. I had to help.”
Things like taggers, and the opposition side still kicking triple figures in a big loss are much less common these days, but Burgoyne doesn’t miss the former.
“I would love to play in this era,” he said.
“I would love to not have someone hanging off me every weekend.
“I also think that top scores are better for the supporters.
“They go to the footy to see their favourite players play well.”
When the dust settled, and the game was over, Port Adelaide had won by 46 points.
The Burgoyne brothers had combined for 36 touches, and 11 of Port’s 25 goals.
It was Shaun who walked away with the three Brownlow votes, while Peter himself, despite numbers that suggested a best on ground performance, walked away with none.
But Peter is quick to shift attention away from himself and Shaun and put it back on the team.
“I knew I played okay,” he said.
“But like I said, it was more about the team winning, then about us.”
One of the other players to come away with Brownlow votes was Port Adelaide inaugural player Josh Francou, whom Burgoyne described as an ‘out and out superstar’.
“When I started to become part of the midfield, they [coaches, players] were telling me to watch all these other players, how they play, and this and that,” he said.
“And in my head, I’m going ‘why would I need to watch these players, when I’ve got that bloke there, the best centre player in the AFL.
“We’re basically the same height, the same weight, so literally, I could be learning off him.”
Many years later, Burgoyne can look back and recall fondly the day he turned it on with his younger brother.
But it doesn’t sink in at the time.
“[It’s not until] years later that I look back and go, ‘You know what, that’s like something to be really proud of,'” he said.
“And we really dominated, but we were just going out there and playing footy and having fun.
“It was just a game, of footy, that we played,
“And when you look [back] at it you go, ‘we played not bad that day.’”
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