Votes and notes this week by mystery man, bon vivant and Son of Swan Street, the Lapsed Tiger.
After about 6 weeks without going to the football in this first full 11-game-membership year for me since 2006, the day could not have been better. It was a crisp Melbourne winter day with not much of a breeze to speak about, and a low sun hanging in the north and gently warming the earth. It brought to mind the old adage that “if you can’t play football on days like today, you can’t play football”.
Walking to the ground I wandered through the Treasury and Fitzroy Gardens, the soft grass and earth underfoot reminded of why games were played in East Melbourne all those years ago. A yielding surface would have been perfect for the rough and tumble of blacksmiths and wool scourers of the day chasing the leather.
Thanks to the half dozen Tigers (and a stray Crow) I sat with. A very enjoyable afternoon of ordinary football that was enlivened by the company of good people.
Having a bit of a break in the VFL has given the sleeveless reincarnation of David Bourke a bit of a boost. Connor Menadue was quite good yesterday, particularly in the first half when the game was to be won. And really should be in the one vote spot.
All season the big unit Hampson has done very well at getting first hand on the footy at ruck contests. Yesterday he impressed further with his around the ground work. but the second half fade was a worry. A bit more of that progression in his game and he can be this generations Greg Stafford.
Probably should also put Captain Cotchin in for a vote too. He was good all day, but possibly only an acceptable level for someone of his quality. Same for Edwards as well. plenty of aggression at the footy and niggle at opponents. Nice impacts in and around the forward packs, which is his stock in trade.
Also unlucky to not collect a vote was was Richie Carr, who was sitting with us and having a lot of fun in the last quarter. An otherwise pedestrian-to-sub-standard performance against an obviously listless Brisbane team was enlivened by this young lads wide-eyed optimism and joy.
It pains me to do this, but Ellis (of the Bellis variety) was very good yesterday. Free running and dropping into empty space was the order of the day. As too playing-on quickly, which is all well and good around the ground, but please can we knock it out of his ‘take a mark inside 50’ game? Please?
His best game of the year, and for mine he is lucky to not be playing the early games at Punt Rd. So much more he can do with application and concentration.
After playing good ‘around the ground’ footy all year, it was great to see Jack finally get a modern day ‘bag’ of 4 as target forward. Good return for effort from the big man. If only he was about in the 90’s, that 4 would have been closer to a Jeff Hogg / Mothers Day Massacre 10 goal proper ‘bag’.
With the Chimp Kazoo captaining well this year (despite that idiot Maclure’s attempts to undermine him), our little section of the stands debated the heir apparent at the RFC. And Richmond’s number one pick from the 2012 draft could be it. Yesterday’s effort from Vlaustuin was great in the back half and through the centre, ably controlling things in the Houli mould. Leadership material.
As much as he had control of the ball and lead the stats count, it is also what a player of his calibre should be doing too. There were also a brain fade or two at stages as well, and these need ironing out. Otherwise a solid Martin performance we expect these days, and the basis for the win.
Recycling players vs drafting of quality kids is an argument for the ages. But if you can be smart in picking up both in the one package, then you have a very good player. And yesterday Miles was involved in a lot and continues to grow into a quality hard on baller. Thanks for shedding your bloated talent list, GWS. Another candidate to take over from Captain Chimp.
18: Cotchin, Miles
7: Edwards, Grimes
5: Lambert, Castagna, Griffiths, Grigg
3: Townsend, Short, C. Ellis, Vlaustin
2: Rioli, B. Ellis
Blair Hartley Appreciation Award
Anthony Banik Best First Year Player
Joel Bowden's Golden Left Boot
Greg Tivendale Rookie List Medal
Next week the Tiges play Port at AO – I have an Adelaide correspondent in mind. Email if you’d like to get involved in voting.