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Firstly, apologies to Chris, who single-handedly keeps TigerTiger up and running, for the lateness of this report – no excuses. I have given myself an uppercut, although I have subsequently been told I have the ‘full support of the board’.
Tiges versus Dogs was always going to be a hiding to nothing for the Tiges: win easily and it was because the Dogs had racked their collective cue, win averagely and we were getting ahead of ourselves, lose and we were suffering a Premiership hangover and limping into the finals. In any case, we had 1st sewn up – for the first time since 1982 – ergo, happy days.
My wife, Jill, is a Bulldogs supporter, so we sat down to watch the match together (on opposite ends of the couch) – me hoping we would suffer zero injuries, Jill hoping the Dogs could finish off their late-season resurgence with a competitive game against the reigning Premier – that’s us by the way…
As it panned out, we both got what we wanted although Jill was less than thrilled that her Scraggers couldn’t finish the job, especially as they had been the better side for most of the match. Jack kicked his 600th and finished with 5 for the night – a great return considering he had the tenacious Dale Morris attached to him with a bungee-cord for most of the night – and in the process put himself in the driver’s seat to win a third Coleman Medal.
As far as the game went, yes, it was close but as a game it really wasn’t much. The Dogs tried really hard and nearly won, we did as much as we could to win without risking a bruise of any sort. The stats don’t lie: we lost the clearances, tackles, contested possessions and, this will surprise no-one, the free-kick count. In fact, we lost the free-kick count 10-20. 10-20!!! FFS. Every footy follower bemoans how poorly the umpires treat their team, but I can say in all honesty: we are being shafted by the maggots. I mentioned this fact during the game and my comment was met with disbelief from the other end of the couch – ‘All the frees have been there, we’re just going in harder.’ I tried a couple more times to get some sympathy from Jill but was met with rolling eyes and a request for a larger couch. I gave up.
On the Bulldogs front, if they ever get sick of Jack McCrae, he’s more than welcome at Punt Road – he is a jet. And if there is ever a TigerTiger award for Best Ranga from Another Club, Ed Richards would be the shortest-priced favourite since Cam McIntosh won the AFL Player Who Looks Most Like a Pensioner award.
In summary: we did enough to win, we will go into the finals with an almost perfectly healthy list and we’re a reasonable chance to go back-to-back. If anyone had told us this 2 years ago we would have told them, in the words of Darryl Kerrigan, ‘you’re dreamin’.
5 Jack – 5 in a tight game, used his work-rate to get on top of Morris as the game progressed
4 Nank – clearly won the ruck contest and covers as much ground as most mid-fielders – is pivotal to our success
3 Graham – very pleasing to see his form after returning from his shoulder – 8 tackles
2 Dusty – has plenty more gears to work through once the finals begin
1 Titch – he is like Shaun Burgoyne, only better
21: Grimes, Caddy
20: Astbury, Nankervis
3: Lloyd, Houli, Castagna
1: Townsend, McIntosh
Blair Hartley Appreciation Award:for players who have joined Richmond from another club
(Eligible 2018: Caddy, Grigg, Hampson, Houli, Nankervis, Miles, Prestia and Townsend.)
Anthony Banik Best First Year Player:for anyone who was yet to debut before round 1
(Eligible 2018: Liam Baker, Noah Balta, Callum Coleman-Jones, Ryan Garthwaite, Jack Higgins, Ben Miller, Patrick Naish)
Joel Bowden’s Golden Left Boot:for left footers
(Eligible 2018: Chol, Corey Ellis, Grigg, Nankervis and Houli).
Greg Tivendale Rookie List Medal:
upgraded from the rookie list during the current season
Potentially eligible 2018: Baker, Chol, Eggmolesse-Smith, Moore, Stengle
No votes yet.
Maurice Rioli Grip of Death Trophy:
For the Tiges top tackler