Votes and notes this week by Chris
Mark Maclure is notorious for bashing Richmond, but nevertheless I am a fan. One of his mantras is “Play the kids, they’ll never let you down”. This especially applies to unheralded kids I suppose (Lounder, Banik aren’t particularly good examples of the rule).
There was a huge sigh of relief around Tigerland when the side for this game was named, chock full of youth. With our failure to play finals out in plain sight it felt like for the first time this year the RFC Match Committee was in sync at last with the larger, looser match committee of fans.
The Bullies have saluted for some stirring wins this year but they have not been belting weak sides, which gave me some hope that we could go with them for 3 quarters. And then perhaps achieve something amazing with pressure off and the youths keen to make their mark.
It was actually a fun game, a real relief as I have been finding AFL Football not a place I want to be in recent times. The newbies in Markov, Castagna, and McBean all had their moments, and with the continued development of Menadue and Rioli, the rest of the season could be quite a relaxing consequence-free incubator for this cohort. Adam Marcon must be close to getting his guernsey and I assume Nathan Drummond will get a turn.
I loathe trade talk any time, let alone in July, but the reality is some of our young guys are probably in the shop window, especially Ben ‘Vladimir Ilyich’ Lennon who is currently plying his trade at various heritage-listed suburban grounds.
To the game; I thought Jack’s endeavour, like the whole team was 110%, but his conversion in clutch moments was disappointing. Dyl Grimes had one of his poorer games and was one of several Tigers to hit up opponents with scything navel-height kicks out of defence. Cotch goaled on the run and otherwise was unobtrusively excellent. Lids and Sheds had OK games, but were outshined by ‘Georgie’ Castagna and Comrade Markov who were busy, brave and in George’s case hit the scoreboard. Markov is quick and skilful, kicks both feet and pulled off a sensational tackle. We have all been bawling for McBean’s inclusion so it was terrific to see him slot a goal like he has 100s of times in the VFL. Hampson was dominant but his taps were too easily sharked by the Dogs. I have loved Miles’ season since he came back to the seniors and again he affected the outcome of stoppages all over the ground.
The consensus is Martin was our BOG, but he was frustrating me with his refusal to take the first good option if there is an opportunity to stiff-arm someone. But; his weight of possession and unstoppable forward motion won me over. Better he has it tucked under his arm while he plays British Bulldogs goalwards than some of our equally skilled players take it sideways/backwards. He’s still not giving us what he’s capable of, and that might be the game plan’s fault. He scored a goal a game last year and so far this year he has 6.
Apologies to the Comrade, Vlossy and Alex Rance who were all very good, and I liked Jayden Short’s game too.
21: Miles, Cotchin
7: Edwards, Grimes
9: Lloyd, Castagna
5: Lambert, 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 the Essendon at the G where the Larrikin of Lennox Street, Mr Lapsed Tiger, will observe and report on our behalf.