Votes and notes this week by The Lapsed Tiger
Toowanoh. It’s not a town in country Queensland. It’s Richmond 3121. And its a lovely part of the world.
From the opening minutes with ‘that goal’ from an acre of space inside a phone box, until drilling a belter from outside 50, Captain Cotchin was at the helm and deserving of the five votes. In between those moments was the usual drive from the Chimp. He is a great ball-finder, chip-kicker, hardball-getter and pill-distributor. And also all the tackles, but mainly the one that pulled Treloar down. Like a lion on a wildebeest. Stopped the Pies attacks dead in their tracks at a vital stage.
Stepping up to be the number one ruck from outside the group has seemed effortless for big Toby the Nank. The bloke is not only big of stature, but also big of heart and blessed with skill. When needed, he stayed on the park after Griff was concussed, and toiled manfully and gets this rounds four votes. Might have been beaten on pure stats by Grundy, but the around the ground work and the overall effort was very important. And that baulk was top class. Who knew big men could sidestep while showing the ball as a bluff.
There was a lot of chat about how Shaun Grigg apparently ‘manipulated’ the third man up rule. But in reality, its a reflection on the rule itself and how ill-considered and rushed through it was by AFL HQ. What happens if a team is a ruckman down…? Someone else has to nominate. What if no one nominates? Go ask the duffers at Collingwood. But enough of that, because Grigg was his usual self around the ground and then some. Enough to earn the three votes this week. That he rucked a few times as well as running into space to be a link showed his commitment to the night.
I may be spinning in ever decreasing circles on assessing Nick Vlastuin, but I think he made enough of an impact to warrant two votes this week. Low on the final stats figures, but was running between the centre and defence as the start of runs, or mopping up loose balls. Somewhere in the third quarter was a gather, blind turn and underground handball to advantage. I can’t remember if it brought a goal, but by gee it looked good.
While held quiet and playing further up the ground for a good two quarters, I liked that Jack could once again rise above. Those marks in the second half, at a time the team was rising and needed a forward to stand up, were superb. Body positioning and strength won the ball as Jack stamped himself on the game. Made it look easy. Vitally needed, and the one Benny vote.
Honourable mentions to;
- The tattooed one himself. Martin had a resaonable game and shone again at moments when needed. Overall a regulation day at the office.
- Titch started well, lighting up the goalsquare with such a well crumbed goal that Cap’n Birdseye would be proud. Solid.
- I like what Astbury did down back. Not a star, but made his presence known when needed.
- A few more nebulous honourable mentions: to the Tiger faithful that remained hopeful after a disappointing first half; and to the blustery, swirly MCG wind that did enough in that second quarter to dilute the Pies’ efforts on goals.
The Benny Leaderboard:
5: Martin, Cotchin
2: Butler, Vlastuin
1: Prestia, Riewoldt
Blair Hartley Appreciation Award:for players who have joined Richmond from another club
(Eligible 2017: Caddy, Grigg, Hampson, Houli, Hunt, Nankervis, Maric, Miles, Prestia and Townsend.)
Anthony Banik Best First Year Player:for anyone who was yet to debut before round 1
(Eligible 2017: Shai Bolton, Dan Butler, Ryan Garthwaite, Jack Graham, Ivan Soldo, Tyson Stengle)
Joel Bowden’s Golden Left Boot:for left footers
(Eligible 2017: Batchelor, Chol, Corey Ellis, Grigg, Nankervis and Houli).
Greg Tivendale Rookie List Medal:
upgraded from the rookie list during the current season
Potentially eligible 2017: Castagna, Chol, Moore, Stengle and Soldo.
Maurice Rioli Grip of Death Trophy:
The club’s top tackler, across AFL and VFL teams