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I missed the first 10 minutes of our match against the Swans and when I sat down to watch the tele, we were already down by 12 points and hadn’t troubled the scorers. I did sit down in time to see Cotch miss an easy set-shot from 25 out…nnhhh…and to see poor Reece Conca go down with a very nasty ankle injury – the vision of which caused a great deal of distress to my 10-y.o. son, William, who is a very empathetic little soul.
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Jack took one of his many great grabs then turned it over with a dud kick, Tormund Giantsbane got a 50 (I have no idea why) and banged one home from 55. Titch was mercurial, Dusty unsighted and our skipper missed most of the second half of the quarter off with an ankle issue. We bombed the ball inside our 50 without any great direction and it was Turnover City™ from our boys. Jack managed a great one-armed mark 1v1 on Aliir, offloaded to Short and BANG! from 50. Since I had entered the loungeroom we had outscored Sydney 37 to 7 – so I walked out and back in again for the start of the second quarter.
Nank started our second quarter well by winning a free via a crunching tackle on Kennedy. This was cancelled by a lazy effort from Dusty – my notes say ‘Dusty giving us donuts’ – not good. Sydney kick two quick ones and its Tiges 37 – Swans 31. I’m beginning to wonder if our intense method of play is taking a toll on our players as our opponents look much sharper. We’re in yellow and black, the Swans in red and white – why aren’t the umpires in blue instead of their almost-yellow lime-green? This is one of my pet hates – maggots running around in colours similar to the players. Unnecessary and completely avoidable. Nank is, in the meantime, running Sinclair ragged while Broad takes a very gutsy defensive mark – sitting in the hole just waiting to get smashed. Short to Riewoldt, Buddy shows zero interest in chasing, Jack shanks the resulting shot out on the full. We are pummelling Sydney but getting no scoreboard reward. Next up is the highlight of the match – Vlastuin takes an absolute hanger, sitting on Buddy’s head. Vlastuinulenko, you beauty! One less rotation may be a problem as the game progresses.
Half-time score Tiges 7.2.41 – Swans 5.1.31
The third quarter starts with an awful Dusty turnover – he is a shadow of 2017 Dusty. Ray Chamberlain checks his watch, realises he hasn’t given a 50 for a few minutes and hands one to the Swans. 44-37. Jack takes yet another mark and goals from 55. Lambert follows up almost immediately. 56-37. Finally getting ‘reward for effort’™ now. Tormund elbows Parker in the melon and blind Freddy knows he will miss the Crows game. What a dill. Parker converts. 56-43. Short goals. 63-43, then Parker goals again 64-49 (Swans have kicked 8.1). Jack, marking like Richo in his prime, bombs another from 55! 71-49. The physical intensity is brutal as the Swans realise the game may be slipping away from them – this is not the soccer world cup (Neymar, having received several ladders in his socks, has spent 14 minutes – as timed by the NY Times – rolling around on the ground thus far in WC2018). Jack takes mark #13! Hayward marks in front of Prestia, who looks like he is completely lost trying to defend inside 50. 71-55. Now my blood is about to boil – Franklin gets yet another soft free-kick. 71-61.
Q4. Kennedy to Franklin. 71-67 (11.1!) Cotch misses another easy shot – this really is his Achilles heel. Caddy misses OOB. We are camped inside our attacking 50 but can’t score. Lambert kicks a dribbler that runs 40 metres, straight through the hi-diddle-diddle! 78-67. Jack – mark #15! Titch – goal! 84-67 Cotch – you guessed it – miss. Jack mark #16! Skipper intercept, off to Lambert, GOAAALLLL!!!!! It’s all over.
Final score Tiges 14.9.93 def. Swans 11.1.67
Some dot points…
- Our skipper is brilliant, but his inability to score when the opportunities arise may hurt us at some stage when things get tight.
- Dusty is going at half-rat-power. If he gets it together we will be untouchable.
- After Franklin’s early goal, we kept Sydney scoreless in the last quarter – very satisfying.
- I love Tormund, but elbowing Parker was just plain stupid.
- Jack Higgins’ joke and the team’s reaction, just before the start of the third quarter, was very refreshing and tells me we are in a very good place.
- Our response, after Conca’s injury, was brilliant and indicative of a Premiership team.
- Jack played the best game of his life. He was superb.
5 – Jack Riewoldt – if I could give him more, I would
4 – Kane Lambert – he is now an A-grader, in my view
3 – Titch – a yellow ’n’ black Silk
2 – Vlastuin – Tormund was on track for 4 or 5 votes before his elbow – silly boy
1 – Cotch – wayward kicking aside, he was excellent
14: Grimes, Riewoldt, Lambert
13: Caddy, Grimes
12: Short, Edwards
11: Astbury, Rance, Vlastuin
3: Graham, Lloyd, Houli
1: Townsend, McIntosh, Castagna
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
73: Conca [injury is going cost him this trophy]