Before I go into this week’s Tigers game, I’ve got a bit of a confession. I lost a bet on the Tigers/Saints game, and the winner got to choose what game in Perth the loser buys the tickets for. So, Thursday saw me heading into Optus Stadium Perth to see the Cats and Pies. It was an uninspiring game, but it was good to see the AFL live and being in WA not being in lockdown. (Apologies to all those in lockdown reading this).
Saturday afternoon I watched East Fremantle v South Fremantle with the South Fremantle Bulldogs running all over the Sharks. Marlion Pickett was a South Freo footballer as were a couple of others who ran around in the Yellow and Black; Andrew Krakour, Stephen Jurica, Darren Gaspar to name a few. Nicky Winmar and Brad Hardie are also amongst the many South Fremantle players to make it to VFL/AFL ranks. Based on that I might follow this mob whilst I’m over here… as long as the game doesn’t clash with a Tigers game.
Q1 Tigers 4.3; Roos 0.0
Righto, onto the first quarter of the Tigers and the Kangaroos, first centre clearance, a free kick our way and we go for the Hail Mary up and under bomb and it gets returned from whence it came. For a few moments I thought oh no please not again. However we kept rolling forward, the pressure we’re used to seeing was there as was the chaos footy. After 8 inside 50’s Pickett kicks across his body for the first Tiger goal of the quarter. I wrote on my pad the pressure is back.
Up steps Dusty for our next, Chol got his first goal and his athleticism again was showing and Lynch to Riewoldt for our 4th. Eggmolesse-Smith was on another level to last week and was showing the selectors he wants to stay in this team. The centreline and backline did a superb job and North were goal-less in fact scoreless for the quarterEmbed from Getty Images
Q2 Tigers 6.5; Roos 2.3
The first notes on the pad for Q2 were Caddy injured and Pressure, Pressure, Pressure. It looks like someone is going to have to step up to replace Caddy but the Tiger pressure, run on chaos footy and relentless forward pressure is back. Aarts intercepted well in the forward line but shanked the kick denying him his first Tiger goal.
It was the athleticism of Chol mixed with the Tiger forward pressure that saw our first goal of the quarter with Castagna dribbling one through from the goal-square. End to end running set up by Pickett switching play on the backline saw Bolton on the end of a chain hitting Lynch who kicked truly. North got a couple of late quarter goals, maybe we ran out of a bit of steam or maybe they got their game plan working. Quarter three would tell.Embed from Getty Images
Q3 Tigers 9.7; Roos 2.6
North started by driving deep into their forward line and Pickett drifted across the pack to pull down a strong mark. That’s how our quarter started, continued and finished. Everyone playing a part, players linking up, Tigers creating pressure at every stoppage.
Dusty goaled, Rioli goaled and Chol was on the end of a good turnover chain and gave the Tigers three for the quarter. Once again in the third quarter North were goal-less but inaccurate kicking didn’t help them.Embed from Getty Images
Q4. Tigers 11.11; Roos 2.11
With the game all but over it was a matter of how much will we win by? We missed a couple including Aarts from another set shot but within minutes he made amends by roving off the pack and kicking across his body for a goal. He followed up later in the quarter with another goal sneak roving opportunity.
This was a win by 22 hard at the ball; at every contest, Richmond players. Soldo and Chol were doing great second efforts. If Chol can work out the centre bounces he’s a handy back up, however second efforts from both of those players is worth noting. Likewise we’ve kept 2 teams to a total of 5 goals between them for 8 quarters of footy-pressure and poise all in one. Our big 2 forwards are down a little on form (in my view) but still contribute well and there’s plenty of Yellow and Black to mop up crumbs and provide chaos and pressure.Embed from Getty Images
With a host of big names out there is a lot to be excited about.
The Benny Votes
5: Egglmolesse-Smith –he was everywhere and provided plenty of run. Filling big shoes and played a very solid 4 quarters.
4: Short – Another solid 4 quarter contributor fed and fed off team mates with poise.
3: Bolton – Could have got the 4 votes. Played centre and was everywhere. If he can find the next level of fitness he will be unstoppable.
2: Soldo – You can’t go past his second efforts and 23 hit outs against a quality ruckman in Goldstein deserves more than the 2 votes but I am fast finding out this voting caper isn’t easy.
1: Graham – 9 tackles (most of any Tiger) . Here is a bloke who keeps the Elastoplast shares on the up with the amount of shoulder strapping he needs weekly. That deserves a vote.
Unlucky not to get a vote or two; Pickett, Chol, Broad
5: Higgins, Vlastuin, Cotchin, Eggmolesse-Smith
4: Grimes, Balta, Caddy, Baker
3: Prestia, Houli, McIntosh, Bolton
1: Lynch, Castagna, Chol, Graham
Blair Hartley Appreciation Award: for players who have joined Richmond from another club
(Eligible 2020: Caddy, Grigg, Houli, Lynch, Nankervis and Prestia)
Prestia Houli 3, Lynch 1
Anthony Banik Best First Year Player:for anyone who was yet to debut before round 1
(Eligible 2020: Collier-Dawkins, Dow, Turner, English, Martyn, Cumberland, Aarts, Ralphsmith, Nyuon, Miller)
No votes yet
Joel Bowden’s Golden Left Boot:for left footers
(Eligible 2020: Chol, Nankervis and Houli)
Houli 3, Chol 1
Greg Tivendale Rookie List Medal:
upgraded from the rookie list during the current season
(Eligible 2020: Aarts, Baker, Chol, Eggmolesse-Smith, Stack and Pickett)
Eggmolesse-Smith 5, Chol 1
Maurice Rioli Grip of Death Trophy:
For the Tiges top tackler in 2020
Lambert, Soldo, Cotchin 20