It seems these days, when you’re wanting a quick recipe online, you must first read the life story, and the extensive history of the author’s journey to the perfect basil pesto.
These recollections can give the reader insight into the personal life of a recipe blogger, tell tales of kitchen tricks passed down from generations, or just give a super detailed recount of a trip to a grocery store in a neighbouring suburb.
As you read through long-winded paragraphs, wondering if you will ever actually reach the ingredients section, pausing to reflect on why someone would name their child Tinsinatti, questioning if you even really need pesto anyway you may find yourself at your wit’s end.
Maybe it’s not such a big deal if the pasta and prawns are a bit dry?
I guess what I’m saying, is that right now, Richmond’s AFLW journey is shrouded in the mist of a long, complex story. It’s definitely more interesting than a trip to the supermarket, or the search for the perfect leaf of basil, but it’s a story that’s going to be tough at times.
We’re at the very beginning, and we have a bit to work through before we can feast.
Yes, I’m saying the Tigers’ rd 3 clash against the Kangaroos showed us that Richmond’s AFLW is a bit like a pesto prawn pasta without the pesto; there are some good elements to the dish, but it hasn’t quite come together. Yet.
Early in the first quarter, Daisy Pearce and Ellie Blackburn spoke in commentary about the way the Kangaroos set up around the ball at stoppages, and how this highlighted Richmond’s lack of structure in this area. This was one of several areas where North’s experience was obvious, as the Richmond players appeared desperate and at times frantic, in comparison to the calm and composed play of the Kangaroos.Embed from Getty Images
Overall, I was pretty happy with the Tigers performance in the first quarter. It was scrappy, but players such as Grace Campbell and Mon Conti showed determination and pluck throughout. The only disappointment was kicking just 3 behinds for the quarter, and not making the best of our opportunities against the super-efficient North Melbourne.Embed from Getty Images
The second quarter was a powerful display by the Roos, and really showed the gap between an AFLW team in their second season vs their first. North’s recruiting last year was widely lauded and for good reason, and this quarter was an illustration of why many (myself included) have them as favourites for the flag.
Thankfully the third quarter brought some joy, as Sabrina Frederick kicked our first for the game, a ripper of a goal as she took it from the ruck and kicked it backwards over her head. I absolutely loved her goal celebration, as she gave a massive roar and excitedly embraced her teammates. Some have criticised this celebration as ‘too much’ when your team is down by 40-odd points, but in a challenging first season, I think it’s very Richmondy to be celebrating the little victories. I think Sabrina is a great leader for our forwards, and I hope she continues to roar after every goal!Embed from Getty Images
Captain Katie followed with a goal of her own, and while she didn’t roar as such, it clearly meant a lot to her, especially as she has been facing criticism of late.
In the 4th quarter I was reminded that I really, really like Mon Conti.
Other Bits and Pieces
- Having experienced players such as Daisy Pearce and Ellie Blackburn in commentary is fantastic, as they give great insight and perspective into AFLW. Both Pearce and Blackburn talked about the challenge of having such a short season, and how building consistency is difficult for every team, not just the new teams (Ellie was particularly nice given how many ex-Bulldogs we have on our list…sorry Ellie!) and the importance of using each game as an opportunity to learn.
- “There are promising signs for the Tigers, they obviously haven’t been able to really impact on today’s game, but…you wanna be able to take little bits and pieces out of it…” – Ellie Blackburn. This quote reminds me of something Trent Cotchin (you may know of him) has said a bunch of times, “You win, and/or you learn.”
- The growing chemistry between Mon Conti and draftee Sophie Molan is really exciting. I can see these two becoming a dangerous duo.
- I felt that overall our field kicking was better in this game, which is a good sign. I would like to see more communication when players are hot, but like the field kicking, this will probably come with experience.
I thought about calling this section Ingredients but I don’t think we’re quite there, we’re still in the preamble.
I’ve waited my whole life to see women in Richmond jumpers, playing footy. At the moment, our team is learning, and the lessons are at times pretty harsh! But I’m so happy to see the story being told.Embed from Getty Images
In any weather.
The Maureen for best player
5 Monique Conti
4 Grace Campbell
3 Phoebe Monahan
2 Katie Brennan
1 Sabrina Frederick
8 Conti, Campbell
4 Makur Chuot
2 Wakefield, Brennan, Frederick
The Kate Sheahan Shield for players recruited with AFLW experience [eligible: Burchall, Bailey, Tesoreiro, Frederick, Bernardi, Conti, Whitford, Ross, Makur Chuot]
4 Makur Chuot
2 Brennan, Frederick
The Peggy O’Neal Claret Jug for best AFLW first year player [eligible: everyone else not in above list]
The Kate Dixon Grip of Death for our top tackler
19 – Conti, Jacques, Sansonetti
18 – Campbell
17 – Woodward
16 – Brennan
12 – Wakefield