I haven’t given up on the Tigers. It’s just that I can’t see where our next win is going to come from. Last night Saturday night, before our Ash won at Wimbledon, the Saints beat the Lions on the Gold Coast. The commentators made many comments about how the Saints were playing like a top-four side but they seem to have forgotten that only two weeks ago they conceded two goals against Richmond. Clearly the Saints defence is a bit suspect.
I haven’t given up on the Tigers. It’s just that I can’t see where our next win is going to come from.
Last night Saturday night, before our Ash won at Wimbledon, the Saints beat the Lions on the Gold Coast. The commentators made many comments about how the Saints were playing like a top-four side but they seem to have forgotten that only two weeks ago they conceded two goals against Richmond. Clearly the Saints defence is a bit suspect.
It’s tempting to write volumes when we win and just not think or write anything when we lose. But if that sounds like cheating it’s because it is. It’s like the crime novel where the murderer can’t possibly get away with it and doesn’t. Or the romance where there is never any doubt that the star-crossed lovers will get together. Real life has its ups and downs and to pretend otherwise isn’t healthy. You might as well only talk to your friends when they’re cheerful and only leave the house when the sun is shining. Tempting, but folly.Embed from Getty Images
I remember little about the Saints game, the one where we kicked two goals, and I’m not going to re-watch it, nor read any old reports to refresh my memory. What I remember is that it was terrible. We only kicked two goals! Had we kicked straight – it was 2.10 to 9.8 – it would have been better. Well, obviously. But the score-line did us justice. We were terrible. And yet, not completely terrible. There were passages of play that looked like the old Richmond who won the flag nearly every year. But they were only passages, here and there, and they led from one messy room to another.
Max King, who is a promising forward who can’t kick straight, suddenly could kick straight. And so the game went and at the end of it our Golden Age seemed suddenly to be over. There was something extra-special in our lack of skill and absence of sustained pressure that would make anyone think, this is awful and this is the end.
If I remember rightly, Daisy Pearce commented on the selection of first-gamer Samson Ryan, one of the tallest players ever to put on the Tigers jumper, in place of Dan Rioli. On a cold, wet night at the ‘G, maybe dropping a quick, experienced small player for a very tall first-gamer wasn’t such a smart move? At times like this I wish that Daisy was a coach at Richmond. Ryan tried hard but got injured early. He won plenty of tap-outs against Marshall and Ryder but the Saints pair won more and to better effect. In the end, apart from his work in the ruck, which is not to be sneezed at for a first-gamer, he didn’t trouble the stats people.
We followed this very sad night with a loss to the Suns in Melbourne.
I tried to get tickets but couldn’t. I am thankful for small mercies. It turned out to be better and worse than the St Kilda game. Better because we kicked several goals and were in front right near the end. Worse because the Suns are – or were – a truly terrible team playing away from home.
But it was a better night for me because I was very productive – I did a load of washing then cooked dinner and a double batch of Anzacs. This is what the shrinks will tell you is controlling what you can control. And just as well, as it turned out.Embed from Getty Images
The Suns out-play us for much of the game, from memory. But I think their kicking is awry and ours is not bad and so we’re either in front or close to it for much of the game. We go behind in the last quarter but Lynch, who is in his first game for six weeks, puts us in front again with his fifth goal.
But the Suns get the next two and we lose the un-losable game. We were dead certs to win this and that was before the game was moved to Melbourne.
And if we can’t beat the Suns in Melbourne, who can we beat?
We’ve got Collingwood to come followed by Brisbane and Geelong at the ‘G, then the Dockers in Perth, North Melbourne at the ‘G, the Giants in Sydney and then the Hawks. A little while ago our run home looked cushy. Now it looks like pushing a wheelbarrow full of bricks over the Himalayas. In the dark.Embed from Getty Images