SO, we beat GWS, pretty much as I was sure we would. I even knew Lambert would kick the first goal. We are in the Grand Final. I am more or less numb and so this will be the shortest Benny ever. Reminder that for finals we have double votes.
I have not found votes for Rance, Lambert, Edwards or McIntosh even though I thought they were excellent and carried the team forward in moments of doubt and confusion. I am so happy for Shane Edwards, back playing footy in the joyful, visionary way that once had him in our top 5 players. Rance was huge individually and as the marshal of his back six who all played well. Dave Astbury and Nathan Broad were confident spoiling and kicking. Kane Lambert had 23 touches and they were all quality. He might not be underrated for much longer. I enjoyed Kamdyn McIntosh’s game a lot, he covers so much ground and seems to arrive just in time. His disposal is not mint but you know he is following Dimma’s instructions to the letter; get it and move it on. I thought the umps favoured us all day but I will take that. Can’t hope for same next week; more discipline is required or we will give away 50s.
I listened to ABC Grandstand watching it live; but on the replay I suffered through Lingy and Basil etc. In the 3rd Q someone took a mark 60 out; screen shows Dusty pointing wildly to Riewoldt, and Basil says “Dusty says kick it to me!” Spare me.
Cotchin was so important. He has become the type of captain I never thought he could. My regard for both he and Dusty has grown enormously this year. Dusty is the best player in the AFL, a human highlights package, unstoppable once he gets going. But I don’t reckon he’s a fast starter. Trent flicks a switch at the first bounce and becomes a predator. His attack on Dylan Shiel, GWS’s best player, was arguably the most significant moment in our season. Through Cotchin we laid claim to a Grand Final spot from the first moment of this game and dared GWS to prise it off us. 10 votes.
Rioli kicked four beautiful goals, each at crucial moments. Actually I have blanked on the 1st (set shot?) but his 2nd give-and-go was magnificent, our only goal of the 2nd quarter. How was his tackle on Callan Ward? We have this young bloke and the back six largely to thank for impossibly being in front at half time. Then he was the engine that got us going in the 3rd. 14 touches and six tackles; cut and paste everyone else’s family resemblance raves here I guess. He’s 20. 8 votes.
Grimes was listed in the best players which is a relief as I sometimes think I over-appreciate him. Unlike Rance who can drop a couple of brain fades into an otherwise imperious game, Dylan Grimes makes about 2 mistakes a year. And he was impeccable on Saturday. 6 votes.
[This is where I will mention that there are a host of GWS players I don’t rate, all in their front half. If you kick it to them or just crash into each other and fall over, they are going to kick goals. But Johnson, Greene, Lobb, Lids, Patton are beatable with good defenders just doing their job. I was only worried by Hamilton Hindenburg who bobbed up and got great service especially from Tomlinson – Broad’s goalsquare spoil on him was worth a goal. Man mountains Lobb and Patton seem to doubt themselves and so start half beaten.]
Dusty Martin is an incredible footballer and did things that defy belief, on the huge stage in front of his adoring Tiger Army. So many moments that people will remember forever. I have put a few players in front of him on the night for coming to the party early and being prominent all night. But Dusty is so selfless, almost to the point of recklessness. At the same time his self-belief is enormous; he will run away from goal in a huge u-turn with toddlers (on closer examination actual grown-up AFL footballers) hanging off him, touch the ball down if you don’t mind, and hook a 50 metre goal over his shoulder. 4 votes.
Caddy was very good, and another one who started like a rocket. I sometimes mistake him for Jack as he leaps from 2 or 3 back to crash a pack when he has no hope of marking; but he knows the fleet around his feet will collect it. I look at his stats now and my notes and it doesn’t stack up but at the time my gut feel on the evening was I loved what he brought to the table. 2 votes.
18: Lambert, Houli
10: Riewoldt, Caddy
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)
1: Bolton, Stengle, Graham
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:
For the Tiges top tackler