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I had hoped to get to this game but there was a clash with a delayed Mothers’ day event and so I watched it on telly instead. I watched the last quarter live and caught up this morning with the first half.
Shedda is captain again which is always good. Queen is playing loudly which is not. Brian Taylor is “Not sure about the drums” which have been a Richmond tradition going back to 2016 or so. Gillie says it’s about getting the crowd going, which of course is the complete opposite of what the drums and all the loud music is about, which is getting the crowd right out of it. I love Gillie and think BT is a fool, but even fools can be right about some things.
The Hawks start well and Richmond don’t apply too much pressure – only 17 tackles to half-time, Tim Watson says. Luckily the Hawks can’t kick straight and this keeps the Tigers in it.
Scully appears to score, but of course there’s a review before it’s declared a goal. Hawks 1 goal to none. Hawks are looking good early, confident and quick but the Tigers smother their next attack. Ivan Soldo is in the ruck, game number nine, but his first for this year. We are told he is Maric’s cousin, which is reason enough to pick him. Martin makes a good break and does a quick one-two with Lambert, then gets the ball across to McIntosh, but the Hawks clean up.
BT says Richmond haven’t lost to anyone at the ‘G in 33 months except twice by bloody Collingwood. Well he just said “Collingwood,” but I can’t say or write that name without an adjective.
Vlaustin kicks very well to Higgins who takes a brave mark and cops a strong bump for his trouble. When he’s on song Vlaustin’s kicking is beautiful. Another Richmond attack is repelled by the Hawks who rebound well but only get a point for their trouble.
Ryan Garthwaite is in the team too, for game number five.
Higgins is pinged for a throw after what some would call a clever tap. It seems harsh when I think of the blatant throws people get away with, but there you go. Who’d be an umpire?
Breust for the Hawks has a very gettable shot and misses. Hawthorn have had five shots on goal and lead 1.4 to 0. We are very lucky to be still in it.
Houli is having another good game, kicking is on target and he’s working his legs off, as usual. Sicily is giving Lynch a hard time, which is impressive, in a way, given he’s so much smaller, but appalling, in another, considering he’s wearing that awful jumper and his target is Our Tom.
Another beautiful 50-meter kick from Vlaustin to Higgins who marks well, goes back and kicks it. Then obediently runs off the ground, as is the fashion in modern footy. Don’t want anyone kicking too many goals at once, be bad for the team balance, or something.
Ellis makes a very good interception but Castagna is pinged for dropping the ball once we get it inside the 50.
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Breust kicks another for the Hawks and they lead 2.4 to 1.0.
Mcintosh makes a huge run-down tackle but doesn’t win a free. Vlaustin, in a great bit of play, gets it to Balta who has three bounces and puts it out on the full. I do love Balta, he’s huge, very quick and doesn’t mind a bounce. There’s plenty of good bits of play from the Tigers but overall they’re not putting it together.
Breust misses again. Lynch marks from a good kick from Grimes. Lynch’s kick is high and straight and Tigers trail 2.5 to 2.1.
Lynch takes another mark inside 50 but kicks out of bounds.
Lambert snaps and misses.
McEvoy of the Hawks is off injured and won’t come back. Higgins marks inside 50 and then waits before passing to Martin, quite close but on a bit of an angle. It’s his 13th touch of the footy for the quarter and he kicks after the siren and goals. Without him and the Hawks poor kicking we would have been in strife.
Quarter time score 3.2.20 to 2.5.17
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Balta sends a huge kick to Baker who turns too slowly and is run down and tackled. Lynch wins a 50 and goals from about 30 out. Tigers 26 to 17.
Hawks miss again. Looking dangerous in attack but they can’t finish. Long may it be so. Moore for the Hawks makes another miss. Grimes is having a bit of a day out and is quite the attacking defender. Another good kick from him into the forward line leads to a snapped goal from Caddy. Richmond are in front 5.5 to 2.7.
Hawthorn string some passes together and score, now 5.5 to 3.7. Hawks miss again, 36 to 26. Lots of pressure by both teams and it seems very hard for anyone to string passes together and break free.
Ellis, who is also having a bit of a day out, finds Baker on the 50 with his left foot. Baker kicks and finds Martin in the pocket. Martin goes back and kicks it with three seconds left in the quarter.
Half time 42 to 26
Two quick goals to Breust makes it a close game. Things are not working so well for Richmond, passes are going astray, players are caught with the footy. Eventually a long kick into the 50 is brought to ground by Lynch, Caddy gathers and kicks from 45, a lucky bounce sees it over for a goal.
A brilliant break by the Tigers sees them suddenly outnumber the Hawks. Astbury kicks out, but the Hawks win the ball back and are stringing some good passes together until Player X intercepts the ball, it goes to Prestia, he handballs to Balta who runs bounces and runs and bounces and handballs, over the top to Castagna who nearly kicks it over the Ponsford.
It’s a brilliant transition as the Richmond players run into space once they have the footy. I can’t see who Player X was who started it all with his interception. It seems to be one of our smaller defenders. When we come back from the ad Watson is praising him. It’s Edwards, of course.
Houli is having a good game. He gives the ball away and then follows up with a tackle from which there is no escape. Bolton kicks into the 50 and Lynch marks strongly but the umpire gives the ball to Macintosh for being held. Mac drills it and Lynch pats him on the head, so there are no hard feelings, apparently. Richmond by 21 points.
With Lewis and McEvoy injured, it’s little surprise that the Hawks are being out-run. Ellis marks a Hawthorn kick, goes across ground to Vlaustin who kicks long and low to Baker who marks about 40 out and goes back for the set shot. It’s a huge kick from the young feller, from the 50, plenty of height and length and it sneaks through for a goal. Tigers by 22, with three minutes left in the term.
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Great bit of pressure in the forward line, Dusty should have gotten a free but didn’t.
Impey is very good for Hawthorn. Is it just me or are there smaller, highly skilled players around at the moment than they used to be? Richmond seem to have six or ten of them in the side each week and other teams seem to be catching on.
Mac passes into the 50 and Balta runs in from the side and takes a great grab. Kicks it from about 25, Tigers by 28.
11.7 to 6.9 at the last break
I can hear the grating voice of the spruiker loud and clear as the play is about to re-start. There are 60 thousand in the ground but almost no crowd noise at the break, even as the ball is about to be bounced.
Mac has a good chance but misses the set shot. Balta gathers a spilled ball, moves into space and sends a great kick that’s marked by Higgins who hits the post. Tigers by 31.
A great Vlaustin tackle causes a turnover, Edwards gets it to Baker who gets it to someone who kicks very well from outside the 50 and near the boundary. Caddy pounces on the ball and snaps for a goal. Tigers by 30.
Gunston has a good chance to pull one back but misses an easy shot.
Vlaustin takes a handball from Martin, turns and kicks from 55. Kick is high and handsome and Richmond are up by 36 points. Vlaustin has his kicking boots on today. Along with Astbury and Grimes he has gone up a level or two since Rance was injured.
Hawthorn have a lot of space in their forward line and Dylan Moore scores his first goal in AFL footy. Richmond by 30.
Menadue passes to Baker who takes a good overhead mark and passes to Lynch who marks well. He goes back and kicks from the 50, straight, high and long and the Tigers are up by six goals. From the bounce Martin passes to Baker who has a kick from outside 50 after the siren. He tries a torp which goes right off the side of his boot. It is very pleasing to see him smile after this and even more pleasing to see him try a torpedo. It would be a great shame were this art to be lost to the tyranny of the drop punt.
It’s a very good win by the Tigers, especially considering Hawthorn’s demolition of the Giants at this ground last week. We have unearthed a lot of young players who are filling the big boots of Rance, Cotchin, Riewoldt, Nankervis, Short, Butler and Grigg. Lynch is settling in well. The run of the team when they win a turnover is often breathtaking and the skill in execution is a sight.
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Dusty was best on ground. A truckload of possessions, about half of them contested. Ellis was very good too, as was Grimes, Astbury and Vlaustin. Edwards, another good game. But a very even performance. At least a dozen players could have gotten votes – Houli, as almost always, Baker, Stack, Caddy, as is his happy habit, kicked goals when we really needed them. Balta was very exciting. Has there ever been such a big player who liked to bounce the ball so much?
Today in the paper Hardwick, as is the Richmond way now, admitted fault and said he often didn’t see the positive side of Ellis ‘game. How I love Dimma and his boys.
I think we’ll give the Bombers a hard time next week, as usual.
Benny Votes by Chris
Martin 5, Houli 4, Ellis 3, Vlastuin 2, Balta 1 and an additional honourable mention from me for Soldo. He was lucky McEvoy went down but his tap work was super all day.
Stack, Martin, Ellis 11
Cotchin, Broad, Lambert 3
Ross, Baker 2
Rioli, Castagna, Balta 1
Blair Hartley Appreciation Award:for players who have joined Richmond from another club
(Eligible 2018: Caddy, Grigg, Houli, Lynch, Nankervis, Prestia, Townsend and Weller)
Anthony Banik Best First Year Player:for anyone who was yet to debut before round 1
(Eligible 2019: Balta, Coleman-Jones, Collier-Dawkins, Miller, Naish, Ross, Turner, Stack)
Joel Bowden’s Golden Left Boot:for left footers
(Eligible 2019: Chol, Grigg, Nankervis and Houli)
Greg Tivendale Rookie List Medal:
upgraded from the rookie list during the current season
Maurice Rioli Grip of Death Trophy:
For the Tiges top tackler in 2019
Nankervis, Lambert 28