AFL Round 2 – Richmond vs Footscray: No Easter miracle for the Tigers

by Domenic Favata

Running up and down listening to the radio at Grandpa’s was stressful. Expecting a mighty Bulldogs win or a Richmond miracle on Easter Sunday. The truth was that even Jesus Christ himself couldn’t help Richmond to win.

Twilight football and I couldn’t be there due to the traditional Easter commitments, but I wasn’t sure myself if I wanted to endure that pain. The pain I’ve endured for the last 16 years. I’ve been to nearly all of Richmond’s home games, win, lose or draw. However I have never left before the final siren, something that may confuse you readers. I’ve endured 100 point drubbings and 1 point wins. I’ve seen the Tiger faithful boo their own troops. I’ve seen effort that would not be good enough for VFL level. But, in all of the hardship I have gone through, I am starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel.

Radio on. Bulldogs doing all the early running and putting the effort on the scoreboard with the first three goals. Cooney is killing Jackson, but Richmond is winning the clearances. In their posh white strip, the Bulldogs look like doves over the park. Playing graceful football that is too advanced for the young Tigers. Richmond, like last week, hit back with two goals to Mitch Morton. They are immediately cancelled out, with the Bulldogs piling on another 3 goals to lead by 26 at quarter time.

The Bulldogs, without getting out of second gear, are too strong for the younger, weaker Tigers. Glimpses of hope are seen from the Tigers though, as they maintain a high level of intensity. Dustin Martin continues to show he’s going to be another Joel Selwood and Will Thursfield has absolutely blanketed Barry Hall. The tigers were showing good signs, but failing to capitalise on the scoreboard. Once again, missed opportunities were hurting Richmond as the bulldogs raced to a 5 goal lead at halftime.

With the family teasing me about Richmond’s performance (I’m used to it!) I wasn’t looking forward to the second half. Both sides came out after halftime, looking to stamp their authority on the field. The spirit that the Tigers had showed was slowly beginning to flow away as the Bulldogs smalls, in Higgins, Murphy and Hahn pocketing in the goals. The midfield was fairly even, as Richmond were winning the clearances, but to no advantage. Young Vickery was overpowering the veteran Troy Simmonds in his case for the number 1 ruck spot. The Bulldogs were showing no mercy to the young Tiger brigade as they raced through the next two quarters to build a 72 point win. Radio off.

Richmond’s fade outs cost them as they did in round 1. Richmond lacked skill and experience. But overall, Damien Hardwick and myself were pleased by some of the efforts.

*Will Thursfield’s job on Barry Hall

*The backline in general, putting up a fight considering the ball went in the 71 times

*Dustin Martin and Trent Cotchin’ performance

*Slow (baby steps) improvement in Richmond

Richmond                 2.0    4.5    6.6        7.6 (48)
Western Bulldogs    6.2    9.6    14.11    17.18 (120)

GOALS
Richmond:
Morton 3, Martin, Nahas, Post, Vickery
Western Bulldogs: Hahn 3, Hill 3, Cooney 2, Cross, Giansiracusa, Griffen, Everitt, Hall, Higgins, Lake, Moles, Picken

BEST
Richmond:
Thursfield, Newman, Cotchin, Morton
Western Bulldogs: Gilbee, Cross, Cooney, Akermanis, Higgins, Griffen, Hahn, Boyd

INJURIES
Richmond:

Western Bulldogs: Johnson (calf) replaced in selected side by Hill

Reports:

Umpires: McLaren, Findlay, Pannell

Official crowd:
27,358 at MCG

My Votes:

3- Lindsay Gilbee

2- Adam Cooney

1- Will Thursfield ( had to give him a vote!)

Comments

  1. Great report Dom, sorry about the loss. And the loss to Sydney..

    Afraid to say, can’t see things improving, Melbourne are on a high at the moment and should account for Richmond next Sunday. Will be a good game though.

    Things just keep getting worse for the Tigers too with the suspensions of Connors (8 weeks!), Cousins, McGuane and Polo (1 week each)

  2. Dom, it’s late I know but I only just noticed this. Particularly liked the 2nd paragraph, I can totally empathise.

    I should say this though – Damien Hardwick will NOT just sit content with a 72 point loss. He has a very competitive mentality, but at the same time he knows that the Tigers will take time.

    We’ll get there.

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