By Paul Fahey
Scene from The Castle (1997)
When a top team plays a bottom team in any sport I reckon it’s a bit like digging a hole – it just has to get done! Sometimes you dig it deep, sometimes shallow – you just have to dig it and when it’s done…it’s done, no fanfare, no need for compliments, no reflection….it’s done. This week we just had to beat Richmond – be it by 5 goals, 10 goals or 82 points, we just had to beat them and we did. It is not really worth analysing, it’s done and we move on.
Richmond really showed very little resistance, were undermanned, outbodied and seemed too intent on playing against us rather than playing to their few strengths. Their full ground flood really pushed Riewoldt out of position and made it difficult for them to get the ball to him in a “one-on-Presti” situation. Edwards and Delidio were made accountable and Cousins appeared to still be a little drowsy! It is great to say that we were purely just a lot better than them!
Our good players were many, I thought our game highlights were (in no particular order):
- Swan’s continued gut running to rack up possession after possession
- Goldsack’s 1970 style torpedo punt kick outs
- Didak’s class and finishing skills, he is certainly an elite player in the competition and full marks to Malthouse for wanting to teach him life lessons as well as footy
- Leon’s touch slowly returning with some sharp possessions
- The Mop having a quiet game and still managing 26 possessions!!
- Jolly dominating the ruck and pushing forward to kick goals
- Our kicking for goal improving – (I have a theory about players deliberately missing goals so they don’t have to sprint off the ground but I will save that for another time!)
- Benny Johnson’s consistent 4 quarter effort in his 200th game (heard after that game that only 4% of players in the AFL make it to such a milestone, a great achievement by a fantastic servant to the club and much maligned figure on this forum.)
- Big Leroy playing another solid game and amusing us with some old Leroy moments!!
- Our continued pressure on the ball carrier resulting in countless turnovers
- Macaffer’s three goal cameo which included a set shot!
- The fact that we probably had 18 of the best 20 players on the ground showing our consistence across the board
- For the 2nd time in two weeks we won each quarter meaning we have won our last 11 quarters of football
I could go on……
Probably the best thing about today’s game was that we did not play at our best with us over using the ball a lot and several players looking a little flat (eg Pendles for about three quarters!)
In a tribute to the 1970’s “Kevin Worthington Torpedo Punt down the guts” kickout being reintroduced to our playlist I have decided to reintroduce the 1970’s Sunscore where every player was ranked out of 10 for the game – usually by the likes of Lou Richards, Peter Suminovich etc. Like them, my scores are VERY subjective
So the votes go to:
3 votes – Alan Didak. Managed to bring life to a flat game with his class each time he touched the ball, his ability to kick goals put him just ahead of
2 votes – Dane Swan. Turning into a freak with how well he is playing at the moment and must be very close to leading the Brownlow at the moment
I felt that these two players were heads and shoulders above anyone on the rest of the ground and I would be very happy to give each of them 3 votes and leave it at that – however I am aware that with new complicated systems being derived each day by Floreat Picans it may mess up future medals that are being struck. So the one vote goes to
1 vote – Benny Johnson. A very solid effort in a milestone game where he broke lines, gained possessions and kicked accurate helicopters to teammates giving him the nod just above Brown, Reid and a few others.
The Bob Heard medal is awarded to Alan “The Shimmier” Didak.
We have now dug our hole and we move on to next week and beyond – and unlike Daryl Kerrigan, it’s OK to be dreaming!