Round 15 – Richmond v Carlton: Tigers ascendant; Blues concede.

Richmond v Carlton

Friday July 10

MCG

 

I found the introduction of Rohan Connolly’s review of the Essendon-Melbourne match insightful.

“The longer you lose, the harder it becomes to win. And the longer you’re an underdog, the more difficult it becomes to carry the mantle of favouritism”.

This was his explanation for Essendon’s difficulty in falling over the line, and Melbourne’s failure to win a game where everything seemed in their favour.

Reading it some thirty-six hours after returning home from Friday night’s Richmond victory, I was struck by the fact that Rohan’s truisms applied to the match I had seen. In a reverse of Essendon’s predicament, Richmond have become habituated to winning, after years of letting down their supporters. Against Carlton, and even more obviously against Western Sydney the preceding week, the Tigers played poorly for long periods. However they certainly had some players doing enough for sufficient time to ensure a victory over the Blues.

In contrast to the match against the Giants, the Tigers scored first and were never headed – and realistically, never looked like being so, even when the scores were close for much of the first half.

Their success was built upon control of the midfield, dominant defence and rebounding, a less inefficient approach to scoring, and a brief flurry in the first half of the 3rd quarter. Carlton plugged away, but this night saw a significant step backwards after a few weeks of modest improvement, with the temporary installation of John Barker as head coach. On a freezing cold evening, there was little to warm Carlton hearts, save a 60 metre goal from a Levi Casboult set shot, late in the first term. Sitting in the Great Southern Stand – exposed to a biting wind and an occasional shower one was put in mind of an ancient Greg Champion metaphor: “colder than a Carlton duffel coat”.

A mistake-riddled first half saw the Tigers edge to a 10 point lead, by virtue of managing two goals to one in each term. In defence of the players, a swirling wind made precision kicking problematic, reflected in fickle field kicking as much as poor accuracy when shooting for goal. The game was settled when Richmond scored four goals in the early part of the third, to extend their lead to an impregnable six goals. Even when Carlton rallied with two late goals in that quarter it was all too obvious that no miracle comeback was in prospect. The final term was played out in pedestrian fashion, with the Tigers achieving a two goal to one ascendancy as they had done in the first two quarters. Although the final margin was just thirty points, Richmond’s command is reflected in their winning every quarter, and never being under threat.

Rance picked off the Blues diffident forward 50 entries, Ellis was in everything and Deledio provided a skill edge which ensured that the Tigers received better value from equivalent inside 50s in the first half. Riewoldt is playing with much greater confidence and team-consciousness, and after Jamison’s early departure courtesy of Ty Vickery, the Blues were short-handed in defensive talls. Hampson dominated hit-outs and he and Grigg enjoyed the night against their former club. Cotchin, despite some ordinary kicking, was typically effective, a prolific ball-winner and an increasingly confident leader.

Carrazzo was the most effective Carlton player, and he ensured that the clearance count was not completely lopsided. Casboult and Kreuzer – although beaten in the ruck contests – made useful contributions and Cripps confirmed his growing reputation as a four-quarter goer.

 

Richmond: 2.2 4.5 8.7 10.11.71
Carlton: 1.4 2.7 4.9 5.11.41

Goal-Kickers:
Richmond: Riewoldt 3, Cotchin 2, Deledio, Edwards, Grigg, Martin, Vickery.
Carlton Casboult 2, Everitt, Henderson, Kreuzer.

Best Players:
Richmond: Rance, Ellis, Deledio, Cotchin, Riewoldt, Grigg.
Carlton: Carrazzo, Casboult, Kreuzer, Cripps.

Injuries:
Richmond: Edwards (leg), Vickery (tooth).
Carlton: Jamison (concussion), Armfield (arm), Gibbs (shoulder).

Substitutions: Tutt replaced Jamison 1st quarter.
Lambert replaced Edwards, 3rd quarter.

Umpires: Bannister, Farmer, Pannell

Crowd: 52,564 at MCG

Malarkey Medal Votes: 3. Rance (R), 2. Ellis (R), 1. Deledio (R).

 

Comments

  1. John Butler says:

    Well done on enduring the elements for that modest spectacle Peter.

    I have to say I didn’t regret not making the trip down from Ballarat. I can freeze perfectly well without leaving my back yard at the moment.

    Thought the efforts of Henderson and Yarran especially poor. I wonder if they have their minds on end of season negotiations? Kreuzer, however, was outstanding. And Cripps gives hope.

    Cheers

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