Round 9 Winners and Losers

Richmond beat Hawthorn by 62 points. Is that four horsemen I hear?

Winners

Richmond

In a typical office block, passionate Tigers fan David approaches his manager’s office.

“Frank, can I have a word with you”

“Sure thing David, have a seat”

“Cheers. Look, I know September is the make or break month for the business, but I’m not going to be available for work”

“Does this have anything to do with the Richmond top you are wearing?”

“Sorry?”

“It’s not casual Friday David”

“Oh….yeah, right. But anyway, definitely not available.”

“Well I can perhaps get by for the first week, but we really need you for the rest of September”

“I’m going to need the whole month”

“The whole month?”

“Yes”

“Even the last week?”

“I would say so”

“How about the last Saturday?”

“Out of the question”

“David…. This is going to end in tears”

Later, at home, David celebrates with his wife

“I’m so glad we’ve finally paid off the house David! We should celebrate”

“I’m in the mood to celebrate”

“It’s taken so long”

“Yeah it has”

“Are we talking about the same thing?”

“What? Yeah of course”

“I’m talking about the house”

“What house?”

“This house. The one we just paid off”

“Oh……about that”

“David…”

“A great investment opportunity came up”

“David, did you take our last mortgage repayment and put it all on Richmond winning the flag?”

“…….oh honey, that is crazy! This is crazy talk! Did you eat something funny today? You crazy”

“Oh….. thank goodness. For a second there I….”

“I put it on Cotchin winning the Brownlow, Riewoldt winning the Coleman, Deledio winning the Norm Smith AND the mighty Tigers winning the flag”

“I want a divorce”

“I love you too”

“You’re not listening to me, are you?”

“YELLOW AND BLACK!!!!”

David is excited. The Tigers crushed Hawthorn by 62 points, led all day, and had a host of winners all over the park. Shane Tuck had the statline equivalent of a sandwich with the lot. 35 touches, 19 contested possessions, 10 tackles, 9 clearances, 8 marks and a goal. Brett Deledio wasn’t far behind on the stat sheet. The often overlooked Foley was fantastic with 10 tackles and 8 inside 50s. Trent Cotchin and Dustin Martin continue to ooze class.

Special praise must be given to the great Ivan Maric. You always get 100% with Ivan. It’s not even in question. The mullet-ed man has been immense for the Tigers this year, and Saturday was no different. His ferocious and constant effort is infectious, and Richmond are benefiting as much from his attitude as they are his work in the ruck.

In summary everything was fantastic for Richmond.

St Kilda

Scored a significant win over the Swans on Saturday and continued their impressive play. The Saints, and several of their players, are sneaky good. Turns out that contrary to popular belief St Kilda do actually have some impressive young players. Ross Lyon probably kept them locked in their room because they smiled once. David Armitage has taken his game to another level so far this year, and Jack Steven continues to impress in his role as “the only St Kilda player under the age of 26 that the average AFL fan has heard of”. Tom Simpkin showed some signs in defence, and the Saad/Milera combination continues to be lively.

Lenny Hayes played in his 250th game and played just as you would expect Lenny Hayes to play. He is definitely a member of the “no one has anything bad to say about this guy” club. If Simon Black is the president, then Hayes is surely the vice.

Collingwood

See Adelaide in the Losers section for a summary of their victory.

West Coast

Derby 35 was host to a dominant Eagles performance as coach John Worsfold further cemented his place in West Coast Eagles lore by becoming the longest tenured coach in the club’s history. The Eagles outclassed their fiercest rivals in every sense of the word on their way to a 48 point victory.

They had 403 disposals to Fremantle’s 294.

64 inside 50s to 30.

29 scoring shots to 11.

Matthew Rosa had a career day with 43 possessions, 13 marks and 9 inside 50s. Andrew Gaff ran more than Forrest Gump and Josh Hill continued his western renaissance. Despite injuries to Josh Kennedy and Mark LeCras, the Eagles are top of the ladder, and seem unbeatable at home.

North Melbourne

They won, but I doubt Brad Scott acted like it in his post-match address. After leading by about a million points at one stage* the Kangaroos held on to beat the Lions by 16 points.

*slight hyperbole

Of course, there were positives for North. Todd Goldstein, who has so far struggled to reach the heights of last season, thrived in McIntosh’s absence.  He worked tirelessly as the sole ruck, notching up 28 disposals and 47 hit-outs. Aaron Black provided much needed support to Drew Petrie in the forward half, finishing with 3 goals.

But the third quarter cannot be ignored. After last week’s capitulation against Port Adelaide, Coach Scott would surely have spent the week making loud noises to the effect of “don’t you ever do that again”. So for them to do a similar thing the very next week is concerning. In some respects they were fortunate to be playing Brisbane, because if they serve up that kind of performance against even an average team it’s hard to see them claiming victory.

Carlton and Geelong

Two entrants in the “we won but no one was really impressed” column.

The Blues kept a small distance from the Demons for most of the day and only really broke away in the final quarter. Betts finished with 5 goals, and Mitch Robinson stepped up in Marc Murphy’s absence with 33 disposals and 3 goals of his own. Carlton will need to improve their game dramatically if they are to come close to matching the pre-season expectations thrown their way.

Geelong notched a 20 point win on Friday night, but people came away feeling more positive about the Western Bulldogs than their feline opponents (in a “they’re not terrible” kinda way). The Cats lost in contested possessions and clearances again. Geelong hasn’t won a contested possession count this year. Not once. They lost the contested possession count against Melbourne. Yes, that Melbourne. Only by 1, but they lost it nonetheless. Fans may point to the win column and argue that’s all that matters, but the past three premiers finished 3rd, 1st and 1st for contested possessions throughout those respective years. The glimmer of hope of Cat fans? Hawthorn won the flag after finishing 15th for contested possessions per game in 2008.

Sorry for bringing that up.

Losers

Adelaide

We don’t really fancy winning this week

The Crows did everything in their power to avoid winning against the Pies. The effort was there but the skills were not. Sloppy football in all four quarters. Half the Crows forgot how to handball, and there were more slips on show than a group of people ice skating for the first time.

It had the feeling of “one of those nights” for Adelaide early on. Both teams attacked the contest with equal vigour, but when the ball ricocheted off of a rogue boot or fist it just seemed to sit for those wearing black and white. When they had it the Pies were much cleaner than their South Australian opponents. Sidebottom, Beams, Pendlebury and Thomas were class and never seemed to fumble or slip, while Adelaide seemed to be handling a ball covered in Vaseline while struggling to keep their legs like a newborn walking for the first time. Collingwood shut down the space brilliantly, preventing Adelaide from getting any run whatsoever. The Crows were forced to bang the ball forward in hope, and more often than not either Maxwell or O’Brien, whichever was playing as the loose man at that given time, would swoop upon the ball and send it in the other direction.

Graham Johncock had his once annual “everything I am involved in will go horribly wrong” game, to the point where he was eventually subbed out. The telling moment of the game was a mark he took on a sharp angle in the forward 50. Johncock attempted to centre it to Petrenko who was in the middle 45 metres out. Instead he turned it over, and Collingwood raced down the field, kicked a goal, and tied the game. The game changed after that passage of play. Every Adelaide fan in the stands could feel it. With the momentum on their side, the Maggies put the Crows to the sword in the last.

The only real positives on the night for Adelaide were the performances of Ben Rutten and Daniel Talia. They smothered Travis Cloke and Chris Dawes all night. Cloke touched the ball four times and could manage just a solitary mark. Tippett also looked likely to mark every time the ball was sent in his direction, but clean opportunities were few and far between all night.

Fremantle

Dear Ross Lyon,

People are much more tolerant of their sides serving up rubbish looking football if they win in the end.

Sincerely,

Fremantle fans

Sydney

Have beaten the Giants, Fremantle, Port Adelaide, North Melbourne, Hawthorn and Melbourne.

Have lost to Adelaide, Richmond and St Kilda.

I wouldn’t say that paints a picture, but we’re looking at getting a brush. At the end of the day they’ve won twice as many games as they’ve lost, and whenever your team comes up against them you always think “this isn’t going to be an easy game”. On that basis they get the benefit of the doubt. Two of their next three games are against Essendon and Geelong, and they’d want to win at least one of those.

Hawthorn

I’m going to let The Simpsons summarise this performance.


About Adam Ritchie

My name is Adam. I started watching football with two fellow parapsychologists in an abandoned firehouse. When we’re not watching footy, we’re running our own pest control business. What do you mean I stole that from Ghostbusters?

Comments

  1. Rick Kane says:

    I love The Simpsons and I love the Hawks and that was cruel my friend, cruel. (And funny). Remember, one swallow does not … and all that.

    We have beaten flag favourite (no, I’m not talking about ourselves) the Pies and another strong contender, the Crows as well as another Top 8 side, the Saints. We’re in the 8 and are playing well. On Saturday we played like crap and your boys played exceptionally well. And now it’s time to turn my attention to Round 10.

    Cheers

  2. Cheers for the thoughts Rick! Though I must point out I am not a Richmond fan (but rather a “pleasantly surprised with how the year is going despite Saturday’s loss” Adelaide fan). I just find them to be ever so interesting (both the side and their fans).

    Hawthorn is an interesting one. I think it was more a case of it being ‘one of those days’ as opposed to anything else. This week’s clash with North is going to be fascinating purely for the public/media repercussions for whichever side loses though.

  3. Lord Bogan says:

    Great stuff Adam. I know a couple of Tiger fans who are one win away from doing a ‘David’. God help us…and them if they beat the Saints this week.

  4. Hilarious

  5. Great piece Adam, genuine LOL w- ‘We don’t really fancy winning this week’

  6. Adam Ritchie says:

    Cheers Lord Bogan, Noelmc and Earl! Glad you all enjoyed it.

  7. Just out by 2 years, Adam!

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