AFL Round 1 – Gold Coast v Richmond: A long way to go.

Gold Coast v Richmond
The 2014 Round 1 game between these two sides is highly anticipated as both are likely to be competing for a spot in the lower end of the 8 come August. These are the games which will have a bearing at season’s end.
Will Jack Martin live up to the call from the messiah M Blight that he is the most exciting youngster he has ever seen?
Will Gold Coast’s youngsters continue their improvement and will their midfield be the envy of every other team in the competition?
Will Deledio step up from a could-be-elite player who just doesn’t work hard enough when tagged and then when played down back in the McLeod role is exposed defensively in – as he was by Duigan in last year’s final
These questions and so many more await to be answered !
I watch the beginning of the game with Brent Knabel at the Kensi, finally a non-delusional Richmond supporter. Unlike Jake Bushell he can work out the individual player match-ups and Brent is realistic about Richmond’s chances in 2014
Brent is already frustrated with the Tigers over-use of the ball and agrees Richmond haven’t got the side to finesse and play a high-risk game.
(our last five or so players picked are shithouse Brent declares! Hallelujah a genuinely honest Tiger!)
We are all denied the chance to see Jack Martin’s bag of tricks when he hurts an AC joint early.
I miss the second and third quarter (I watch it later ) to attend the Dignity for Disabled Election Night Function.  Rick Neagle, its leader, is a former Norwood player (6 sausage rolls in `82 GF v Glenelg ). While I liked Rick as a player I am in genuine awe of him as a bloke.  What he has achieved for d4d and the disability sector is nothing short of sensational but as Neags points out this needs generational cultural change  and there’s a long way to go.
O’Meara continues where he left off in 2013: his poise and skill, amazing; his ball use, and decision-making are top shelf.
Sam Day is showing a bit up forward but having seen him play at PAC before he was drafted play at CHB and remembering he broke Nic Nat’s standing jump record at draft camp I think he could be used better.
Prestia is proving to be elusive, his skills are exquisite he is a real impact player . Rischitelli seems to have  his body right(finally) and is ready to return to his pre-Brisbane Lions form.
Tyrone Vickery has been terrible this game Stan Alves poses the question on the ABC is he too slow for AFL football not only leg speed but in the mind on tonight’s exhibition he makes the late Mick Nolan look like Usain Bolt ! (Bushy quote Vickery is lightning quick!)
Riewoldt is also disappointing. I can’t work out why the Tigers are trying to turn him in to a roaming forward. He is a full forward, full stop! Sides can have a main goal kicker and leave them there, it’s a matter of coaching and teaching, choosing the  correct option,  a problem Collingwood  also have re Cloke. Cotchin has been good tonight and while a level below the elite players of the competition in  Ablett , Pendlebury and Dangerfield never the less is a very good player indeed it will be interesting to see if the zillions of leadership courses he has done in the off season to try and be more positive on ground eventuates.
Hampson and Thomas the off season recruits – aka The dynamic WAGS duo – have been serviceable. Thomas is quite open that he learnt more under the tutorship of Nathan Bassett at Norwood last season than in the rest of his career has been OK. Whether his disposal skills and decision making stand up in time will be interesting.
Richmond hit the front in the last quarter and look like running away but Ablett as a true leader who has been brilliant as usual all night. He lifts to another level but enter Andrew Swallow who, as a Number 1 draft pick, has been ok but chooses this moment to really announce his arrival to all of us quite rightly. He is lauded by McKenna after the game Hardwick chooses to point out Conca and Ellis not living up to expectations, an interesting move considering he backed down from his own threat to drop Deledio for breaking team rules in 2013.
The Gold Coast suns run out winners by 3 goals.
Many questions emerge. Can Richmond’s leadership lift ? Pathetic over summer re J King.
Can they as a group improve? Chaplin yet again not doing quite enough?
Can Gold Coast lift and improve away from home?
Round 1 2014 may well be remembered as a pivotal moment in history when the expansion clubs GWS and Gold Coast arrived.

Gold Coast 12 15 87 def Richmond 10 9 69


Gold Coast: Stanley , Ablett , Day , Lynch 2 Matera , Prestia , Swallow , O Meara
Richmond: Vickery 2 , Deledio , Martin , Cotchin , Griffiths , Riewolt , Vlastuin , Edwards , Petterd

Best Players: Gold Coast Ablett , O Meara , Prestia , Swallow
Richmond Cotchin, Thomas , Martin , Deledio

Malarkey Medal Votes
Ablett GC 3 , O Meara GC 2 , Prestia GC 1



  1. Nice one Rulebook.

    I thought I was watching a replay of last year when I tuned into this. The Tigers just don’t seem to improve.

  2. Ah Rulebook, Richmond: your pet team.

    Richmond are the nice guy at school; plenty of girl “friends” but never quite make it to first base. The sort of club that always attracts the players who almost made it with other clubs, but didn’t – and for good reason.

    In my lifetime, they have had a plethora of pretty, skilful or predominantly left-sided players (Bowden, Matthew Knights), either as high draft picks (Tambling) or recycled from other clubs (think Nathan Brown, Matt Thomas, Hampson, Houli, Kinights, Maric, Petterd) the petulant (Riewoldt, Richardson) or the bad-boy who won’t conform (King and Martin).

    It’s like a rogues gallery of the Captains of the Best Third 18 in the AFL of all time.

    Back when Richmond were good in the early 80’s, I seem to recall they were hard and tough, a bit like the suburb of Richmond in those days. Coached by the uncompromising Tom Hafey. A man’s man.

    Now, Richmond is gentrifying and so is their team. They are the new retirement village for players who can command a game and are happy enough with the kudos they get from playing AFL, earning good coin and having blonde bimbos throw themselves at them at the local bars. Winning footy is secondary.

    I hope, for Tiger supporters, they can rekindle the flames of the 80’s. I don’t think I could handle the mental anguish that this Club dishes out to its supporters each year.

  3. Skip of Skipton says

    The last time Richmond played in consecutive finals series was 1974/’75. I don’t see that statistic changing after this year.

  4. Looks like a solid 9th for the tigers again this year. Agree Vickery shoudl be dropped and Jack Media Ban Riewoldt stuck in the square well away from all media outlets. Unfortunately Bushy is living in a dreamworld again.

  5. And this was flagged as a potential match of the round???

    Until Richmond can play finals consistently and win GF’s, they will always be pretenders – living in the past of the greatest comb-over ever to play AFL – KB.

    Sheedy was once quoted saying that in the current AFL format, if a club can win a premiership every 10 years, their doing ok – it’s been 33 long years for the yellow and black, and their not doing ok :-)

    Redlegs back-to-back 2012/2013

  6. King of Passion says

    Unfortunately Rulebook is totally correct , Deledio just doesn’t cut it often enough and he was totally exposed more than once defensively playing the quarterback role especially by Duigan in the horror show of last year . Book who is the baboon who thinks
    Vickery is quick fair dinkum he wouldn’t beat Cosgrove

  7. Some valid comments, Rulebook. However, disappointing as the result was for Richmond, this match was always a 50/50 contest from the word go, and cannot be considered in the same light as the GWS upset over Sydney. Take Jackson (B&F) out of the Tigers and no wonder Ablett has a blinder, considering Jackson towelled him up last time out. Stacks of improvement noted in GC performance, which showed some maturity, definitely once Tigers hit the front in the last quarter. Tigers played too carefully all night, adding to the poor delivery to forwards, and really did not impress or take the game on at any stage. Nevertheless, it’s too early to hang players, recruiters, coaches, etc, on the basis that this was the most likely upset of week 1. As for the votes, Cotchin was clearly in the top 3 on the ground. Vlastiun a future star with his poise and usage of the footy. He just needs to get more of it. By playing the likes of Astbury, McDonough and Griffiths, Tigers showed prepardedness to continue to develop players to play key roles rather than sit with the same line-up week-in, week-out. The taller duo must show something in 2014 or be cut at season’s end.
    Roll on round 2 vs Carlton, where one side will be left on 0-2….

  8. bring back the biff says

    A good read ‘book.. well done. I had the pleasure of seeing a forlorn (but beautifully manicured and exquisitely dressed) rabble (rather than team) of tigers wander thru Coolongatta airport Sunday morning — sorry not all of them there – Dusty M was off talking to a dude with F*** O*** tattoeed on his triceps for all to see. Nice to have such a positive fatherly influence hanging around the team.
    A couple of observations –
    KB keeps saying Tyrone V will prove a better player than Kruezer – I guess the jury is still out on that one. Jack R doesnt want to talk to anyone so may as well leave him on his lonesome in the square. Tigers and 9th is looking a soldi bet once again.

  9. Rulebook, you can pre-write your review for May 24, GWS v Richmond. “GIANTS whip toothless Tigers”
    Richmond supporters won’t be pencilling that game in for a win.

  10. Crisp as usual, go D.Swallow.

  11. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Guys Duncs superb post Richmond have been the biggest under achiever in the competition for a long time and as a club and supporter wise been delusional to some extent for a long time and in answer to questions re bushy even having been at the game he couldn’t work out Duigan was playing on Deledio and despite it having been confirmed by Nic Duigan , both clubs , all media , and from Nic that somewhere on official AFL records that they stood each other from the 13min mark in the 1st quarter .Fair dinkum people have been convicted for murder on less evidence ! Bushy is a unique bewildering individual ! I along with many othets wonder where Richmond and Deledio would be if Hardwick and the club had the guts to drop him after he broke team rules v Freo how much better would the club over all be if this had happened ? Evidence that there is so much more improvement needed in so many areas for the club to take the next step

  12. Insightful and bang on the money as always Book – Richmond need to go to the room of mirrors.

  13. Rick Bizz Sarre says

    Ablett stepped up, Swallow proved his worth. Jay Weatherill confounded all of the political pundits in SA elections. But the honourable Rick Neagle deserved as much if not more luck by pulling a few more votes. It was a day of mixed fortunes all around.

  14. Luke Reynolds says

    Great read Malcolm. Watched most of the last half on Saturday night but was watching Gold Coast more than Richmond. They’re coming along nicely. As good as it is to see the improvement in their young blokes and a good crowd in attendance, G.Ablett is just so watchable. They’ll be very hard to beat at home.

  15. Tex Walker says

    Great summary Book,
    I think Richmond will struggle this year, Gold Coast were good, it’s going to be interesting how good they and GWS become when their draft picks mature. I agree Richmond handball at times when they should be lowering the eyes and slotting Jack at FF.

  16. Stephen Simpson says

    Interesting observation of Vickery. This young man seems to have a differing opinion of his abilities to most football judges. He once proudly proclaimed to an opponent – intrigued by his overt confidence – asking just who the f*** he was, that he had “finished fifth in the previous year’s best and fairest”. Wow.
    Richmond will break their supporter’s hearts again. Damian Hardwick deserves better – or does he?

  17. Vickery Dickery Cock – never looked like making a contest at CHF. Why kick it to that bloke when you’ve got Riewoldt in the same forwardline?!… plonk him in the goalsquare and only use him when desperate.

  18. As a long suffering Richmond fan i was hardly surprised by the result at all. Gold Coast is almost as big a bogey side as Carlton are, our track record against the Suns is already a poor one. And before anyone jests about all the other sides being our nemesis as well, the fact is that we have a renowned recent history of getting players to a certain level but very few convert to the elite.

    Cotchin and Vlasutin may prove me wrong but Lids, Jacko, Grumpy Jack, the Vickery of Dibley, even Dusty et al need to now show that bit extra in order for us to build on what was a very good 2013 season. It didnt materialise in 1996 or 2002 – those years being after contesting the preliminary finals the preceeding year.

    There also exists a sense of doom when things tighten in matches, and it is almost as if the players also get as anxious as us barrackers. Its like they are scared to make a stand against the opposition and believe in their capacity to win. The other frustration is the lack of being able to close out or ice matches when they are there for the taking.

    I have experienced watching that regularly and last years elimination final is a classic example of it. How many sides are 4 plus goals up at half time, then kick the first one in the 3rd quarter and still get beaten relatively comfortably in the end? Agree that Duigan exposed Lids but that wasn’t the only reason we lost. Those key players had the opportunity to step up to the elite level that day in the second half, but most didn’t.

    Gold Coast are starting to reap the benefits and will be in the mix for a finals berth this year. So will about 14 others so who knows? In the meantime i will, as will tens of thousands of other tigers fans, be sitting tensly with clenched fists and a sense of deja vu, especially if we are 0-2 after Carlton.

  19. Don’t even need to watch the games anymore with these summaries!

  20. Dear Malcom,

    Your time is too valuable to waste writing about this rabble of a club. You only need to know 3 things about Richmond.

    1. They have been no good for a long long time.
    2. They are no good now.
    3. They will never ever be any good.

    Winnie (the original).

  21. Sounds like Richmond of the 80s was St. Kilda of the 70s MarcD.

  22. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Great Comment Jags and follow up Email , you point out Richmond disappearing and struggling to ice games a large part of that comes down to leadership in my opinion
    Hodge and Mitchell , Goodes and Mcveigh , interesting how so many people bag Maxwell yet with in the football industry he is hugely respected . Ironic that Richmonds last Premiership captain Bruce Monteath was likewise .
    Gus not sure if you have your years above as you meant ?
    Thanks Caitlin and v funny Winnie . Vickery the jury is definitely out
    Thanks Folks

  23. mickey randall says

    Good job Rulebook. The Tigers are still vulnerable, but their song is great! Tigers todrop out of the eight in 2014.

  24. Beauty Malcolm. I especially admire the way you just drop punctuation in order to build the tension. Masterful. Courageous too. I mean those who don’t know you well might think you don’t do it advisedly and assuredly. We won’t easily forget “little Ricky Neagle’s” glorious 6 in the GF; least of all Rick – he’s been dining out on it ever since. And why not. Love your work Ricko. And yours Malcolm.

  25. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Mickey yes I agree re the Richmond song def the best .
    Michael as several of the Pembroke guys have made the point my knowledge and ability to punctuate the English language is exactly the same as Bushys ability to comprehend football . zero Zilch stuff all are words which come to mind ! Thanks Daddsy

  26. Alan de Menezes says

    The Gold Coast have well and truly arrived. We are going to be in a lot of pain when both the expansion teams mature almost together. Tigers are supposed to Roar all we got from them was a meow….bloody pussycats!!!

  27. Richmond weren’t really that good in the 80s. After 82 it was pretty much a preview for the 90s and the 00s. The 70s was a different story and the early 80s were really just a hangover from that era. Skip, surely Richmond made consecutive finals series after 75 given their premiership in 80 and grand final appearance in 82. I haven’t looked this up though so I may be wrong but it sounds inconceivable given the era they had from 67 through to 82.

  28. A interesting article where to me it comes down to the leading teams Hawthorn , Fremantle and in recent times Sydney and Collingwood have team rules and structures and it is a area where lower teams fall away by allowing Deledio to do his own thing with seemingly no consequences hurt the tigers and Duigan exposing him in last years final is another sad chapter in our history. Richmond must toughen in these sorts of areas to have a chance at the holy grail . ( I refuse to beleve that any one could not work out that these two were opposing each other )
    Thanks Malcolm

  29. Thanks Malcolm for your positive input towards our d4d election campaign. It is an exhausting process, yet one that I enjoy. However says “politicians get paid to much”, ought to rethink again. Appreciate the comments too from your Adel Uni Board Members, President Daddsy and Rick Sarre. Thank youse all for your support!!!

  30. Richmond for 9th! (again).

  31. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Sean F Skip is totally correct last time Richmond made consecutive finals series was
    74 75 ( the pomms are still recovering from Lillee and Thompson )
    Dimma reflecting on your comment off field incompetence also hurts clubs immeasurably
    Adelaides and Essendon will hurt for decades . Brisbane re the fev , Sydney re Tippett and Franklin have they destroyed the famous bloods culture time will tell
    In Richmonds case lack of research and being tricked that they could have got Chaplin for minimum as no one else wanted him prevented them from having a real crack at a player such as Chappy is a good example . All clubs make mistakes but it is not a coincedence that the real top clubs dot the I s and cross the T s far better
    Rick it was a pleasure to help you and d4d to a small extent your commitment and pure time wise let alone the passion for the disability sector was mind blowing thank you number 48 ! Rabid dog we wait and see ! Thanks guys !

  32. Bushy your sllence is deafening cmon you can do it Cmon fonzy I was wrong say it !
    Let’s be honest haven’t met any 1 yet who beats Rulebook for sporting knowledge

  33. Tom Martin says

    Good one Rulebook, incisive as ever. In all your articles you show a good nose, and intolerance, for mediocrity. If Richmond or Melbourne’s list managers had shared your brutal instinct for the sub-par passenger maybe there wouldn’t have been so many howlers and also-rans trotted out for them over the last couple of decades.

  34. Your football mind is as sharp as ever, Señor Book, but don’t be too despondent just yet – plenty of season left for that. The Suns are the real deal. Ablett is the best I’ve ever seen, and draws the younger ones into the game in a way that’s easily missed. And he just keeps improving – he’ll play as many games as the great D Graetz! Your Tiges may well break your heart again, but I saw the game rather as a sign of the Suns’ improvement.
    In Bob we trust

  35. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Berts written as a neutral mate ( crows man but not stupidly 1 eyed ) Ablett is that good he would be a chance to get a spot on the bench ine the. SCUM
    The Suns and GWS threaten to dominate the competition for a considerable amount of time ! Likewise May Bon Be With You

  36. Unfortunately a accurate summary as a Richmond supporter yes our last few picked are just honest battlers Houli , Newmann , Morris etc in the crunch there skills are not up to it we accept ( he tries hard and has a go ) way too easily . While all clubs should be held accountable for the incompetence of Brodie Grundy falling so low in the draft if we were fair dinkum and aiming for a flag with our ruck weakness we had to pick him Grundy could and should have been the player we could have built a premiership side around . Riewolt is a disgrace at times with appalling body language . Duigan and Carlton are not the 1st side to expose Deledio . I would love to shove a bomb up him .
    I no it is only round 1 but way too many weaknesses I reckon we might make up the numbers in the finals again or heaven forbid back to bloody 9 th
    May be I am not heaping up enough praise on Gold Coast and the little marvel yet we had far more of the ball and were not good enough

  37. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Tom Martin it is ironic that back in the 70s that the tigers had Graeme Richmond who was the most ruthless administrator around and that coincided with there golden era no coincidence !
    Braggsy I agree with every word you have written but in relation to Brodie Grundy it is a case of clubs having been stung by a big guy not developing so they take the safe , soft option of a junior gun midfielder and don’t gamble on the ruck man however in , Grundys case he was already playing senior , SANFL football v well . It was a lack of research and poor recruiting structures in place at several clubs at least in Richmonds defense they have taken steps to change and improve there recruiting from SA with a huge part of this caused by the Grundy blunder

  38. Troy Hancox says

    ROUND 1 FFS!!!

    Roll on round two i say!

    Carlton to be 0-2 and belted……. (karma bus is a coming)

  39. Good read Ashy. On the money about the Tigers. But it is a long season and there will be a whole number of teams fighting out the bottom few spots in the eight this year.

  40. Peter Flynn says

    R Book,

    Ablett is starting to give me the brace and bits.


    P Flynn

  41. Rulebook did you see what looks like a train crash of a season coming from the tigers ?
    I suspect with your footy knowledge yes

  42. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Dimma I didn’t have , Richmond in my , 8 they had very few injuries last season and this generally evens out in the long run . Maric is a honest battler who they have missed greatly as much for his enthusiasm and leadership as much as his ability . Deledio to me while he is a huge disappointment as we all no cut up by , Duigan in that game but with him missing it has enabled sides to concentrate on , Cotchin .Richmond desperatel need there , 2nd tier players to step up and bloody quick ! There are a lot of weaknesses at tiger land a lack of a quality tal rebounding defender , a key forward ,
    Vickery huge question mark . The tigers lack elite players and elite foot skills in general . Richmond just had to draft , B Grundy a appalling error . Richmond lack quality outside run and carry , White has been a huge loss . While it is easy to kick a side when it is down and lacking confidence I think these are valid observational points on a neutrals behalf do other agree or disagree ?

  43. Spot on book you nailed the tigers weaknesses superbly just a ordinary side along with a number of others really

  44. Geez you certainly got Richmond right book including the players who are letting them down big time in Vickery and Chaplin etc well done r book !

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