AFL Round 10 – West Coast v Richmond: Eagles go APE

The Eagles went APE tonight.  A Pisspoor Effort.

Getting beaten was not a surprise.  The Kangaroos game is the only one where my Eagles have looked like a serious football side this season.  And the Tigers looked to have improved until their disappointing effort against the Bombers.  But I thought tonight would be a tight win, not a humiliating loss.

The winter weather was perfect for the WA Day holiday (WA now stands for ‘weak as’ in Eagle land).  Not a cloud.  Not a breath of wind.  Air as cold as a Woosha smile.

My pre-match summary was concise and accurate as always.  The Tigers’ best 6 players are as good as any, but they fall away quickly after that.  Their field kicking is poor and they move the ball slowly.  We have to get off to a good start and put pressure on them, as they drop their bundle if you can get on top of them.

Woosha must be reading the same scouting reports.

Here’s what actually happened.  The first quarter was open and even, with the Eagles leading by a goal at the break.  Cotchin and Deledio were well held all night.  Martin and King were handy.  Jack Riewoldt didn’t get many touches and only 2 goals, but he refused to sook as required.  Instead he led and worked hard all night, creating space and spillages for his teammates.

In the second and third quarters a mob of blokes I had never heard of – Vlastuin, Grigg, Shane Edwards, White, Foley – ran diagonals hard and hit targets consistently with raking 40 metre passes.   Nic Nait dominated the rucks palming the ball straight into the path of Vlastuin, Grigg, Shane Edwards, White, Foley, Jackson and King.

Kerr, Cox, Priddis, Rosa, Butler and Adam Selwood moved slower than a Tony Abbott admission of error.  LeCras and Darling radiate the confidence of an ALP backbencher in Western Sydney.  Woosha swung the changes with the tactical acumen of Wayne Swan and the assurance of Stephen Conroy.

Hit Outs – 81/27 to the Eagles.  Clearances 45/41 to the Tigers.  “Houston – we have a problem.  Could someone tell Captain Kirk on the bridge?”

For the Tigers, Choco Williams prowled the boundary cajoling and pleading like Cecil B DeMille.  At least he was animated, passionate and creative.  Half way through the third quarter the TV zoomed in on Malcolm Fraser and Marcel Marceau in the Eagles coaching box, after another humiliating home team blooper.  “For Christ’s sake, just smash a phone or throw a drink bottle,” I screamed.  Some sign of life.  Anything.  The lights were on, but no one was home.

In a gesture of goodwill, the Tigers joined us in 30 minutes of protracted junk time for the final quarter.  The Tigers won the match by 41 points.  The margin flattered us.  We were poor, but the Tigers leg speed and field kicking were really impressive.  They certainly look good when they take the game on instead of going back into their shells and chipping the ball around as they did against the Bombers.  But above all it was the Tigers depth that impressed me, as they did it largely without their stars dominating.

After the game Woosha was reluctant to concede that the Eagles could not finish Top 4; that Harold Holt would not be found alive; and that Captain Scott would not reach the Pole.

He thinks that he will coach the Eagles next year and Julia Gillard will still be Prime Minister.

RICHMOND        2.3         8.4          14.5        16.7 (103)

WEST COAST      3.3          3.6          5.9          8.14 (62)
GOALS:  Richmond: Vlastuin 3, Newman 2, Riewoldt 2, Edwards 2, Vickery 2, Edwards, Jackson, Martin, King, White.

West Coast: Kennedy 3, Hill 2, Kerr, Darling, S. Selwood.
BEST: Richmond: Vlastuin, Grigg, White, Foley, Jackson, Chaplin, Houli, Morris, Shane Edwards (best until injured).

West Coast: S Selwood (if only he could kick), Shuey, Naitanui, Masten.

ATTENDANCE: 37,781, at Quarter Time.  781 half way through the last quarter – Tiger players, coaches, fans and “crowd” control staff.  Eagles fans left at ¾ time.  Eagles players and coaches departed at Quarter Time.

VOTES: Vlastuin 3; Grigg 2; White 1.



  1. Sean Gorman says

    Pete – Sounds like Nicanooi has been struck down with a nasty case of the Sandilandses…..Having watched bits and pieces from last night (I wash washing my hair and doing my nails) Notaclooy seems to have quite a chronic case of it and it could go on for some time as this is a feature of the Sandilandses IMO. Stiff upper lip what…..Heaveho.

  2. Cheryl Critchley says

    Hi Peter. As they say, 90 per cent of footy is mental these days and the Tigers turned up to play which was great for us fans. Nick Vlastuin has stamped himself as a mature player in just a few games and looks like a 10-year veteran already which is great. He’s a local boy who went to the same school as my niece, who says he was a nice guy. White and Edwards have been around for ages but are both playing with a lot more desperation this year which is fantastic. We just need them to do that every week. The next big test is Adelaide at the MCG after the bye. If we fall flat again it’ll be same old, same old, but if we can get up against them I may even sniff a finals berth. As for West Coast, they clearly underestimated Richmond after our insipid performance against Essendon, and who could blame them? Problem is you can never take a side that actually has good players with potential for granted. They may just realise that potential.

  3. The Wrap says

    Couldn’t have put it better myself Mr B. But believe me, I was as shocked as you were. I knew they had that game in them – The Endangered Species – but as is always the case with the Striped Marvels, you never know when they’re going to unpack it.

    BTW, Nick Vlastuin – the Master Vlaster – is going to be an out and out champion. If you were a betting man, which I know you’re not, you’d take him for a top three finish in this year’s Chas Brownlow for the Fairest & Best.

    And if you lean towards multiple investment opportunities you would be remiss overlooking taking Whoosher with that bloke from Melbourne on the Coach Most Likely board. Not sure what to make of it from over here, but something’s sadly amiss.

    You looked like you were going to dominate in the air in the opening stanza and I was thinking how long can the Tigers stay in touch, then suddenly the game swung. I’d put it down to three things – Richmond’s over all pressure on the opposition ball carriers, sublime skills – honestly, I haven’t seen a Yellow & Black Outfit play with so much skill & nous since Jack Dyer was a boy – and The Screaming Eagles’ shocking run with the Football Gods. I mean, really – four posters? No one can hit the post four times without some divine intervention. The damn things are only a few inches wide halfway up.

    But we’ll take what they give us. Wedging The Eagles in The Eyrie is always a pleasure – and a relief.

    Tell the people at Cape Mentelle there’s someone here to sign most days, but it pays to phone first.

  4. The Wrap says

    What a win Cheryl!!!! I thought it was going to be a battle to finish Glorious 9th after last week’s pathetic effort against The Scum. I’ve always liked Matty White and I don’t think he’s been given a fair go to be honest. But it’s Nick Vlastuin that’s made the difference in the midfield. He just adds that extra option – and can’t he read the play well? This is only one win, sure, but the way we changed our game plan after looking to be just hanging in there to quarter time, and the talking out there was so heartening. Maybe the Weagles were off-song – they haven’t impressed this season – but the way The Tiges went about it was, to me, a sign that we’re on our way.

    Sorry Mr B, it is your analysis isn’t it? But everyone in Struggletown has been uplifted by the Richmond performance last night.

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