AFL Round 12 – Richmond v Adelaide: The Basket Press Cup

By John Baker

The Richmond v Adelaide clash is known as the Basket Press Cup for my mate Pete and me.  Pete, being an Adelaide-ite, is a Crows man and I have been a fervent Richmond supporter since I first bled Yellow and Black when I fell over in the schoolyard.  The beauty of the Basket Press Cup is the cork gets pulled at the start of the match.

If Pete and I were Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty then we would be on the road – Punt Rd naturally – but we aren’t so we were at the Le Chateau Sportif watching footy; the mighty Tigers versus the Crows to be specific.

Richmond has been part, or indeed the main protagonist, of the Beat Generation since 1982.  Some would say easy beats. While the belief in Richmond by the true supporters has never really wavered over that time it has been severely tested.  However the meaning of what the mighty Tiges stood for has been in doubt though with coaches such as Sproule, Walls, Gieschen, and Wallace hardly inspiring faith.

The pre-game had an ominous Adelaide feel to it.  Paul Kelly – he of Leaps and Bounds fame, a South Australian by birth and Crows supporter – was interviewed before the game by the ABC.  Fox Footy, which was broadcasting the game into Canberra, had Dwayne Russell and Mark Ricciuto in the commentary box.  Even Richmond had its smattering of South Australian players.  The People’s Mullet, Ivan Maric, was originally a Crow.  Troy Chaplin, who was playing his 150th AFL game, played his first 140 with Port Adelaide.  Steven Morris, son of Richmond premiership player Kevin Morris, had played at West Adelaide.

Within seconds of the Richmond banner being raised it was torn to shreds by the howling wind.  In the aftermath it looked like a pair of black fishnet stockings another Adelaide-ite, Alexander Downer, would have been proud to wear.  The Adelaide feeling was almost too overwhelming especially when Pete supplied Cooper’s.

Richmond started the game in its rightful position.  Not kicking to the Punt Rd end, but ninth. Perhaps it was the comfort of ninth or Cotchin kicking his first goal of the season for Richmond’s first that put my mind at ease early in the game. Callinan responded quickly with the Crow’s first.  In a pique of impressive footy Richmond replied with two straight goals. From there, in my mind, the game always had the feel Richmond was going to win.  However I have been wrong before especially when it comes to Richmond.  The scarring of last year’s loss to Gold Coast with the Suns kicking two goals in the final 50 seconds is something that will haunt me for a long time.

For some reason unbeknown to me, and I dare say most Crows supporters, Deledio was allowed to roam free on the half-back line in the first quarter and seemingly most of the game.  Deledio was in risk of wearing his footy boots out by kicking too much.  He certainly wasn’t in danger of being tackled.  Crows supporters could have been resorted to a lame sledge of Deledio using the line from On the Road when Galatea tells Dean off: “You have absolutely no regard for anybody but yourself and your kicks.” Except on this occasion Deledio was playing for the team and his kicks were tearing the Crows apart.

It must have been the World Cup influence that allowed Richmond to soccer two goals.  The first was by Reiwoldt, wearing boots that looked like they were made out of GWS jumpers, was conventional.  The second soccer goal was a ripper half-volley by Shaun Grigg which Tim Cahill would have been proud of.

Richmond was all round too strong.  While in the past this was a classic danger game for Richmond it rose to the challenge and rose well, much like my Grandmother’s cakes from the past.  The likes of Martin, Newman, Houli and Ellis were too consistent for the Crows.

Dustin Martin would have to be one of the best penetrating kicks in the game.  If only I could work out what the tattoo around his neck said. Jake King is doing his best to become the fifth Selwood brother by once again taking the art of earning around-the-neck free kicks to a new level following on from his game against the Eagles.  Jack Riewoldt also made a play to become the sixth Selwood with a well orchestrated free kick for goal in the last quarter to put the game beyond doubt when the Crows were hinting at coming back.

Apart from Patrick Dangerfield, who is an outstanding player, the Crows were light on for highlights.  I just wish the Crows would nickname Dangerfield ‘Rodney’, and then he would go a further step up in my estimation.

While the typical football homily is to take it one week at a time the narrative for Richmond over the past 31 years has been about each season being another false dawn.  Finally in 2013 it looks as if the sun is legitimately coming up.  Heeding a major lesson from On the Road Richmond is growing up properly reading the scrolls of Damian Hardwick.

RICHMOND    5.2    9.7   11.10    16.14    (110)
ADELAIDE      2.1   5.4     6.10     10.12    (72)

Richmond: Martin 4, Riewoldt 3, Grigg 2, Ellis 2, Cotchin, Newman, Maric, King, Edwards
Adelaide: Dangerfield 2, Callinan, Jenkins, Lynch, Porplyzia, Jenkins, Thompson, van Berlo, Mackay

Richmond: Deledio, Riewoldt, Martin, Ellis, Conca, Chaplin, Houli
Adelaide: Dangerfield, Sloane, Porplyzia, Thompson, Rutten

Richmond: Matt White replaced David Astbury (head knock) in the third quarter
Adelaide: Ricky Henderson replaced Shaun McKernan in the third quarter.

Umpires: Margetts, Stewart, Meredith
Official crowd: 43,615 at the MCG

Our Votes: 3 Deledio (Rich.), 2 Dangerfield (Adel.), 1 Martin (Rich.)


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