AFL Round 19 – Richmond v GWS Giants: Fifty shades of Greige (Lights, Conca, Action!)

My commitments to junior football and basketball this year, as well as squeezing my own sport and exercise, have meant I haven’t got to the footy much this year.

In fact, this was my first game since storming out of the Dreamtime game and vowing that I wouldn’t waste my valuable time and hard-earned money with the Tigers again in 2014.

However, the lure of the late Saturday afternoon timeslot, not clashing with other obligations, and the chance to catch up with a good mate who had been unwell, meant I ventured to the game with reasonable hopes of a win.

And whilst I have been critical of the twilight fixture on the Sunday, the Saturday one works a treat. I got to watch Saturday afternoon basketball (a 46-0 blow-out to my daughter’s team) and leave home at a leisurely 4pm, park in Richmond for $3 and be home for pizza by 7.30.

But if this was the game to restore my faith in the wonder of the great game of AFL, it blew its chance.

You’ve got to worry when the three most memorable events to come from the game are:

  1. Two of the light towers blow out in the second quarter
  2. Jake King joins the cheer squad and has a beer
  3. Reece Conca commits one of the more cowardly acts I have ever seen on the field

Note that none of these events involved anyone kicking a football, taking a mark, a great individual effort, a dominating performance by player or team or a haul of goals.

To call the game average would be lazy writing, but on the other hand, I just couldn’t be fagged scouring the Thesaurus for adjectives or creative words to describe the match. A day later, rival coaches would describe their own team’s performances in the Lions and Dees game as the worst they have seen. There wasn’t anything bad about the Richmond game, it wasn’t a question of poor skills or shocking play, it was just, well, bleh. If this game was a colour, it would be what my wife describes as Greige.

So what do you take from Richmond’s fifth successive win, when we have played teams like St Kilda and Brisbane, won away against the unpredictable Eagles and knocked off an increasingly shaky Port?

In no particular order, I am loving Matt Thomas’s addition to the side, Brandon Ellis’s decision making is improving week to week, I still think Bachar Houli is one of the best kicks in the AFL and Dylan Grimes needs to seriously bulk up and improve his attack on the ball more if he is going to hold down a main defensive role.

Elsewhere, Rance’s run from half back is a thing of beauty and since matching wits and skills with Franklin in the Sydney game and coming out with a draw, he has flourished. Cotchin did what Cotchin does, but without as much fanfare, and Deledio went about gathering damaging possessions in an unobtrusive way.

There was a surprisingly amount of niggle instigated by the Giants during the game. This in no way justifies or even explains Conca’s shocking hit on Smith, right in front of where I was sitting. That he is allowed to reduce an already light penalty with a guilty plea, and sit out only two weeks, is a travesty. In successive weeks, I have been embarrassed and disgusted with the acts of two Tigers, who over reacted in clear view of all.

However, the Giants have a reputation for lip amongst the other clubs, mostly unjustified considering their poor on-field performances. Whether a deliberate ploy to show strength in favour of experience or just a bunch of mouthy players all collected in the one place, they’d do well to produce consistently on the scoreboard before they shot their mouth off.

Any game that has Houli in a wrestle in the early stages isn’t going to be usual.

For the Giants, it is stating the obvious to say that Boyd is a mountain of a kid, and matched with Patton, they will take some big defenders to stop them. That doesn’t automatically equal a Roughead and Franklin or even Tippett and Franklin era, but they are sure big. How they manage the forward line when Cameron comes back will be a challenge.

But all in all, a dull, boring and serviceable game. I can’t see the DVD of the game in many Christmas stockings this year. Richmond started slow, set up a commanding lead in the second quarter, withstood a challenge in the third and when Ellis intercepted a switch kick to score in the early stages of the fourth, it was over. Tweney-seven points, and ho hum. In the car on the way home, all radio stations were leaving the post-match wrap up in time for the Cats and Kangas game at 7.30, all seemingly thankful they didn’t have to fill in an hour of review.

The saving grace for me was the chance the spend most of the third quarter chatting away to my mate, getting updates on his recovery and progress, admire his courage, hear his honesty and talk without feeling as though I was missing the next big thing, any mark of the year contenders or the need to stand to applaud any brilliant individual efforts.

Jake King may need to be available in reserve for future games like this, to be bought out and liven up the crowd. It was a rare highlight.

Dress it up anyway you like: The Tigers have an outside chance, where was this in the early rounds, put a fork in the Giants this year, they’re done? However you cut it, even 50 ways, it was still many shades of Greige.

RICHMOND                                        3.2          8.5          10.10     13.11 (89)

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY     2.3         2.7          6.10      8.14  (62)




Richmond: Petterd 2, Deledio 2, Martin 2, Cotchin, Thomas, Edwards, Griffiths, Ellis, Riewoldt, Houli

Greater Western Sydney: Boyd 2, Patton 2, Hoskin-Elliott, Ward, Treloar, Palmer




Richmond: Deledio, Ellis, Rance, Petterd, Cotchin, Edwards,

Greater Western Sydney: Ward, Greene, Davis, Treloar, Patton, Kennedy


Reports: Conca (Richmond) for striking Smith (Greater Western Sydney) in the second quarter.

Umpires: Hay, Foot, Mollison

Official crowd: 23,093 at the MCG


Malarkey Votes:


3              Deledio                   Rich

2              Ellis                         Rich

1              Ward                      GWS



About Sean Curtain

"He was born with a gift of laughter, and a sense that the world was mad". First line of 'Scaramouche' by Sabatini, always liked that.


  1. kath presdee says

    So you did miss the Mark of the Year nominee taken by Will Hoskin-Elliott then?

    Fair enough. You’re not a Giant’s supporter.

  2. Saw it, wasn’t overly moved by it

    At least it was at the GWS end in front of the hardy souls in the cheer squad who’d made the trip

    The kid can play, I’ll give you that, and Greene was good having copped his suspension on the chin

    But even by that mark, the spark had well and truly gone out Kath

Leave a Comment