AFL Round 2 – Richmond v Carlton: Tigers are a mentally weak side

The Richmond Football Club is a mentally weak team.

I am as passionate a Tigers supporter as they come and this may sound like an irrational rant but bear with me as I try to make sense.

It may seem ironic that I am writing this after they did just enough to record a 12-point win over Carlton last night.

But to say the Tigers fought off the Blues is generous and is giving them too much credit.

They fell over the line and had plenty of luck on their side throughout the match.

In a time of crisis, such as when an important football game is on the line, people turn to their leaders for confidence and motivation.

The Tigers turned to skipper Trent Cotchin and vice-captain Brett Deledio and they were nowhere to be found.

Cotchin only had two disposals in the last quarter when the game was well and truly in the balance.

The 23-year-old is one of the game’s superstars but he needs to stand up more when it counts.

His midfield counterpart in Brett Deledio had a measly three disposals for the whole second half, which is far below what is expected of a player his calibre.

Mick Malthouse put Andrejs Everitt onto Deledio and he was able to tag him completely out of the game, something that Deledio has shown he is susceptible to.

Deledio has amazing attributes and is in the prime of his football career but he needs to be able to break a tag more often.

Is it his work rate? Does he go into his shell when he knows he will be heavily tagged?

Players like Gary Ablett, Joel Selwood, Jobe Watson and Chris Judd live for the close games and relish being tagged.

Until the Richmond midfielders can do this regularly, they do not deserve to be compared with the top echelon of players in the game.

But two players do not make a whole side and the entire Richmond team and coaching staff should be held accountable.

The Blues hold a mental advantage over the Tigers that rival the infamous Geelong-Hawthorn match ups since the “Kennett Curse”.

Carlton are just one of a couple of sides that have this advantage, Gold Coast being another.

The Tigers were lucky to hold on to the Round One clash last year, which played out in a similar fashion to last night’s game.

No one will forget the come-from-behind win in last season’s elimination final that broke the hearts and left a permanent scar for Richmond supporters.

In all of these games Richmond held match-winning leads but reverted to nervous football when the Blues got a run on.

Instead of playing to their strengths, the Tigers would continuously bomb long to contests and take no time to consider better options.

Richmond are a work in progress and will hopefully improve on this as their core group matures.

Whether it will be this year, next year or never, who really knows?

 TWITTER – @JClark182

About Jackson Clark

Born and bred in Darwin, Northern Territory, I am a young, aspiring football writer that lives and breathes the game of Australian Football. I'm also a keen player and coach.


  1. Perhaps you could trade Deledio for Jeff Garlett or Bryce Gibbs? I think Litza might be prepared to do business.
    Ripper game to watch. So bad it was wonderful. Crazy bad from both sides. Not boring as batshit bad like Demons and Saints last week.
    Glad you enjoyed it Jackson.

  2. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Deledio when tagged just does not work hard enough and then when played as the link man in defense is exposed defensively like in last years final when Duigan killed him
    Cotchin is a good player not a superstar is below the top level of Ablett , Dangerfield , Selwood etc . In both of these sides the last few players picked are not up to it that is the major difference between the real top sides and the rest . Matt Thomas who openly admits he learnt more at Norwood under Bassett last year was the shining light for Richmond last night . The St Kilda v Melbourne game and last nights game show if we are being brutally honest there is not enough elite talent for a 18 team competition
    The errors by both sides last night you would have thought all the players were on the grog a comical display at best . Thanks Jackson

  3. Dustan Martin is no good under pressure. In fact I reckon he’s just no good. Tigers should trade him. When he goes missing, he REALLY goes missing. And it happens too often. Entertaining game last night.

  4. Sean Gorman says

    I am busting to see [redacted] Litza’s [redacted] comments on this [redacted] game. [Redacted] bring it on!!!!

  5. Neil Anderson says

    Can you stop telling all these players to lift for next week’s match against the Bulldogs please.
    We’ve already had a week of everyone reminding North players how much better they have to be for tomorrow’s match.

  6. Jackson

    The first half was a good as i’ve seen us play in quite a while. The vast majority of the second half was same old Tigers.

    Completely agree on players going missing. Too much falls to Cotchin so when he has a poor quarter, we are exposed. Martin’s final minute heroics will shade the fact he went completely missing in the second half.

    Vickery is amazingly frustrating, King I fear is passed it. Agree though Thomas was a mature stand out when it mattered last night.

    The Blues though must be as equally frustrating to support as we are. Waite shows flashes of brilliance, mostly against us, but his kicking is frighteningly bad. The Blues flashy shots at goal, dribbled kicks when they should be smashing them home, got what they deserved. Gibbs massively over rated.

    If we continually can’t defend 5-6 goal leads, what hope against sides that won’t let us get that far ahead?


  7. Geez haven’t a few almanackers been sharpening their pencils over summer to pay out on the Tigers!

    Don’t you all just want to be the first to say “I told you so”.

    It’s so easy to rubbish decent players and the mistakes they make under pressure. But rightly or wrongly, that pressure is real and will have been festering away since that horrendous day in September.

    Unfortunately most teams don’t suddenly flick a switch like Geelong did in 2007 – it’s usually a painstaking work in progress and you measure that progress through little achievements.

    In a game as messy as last night’s, the only thing that was ever going to count was the end result. With scores level, seven minutes left to go and all the momentum with Carlton, Richmond found a way to win, and two of your biggest whipping boys – Vickery and Martin – were instrumental in that.

    Plaudits also to Petterd, Vlaustin, Thomas, Chaplin (yes him too, Rulebook), Astbury and Griffiths, who all did their bit when our apparently useless leaders went missing. A sign of growing depth perhaps?

    Stainless – On behalf of the 62,000 members of the supposedly delusional.

  8. Pounder Lounder says

    Great call Stainless. Tiges did enough in 1st half to stay in it all night & when we looked gone for all money, found a way to win. In the past we would have lost by 28pts in that situation. Carlton only played a half too so they only have themselves to blame. 4pts in the bank & we move on. BTW Lids busted his gut all night as usual.

  9. It worries me a tad if Tigers fans are nursing potential permanent scars from an elimination final loss, no matter how horrific. If you are in the elimination final you are not a real premiership threat so might as well suck up the loss and move on.

    Perhaps they should have followed the Crows’ template (who, let’s face it, have plenty of experience in losing finals) after their fairly horrific elimination final loss to Hawthorn in 2007 by picking a scapegoat and delisting him soon after. Poor Kris Massie was played on Buddy (3 inches taller and several metres faster) all day, conceding 7 goals. He played 12 games for the Crows in 2008 but the writing was on the wall all season. Massie has taken the place of a scar in the Adelaide psyche.

  10. Tony Robb says

    My thoughts will be posted directly. Shit football for two shit clubs

  11. Interesting how much was made of Carlton’s 3.7 last quarter. Richmond kicked 2.6 in the third. 4 points in the bank for the Tiges. And memo Sean – Richmond did defend a 5-6 goal lead.

  12. Mentally weak is a perfect summary! The tigers are constant chokers and some of their fans are so bloody biased one eyed stains.. Nice to read a article by a supporter telling the truth. Now RFC fans please don’t kid yourself if J Garlett and J Waite could kick like a under 18 kid in country footy then Carlton had won that game by three goals.. Jake King is crap, a try hard tough guy who is so lucky to still be playing AFL. And Dusty your hair, tatts and general all about me arrogance is disgusting! Shopped himself around last year but no other club wanted his price tag, ego or attitude

  13. Malcolm Ashwood says

    In this game neither team found a way to wiin both sides were desperately searching for a way to lose . Hardwick panicked as much as the players with bewildering behavior
    Pounder Lounder go to a game when Deledio is tagged and watch only him and go to a game as a neutral and watch Pendlebury , Selwood , Ablett and compare work rates and you will be astonished and disgusted at the difference . Stainless you are better than that as many others have stated or implied this was a terrible game where if you are happy with the effort and performance of many of the players you have mentioned ( Inc Chaplin) that is delusional

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