AFL Round 5 – Fremantle v Richmond: Angry

Ira furor brevis est.

Or so they say.  I went to bed angry.  But I’ve woken from such fitful sleep as I’ve had still angry.  Not such a brief madness after all.

I’m angry thinking about poor Matty White.  For half a dozen seasons, he’s been a fringe player at Richmond, legs moving at twice the speed of brain in critical moments.  The chance to be a match-winning hero beckons at last and Matty takes it with poise and gusto.

Only to be denied glory by the serial pest Ballantyne.

I’m angry that Ballantyne is so bloody good.  He makes Stephen Milne look like a sedate, mild-mannered gentleman.

I’m angry that at least twice during the game Ballantyne tunnelled Richmond opponents.

I’m even angrier that from resulting free kicks we didn’t make the little germ pay.

I’m angry that after it looked like Cotchin might have accidentally killed Ballantyne in a desperate collision of bodies,  like a cockroach after the nuclear holocaust, Ballantyne survived, dusted himself off and won the game for Freo.

I’m angry that I have such feelings of sadistic malice towards Ballantyne.  It’s only a game after all.

I’m angry that Cotchin gets penalised for putting his body on the line.  This new sliding rule is really getting out of hand.

I’m angry that Cotchin almost suffers a season-ending knee injury as one of their players falls across his leg.  No free kick there – and only his lightning quick reflexes allow Cotch to escape with a “tweak”.

I’m angry that in a game of inches, Cotch is clearly sore and unable to exert his usual influence in the critical second half.

I’m angry that despite being on one leg, he’s still our best player.

I’m angry that Creepy Crowley does another blanket job on Deleldio and that neither “Lids” nor anyone else seems willing to do anything about it.

I’m angry that Riewoldt is content to spend the night backchatting, rather than actually participating in the game, on a night when one decent pack mark and goal would have made the difference.

I’m angry that I agree with Mark McClure paying out on Riewoldt.

I’m angry that McClure can again indulge in his favourite sport – throwing barbs at Richmond – legitimately.

I’m angry that this sanctimonious yesterday’s hero never had to play in a side that was rebuilding from scratch.

I’m angry that he correctly points out that leadership on the night was shown by young blokes like Ellis and Vlastuin rather than by our leaders.

I’m angry that I feel positive about what this signals for the future.  At some clubs, these sorts of efforts by youngsters are rewarded in the moment with pivotal wins that forge self-belief for years ahead.

I’m angry that I so want to admire the courage and gut-busting efforts of Jackson and Rance, but their shocking turnovers continue to prevent me from doing it.

I’m angry that the goal review system and “the goal that wasn’t” is going to dominate post-match discussions.  As though somehow, we can take refuge in the cosy illusion of a victory stolen through umpiring error.

I’m angry that no-one does the logic of this.  Had the goal been scored, we’re four points ahead and the ball goes back to the middle with about four minutes to play.

I’m angry that there is an assumption that had a goal been paid, this would have resulted in a Richmond win.  What is actually revelaed is that we can’t defend a five point lead with two minutes to play.  Indeed we lose the centre clearance so quickly and comprehensively and defend the goal area so abysmally that the two minutes may as well have been two hours.

That said, I’m angry that in such a professional sport, the review system is so flawed and amateurish.

I’m also angry that earlier in the night a clear pass to a Freo player went out on the full within Richmond’s scoring range and the boundary umpire right in front of it failed to call it.  No review system there!

I’m angry that we’ll overlook earlier incidents like Jackson’s turnover just before three-quarter time that gifted Freo a scoring chance.  Walters’ shot was a shocker but he scored a point.

I’m angry that this pontificating about umpiring decisions will mean that we conveniently overlook the fact that Freo should have won this game by several goals.

I’m angry that the Ross Lyon game plan continues to achieve good results from average playing groups.

I’m angry that it will be months before my theory is tested that the Ross Lyon game plan won’t ever achieve the ultimate success.

I’m angry that we’ll also overlook the fact that Richmond valiantly dragged themselves back into a contest that looked gone.

I’m angry that we’ll get no kudos from this game whereas two weeks ago, Essendon fortuitously beat Freo in similar circumstances and were praised as though there was no tomorrow.

I’m angry that instead of marking this game down as evidence of our continued improvement but still needing composure at critical stages, Richmond supporters will unleash their angst and the baying for blood…or something…anything….will begin again.

I’m angry that I might have started it.

FREMANTLE        2.0    7.5   10.8    12.9 (81)
RICHMOND          5.2    7.3    9.5      12.8 (80)

Ballantyne 4, Mayne 3, Walters 2, Crowley, Hill, Suban
Richmond: Knights 3, Vickery 3, McGuane 2, Riewoldt, Grigg, Martin, White

Barlow, Griffin, McPharlin, Pearce, Fyfe, Hill, Walters, Ballantyne, Crowley
Richmond: Knights, Edwards, Martin, Ellis, Cotchin, Vickery, White

My votes:

Barlow (3), Griffin (2), McPharlin (1)

About Sam Steele

50 years a Richmond supporter. Enjoying a bounteous time after 37 years of drought. Should've been a farmer!


  1. cheryl critchley says

    Great article but I dont understand why we are never allowed to say things that didn’t go our way had some influence on the result. So many things went against us last night and it ended up being a one-point game. The AFL has already admitted it should have reviewed White’s goal and as you say a number of other decisions were dodgy to say the least. Yes we made mistakes and should have hung on when we hit the front but I don’t think there would be too many people who saw that game who wouldn’t agree we were hard done by. Hopefully the Tigers will work on the things that failed this week- including Riewoldt’s attitude – and be competitive against Geelong.

  2. Great stuff Stainless. I wish Gough had you at his side in ’75 to “Maintain the Rage.”
    I’m angry that the Dockers won and ruined my tipping run. I’m angry that the goal umpires are instructed to stand with half their body inside the field of play. For mine they should always be a half metre behind the line and stay out of the bloody way.
    I am angry that the goal umpire was too embarassed to ‘fess up on the night, and that the ‘brotherhood’ covered up for him by not calling a review at the time. They should all be suspended for 4 weeks for incompetence.
    I couldn’t believe how ineptly the Tigers defended after they got the lead in the dying minutes. I kept looking at the ball ups and wondering where are they all? Trying to sneak forward for the sealer??
    Jack has never been one of mine. I have bagged him several times for pouting and tantrums when he played against the Eagles.
    If you were as inept as your summary implies, how come you got so close??

  3. I am angry as well- angry that we could not close out a game that we had after working so hard for with a minute or so to go we did not defend the defensive side of the pack. umpires, they are a different breed with different genes.

  4. Stephanie Holt says

    I’m bemused.

    (Now I’ll run away and hide. Because I know your pain, I really do, but you won’t believe me because the whole world is against you. Maintain the rage, oh snarling snapping tigers, possessors of the wrong Riewoldt, fellow victims of that rotter Lyon.)


  5. you actually got a goal shortly after that behind so you got 7 points for the price of 6

  6. Michael Viljoen says

    Well written, Stainless. I feel your pain. 

    I feel for you, Richmond supporters. The last time I saw Richmond play, last year, Carlton won with an accidental goal, where Brock McClean was trying to pass the ball to a teammate and it went too high and over his head, and bounced through for a goal. I didn’t know what to say to my Richmond friend whom I was with. But it seemed he’s used to that type of thing happening to Richmond.

    Cheer up, the tide will eventually turn. An Australian even won at the Masters recently.

  7. Peter B… don’t worry. Eagles are 41 points up…….

  8. Ken Richards says

    “I’m angry that the Ross Lyon game plan continues to achieve good results from average playing groups.

    I’m angry that it will be months before my theory is tested that the Ross Lyon game plan won’t ever achieve the ultimate success.”

    Don’t worry Stainless, there is already ample evidence to support your theory.

    Exhibit 1 St Kilda 2009 – Ran out of legs about round 18, escaped a Doggies team in PF before being pipped by Cats in GF
    Exhibit 2 St Kilda 2010 – Almost run down by Cats in QF, Couldn’t make in against Pies in GF, nothing left for Replay
    Exhibit 3 – Fremantle 2012 – Almost run down by Cats in QF despite Cats giving them 40 mins start, subsequently overrun by Crows next week.
    Exhibit 4 – Fremantle 2013 Already being run down by sides after leading well. Will only get worse before season ends.

    At least supporters of other sides only need to look at Rossball once or twice per year. Dockers supporters have to suffer it every week. Will you join me on the grave to tramp the the dirt down – I give it a couple more years at best. Even Sydney have learned how to play Football again!

  9. You don’t know how happy it makes us to think that people about angry about Freo.

  10. Stainless says

    I don’t think ‘angry about Freo’ was on my list, Les. ‘Disdain’ will have to do until they actually achieve something. You probably have a similar view about Richmond. :)

  11. Matt Zurbo says

    Corker piece. Made me happy!

  12. lee donovan says

    I was at the game on Friday and through Fremantle eyes thought the umpires favoured Richmond. They were roundly booed off after the game. No doubt Freo dodged a bullet but not a bad effort when their two most highly paid players are not playing. Fremantle beat the cats in final last year comfortably by 16 points and were overun late by Adelaide without McPharlin.
    Their list is better than what people give it credit for

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