AFL Round 6 – Richmond v Hawthorn: Hoodoo Schmoodoo

Damn, 3PM. Lost track of time. Hawthorn play Richmond at the G at 3:20.  Near Museum Station and assess options. Could probably jog, could catch a tram, could organise my life a bit better.  Only one train heading towards Richmond in next 7 min, but it’s going around the loop the other way via Spencer Street. Take my chances. This is like a weird dream where you can only move in slow motion and never reach your goal. The minutes tick away.

These are not good signs when you are playing a hoodoo side like Richmond. How can Richmond even be a hoodoo side? Geelong beat us last week and they definitely are….but Richmond? It seems they exists to finish ninth and torment us.

Fortunately the train ride is quick. I love walking through Yarra Park in autumn, it just feels like football lives here. The low sun through the yellowing elms has no strength in it but creates a serene and timeless scene on a calm and mild day. But this is no time for walking or for taking in serenity. Approaching the Colosseum and I hear a siren, sounds like a pre-game one as there is no roar. A lady’s voice comes over the outside speakers – “All lower level seats have sold out, seats only available on upper deck in rows Q1-Q8 and Q9-Q16″ Huh? She could have said “rows  Q1-Q16”  but I am guessing automated messages. Must be a reasonable crowd.

Another siren as I go through the gates and within a minute a loud roar. Can’t see anything yet but it is Hawthorn fans jumping around – good sign. Climb the stairs and emerge in Q area to another roar. Turn around to see some Hawthorn ants hugging each other. They’re actually players but do good ant impressions from the nosebleed section. Settle in to a seat in the very back row next to one of those submarine windows, a very good spot to watch team tactics and field placements but hard to make out players when squinting into the low sun.

Hawthorn seem to control the game for the 1st quarter but are wasteful in front of goal, Richmond go forward twice and get 2 goals. The second quarter is an arm wrestle and it appeared like a lot of clanger kicks coming from both sides, I wonder if the TV commentators notice this from their lower perspective. Hodge and Mitchell seemed to be getting a lot of it while Rietwoldt was making the most of his limited possessions by holding it for an eternity when he finally got one – bronx cheers for his resultant point. 6.9 to 3.1 and the game is still alive at half time.

The 3rd quarter was a highlights reel event. After Matthew Lloyd happened to choose this very day to claim Rioli was an under-achiever, it seemed to be the cue that Cyril was waiting for. This is why you go to the football. 21 minutes, 7 touches and 4 goal of the day contenders (well only 2 really but when you are in a euphoric mood it doesn’t matter). On one occasion he would have broken the draft vertical leap record to cut off Petterd’s handball. Richmond defenders were witches hats. 64 points up and it was game over.

The last quarter had a solid Josh Gibson spoil which got a bit of push and shove going. Gibbo looked like he was going for the ball but you never know and Conca took a while getting up. The Tigers also unexpectedly bolstered their defensive numbers when a spectator joined in and tested out whether the $8600 fine system was still in place. As he was being unceremoniously carried off the scoreboard confirmed that it was still the case. It was Hawthorn’s day and the short lived hoodoo was broken. Mitchell and Burgoyne get applauded off for their 250th games. Things got better as news filtered through that Port were thrashing Geelong. Apparently Geelong had Mad Monday after beating Hawthorn, went for an end of season trip before someone reminded them it was only R5 and they went in under-prepared. Serenity can now be enjoyed in the evening dusk of Yarra Park.

Our Votes: Rioli (Haw) 3, Mitchell (Haw) 2, Hodge (Haw) 1.

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