AFL Round 9: Nightmare at the G

By Michael Allan

I don’t know what to think of Richmond anymore. At the start of the year I penciled the dreamtime match in as one of our 14 wins on the way to September. Seven losses later I’m struggling to keep up with all that is wrong with Richmond. It started off with their dismal defensive pressure inside their forward 50. After that it was kicking efficiency which let them down. Apparently those who can tackle can’t kick.

After Richo went down, Richmond was without a key forward. Last week they didn’t have enough composure to win (according to Wallace) and now some players don’t want Terry as coach, including the captain. All of this plus Essendon’s surprisingly good form makes me think that tonight will just top off Richmond’s horror week.

The match starts with Mitch Morton kicking the first goal courtesy of a spearing pass from Newman. Signs are that the players have refocused. The game continues to go Richmond’s way for the rest of the quarter with Jackson Tuck, Foley and Deludio dominating clearances, giving great delivery to the Richmond forwards. Essendon look poor and aren’t getting first use of the ball.

The second quarter goes along very similarly, as Brown constantly beats Mcphee while Pettifer continues to show improvement, not only in his game but also in goal celebrations. However whenever Richmond score, Essendon fires back. It reminds me too much of the game against Brisbane in which after leading going goal for goal in the second term ,we ended up losing by four goals. At the end of the half the Tigers lead by sixteen points. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt barracking for Richmond it’s that a sixteen point lead at halftime is not nearly enough and we are still more likely to lose the match.

The third term starts slowly with four bounces before a clearance is made. The Richmond midfield continues to provide opportunities to the forwards but they fail to finish them off with chances to Morton, Polo and Coughlan. Unfortunately Essendon take theirs. Winderlich starts to find space in the midfield and hammers it in to Zaharakis and Davey. Essendon take it from there. Lloyd beats Mcguane at every contest and punishes him for it every time.  The Richmond midfield that had been so dominant in first half had slowed down with Jackson being the only one putting up a fight. Dyson, Lovett and Stanton were brought into the game through Winderlich who is rightly rewarded the boomerang.

As I leave the MCG in a depressed state I look towards next weeks match, Fremantle at Subiaco. The week from hell may be over for Richmond but it might only get worse from here.

Richmond 5.5     9.8    10.12    12.13 (85)

Essendon      3.1     7.4     13.6     19.11 (125)


RichmondJackson, Tuck, Foley, Pettifer, Moore, Brown

Essendon – Winderlich, Lloyd, Lovett, Ryder, Zaharkis, Davey


Richmond – Morton 3, Brown 2, Pettifer 2, Polo, Deludio, Connors, Collins, Cotchin

Essendon – Lloyd 4, Davey 3, Zaharakis 3, Watson 2, Lovett 2, Winderlich 2, Hocking, Monfries, Lonergan

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