Round 6 – Richmond v Port Adelaide: All Around The MCG (or the myth of Richmond’s Fan Base)

Richmond v Port Adelaide

April 30th, 2016

RD 6

MCG, Melbourne


Saying ‘I told you so’ is always fraught with danger. Karma has a way of biting us all on the butt more often than not. But it’s hard not to reflect on the previous week at Alberton, and my words from last weeks’ Almanac article about the structure of Port’s side going into round six. It’s not a secret that Port, like many clubs’ social media people, keep an eye on football forums like the Almanac and BigFooty. As do many media people. Hell, how do you think half of them find stories to file on a daily basis? So, it was with some pride that at least a couple of my suggestions last week were adhered to last night in Melbourne as Port Adelaide dismantled a poor Richmond side, and played a steadily intelligent brand of gutsy football to put a season on the brink of collapsing in on itself last week back on track.


Mathew Lobbe, for so long a weak link in Port’s midfield was dropped. Polec came back in, and played a terrific game. He may well look back on last night in months to come and realise it was the game that saved his career. The loss of both Robbie Gray and Chad Wingard actually didn’t hurt Port – it helped them. Only Gray can expect to walk back into the side when he is fit. The temptation will be to bring Wingard straight back in next week. I wouldn’t. Because who deserves to be dropped? On the basis of last night, and the importance of the win and the way the team played well together, no one.


Matthew Broadbent, a fairly accurate barometer for Port was shifted into the centre, mirroring another suggestion last week with devastating results. He was brilliant – his run and inventiveness and gut-running ability crucial. Charlie Dixon, so good in the air, so average when the ball hits the ground pinched hit in the ruck with Justin Westhoff, and another piece in the puzzle suddenly fit. Nathan Krakouer, self-righteously excluded from selection for five weeks for something that wasn’t his fault must stay in the side now and not be dropped back and forth as has been the pattern since re-emerging at Alberton. His experience, coolness and class in the backline and running through the centre serves Port’s need to have a slightly more polished but equally important soldier in the backline to compliment Jasper Pittard’s consistently intelligent performances.


I’d be in no hurry to alter Port’s line-up to face Brisbane in Adelaide next weekend. And finally Travis Boak showed the skill, determination and focus that had been lacking in his game this season. He led well, and he was finally given the help he so desperately needed.


Beating Richmond, a club that will again eat their own this season and throw a good coach under the bus because apart from two or three ‘stars’ their players aren’t up to it is no great coup. But to win away from Adelaide at a ground Port have struggled on historically was a reminder to everyone that while Port have struggled so far in 2016 there is life in the team yet. Further polish is to come, and to make the top eight and be a serious finals threat much work up forward is still needed, but the signs last night were encouraging.


And what of the 27,000 crowd last night? It would be fair to say that at least 4,000 / 5,000 were Port fans. So there were just over 20,000 Tiger fans who bothered to front on a warm clear night in Melbourne. That’s shameful. Especially from a club with currently 70,734 members as of today at 4.15pm. So where were they? Waiting for a more glamourous fixture to bother to turn up to? There are ample examples of myths in football. The first comprehensively busted was the so-called shinboner spirit at North Melbourne, destroyed on a seedy night because Wayne Carey and a team-mates wife couldn’t keep their junk in their pants. The second is the nonsense that Tiger fans turn up to matches day in day out, regardless of the clubs’ position on the ladder or their form line. Myth forever busted last night at the MCG.




  1. It was baffling/hilarious how so many tipped a Richmong belting. Vickery??!!
    I don’t agree with your call re a myth of Tigers’ fans durability. The comp survives off these sorts of people stumping up regardless. Their willingness to believe – in spite of contrary evidence – has been a source of mockery/admiration for generations.
    West Sydney complied with management manipulation yesterday.
    27,000 turned up on a balmy night at the MCG.
    “World domination” will come at a cost for the AFL. They’ve taken their base constituents for granted – at their peril. Point of difference (domestic championship) will lose to global sports coverage.
    Kinda hope my Dogs pinch one before the whole shebang goes belly-up.

  2. where is the evidence Hardwick is a good coach. I have watched 130 or so games before my exile on Scouller St this year, and I he think he is adequate. at best.

    btw, I was there that landmark day in 95, 8 degrees and sleeting in the outer, Geelong 100+ up in the PF, the long trek from Waverley loomed. The Tiger fans sang warm-hearted rendition after rendition of Tigerland, and I knew we would live, and the Blues would win the Flag. You know nothing of the heart of Richmond, Jon Snow!

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