Almanac Season Review: Richmond (The Striped Marvels) report

For The Long Suffering Punt Road Faithful



It’s been a longer season than usual for TLSPRF.  After three successive September straight set exits, it was going to be the year The Tiges took the next step.  The draw looked good.  It wasn’t until Round VII that they came up against anyone fancied.  And that was Hawthorn.  The Faithful were dreaming of being in the top bracket by then, and mentally equipped to take on their Bunny.


In the season opener against “The Worst List in The Competition”, it was clear that things weren’t quite right.  They should have eaten that mob alive.  And spat out the bones.  That The Silvertails substantially headed The Tiggers on two occasions should have set the alarm bells ringing.  True, The Striped Marvels pulled this one out of the fire, but letting Bolton’s Bluebaggers in for a couple of late majors when The Tiges appeared to have them by the throat was not in the 2016 script.


By the time they had The Fancied Magpies on the ropes in Round II things were looking a lot better.  A slow start, sure, but two wins was better than they’d started for ages.  Then it happened.  Richmond blinked, and The Pies stole the match.  The rest of the season was a free-falling disaster.


One bright spot was they gave their traditional imprimatur to the Premiers of The Season, by beating them in a heart stopping finish.  (You’re not getting ahead of yourself here are you Wrap? – Ed)  Not at all, Oh Pedantic Pruner of Prose.  Check the records, we always beat up on The Mayblooms in their Premiership Years.  And South Melbourne are set like a wooden jelly to take The 2016 Toyota Premiership Trophy.  That aside, this List showed that it could really play.  So what happened in this wasted season at Tigerland?


It’s the same old problem they’ve faced at Punt Road for decades now:


  • absence of on-field leadership;
  • a woeful absence of Self Belief – in themselves and in the game plan;
  • a game plan that is so conservative that it makes Corey Bernardi look like a card-carrying member of the Avant Guard, and so yesterday that it could be buried in a time capsule.


But hey, they gave The Doggies a run for their money, and tackled The Handbags out of the contest for three-quarters.  The Moggies came out after the Citrus Break scratching and snarling and The Tiggers lost their nerve.  True, they could have won with a fairy tale mark and conversion from Jumping Jack Riewoldt at the death, but they didn’t.


The convoy of manure lorries was wending its way up from the Mornington Peninsula loaded to the gunwales and the jungle drums were beating out the massage across the deep Woods and into the Tough Waterside Bars of Morristown. There was going to be a putsch at Tigerland.


But the government prevailed, and the story goes that there have been mass dismissals throughout the Tiger Army, the judiciary and the civil services.


(So where would you start Wrap? – Ed)  Not sure to be honest.  This list can play; make no mistake.  But it’s not.  We’ve given this quite a deal of deliberation here in the Wrapcave, and come to the conclusion that the problem lies either in the Locker Room or the Coaching Box.  Either the coaching team isn’t inspiring the players.  Or the players aren’t gelling as a team.  (How long did that take you to work out? – Ed)


Well, with a record 72,000 plus members – 3rd on that ladder – and a pulling power second only to Collingwood, it’s not the Administration or The Supporter Base.


Hardnose has another two years on his contract.  He has to stay at least for 2017.  He may be different with different support staff.  There’s a rumour going around that Balmie may spit the dummy at Carringbush.  Now there’s a Favourite Son who knew how to win.  (Geoff Southby is still putting his eye fillets through the food blender – Ed)  Getting the old #21 back to Tigerland would be a major coup.


The VFL side is languishing.  That’s where you build up your depth.  Spend some serious time & moolah on that end of the chain.  Pity we didn’t get the Charlie Wheeler team up and running.  A club with Struggletown’s profile deserved have been given a female franchise.   Another appalling football league conspiracy.


There’s some really good youngsters coming through.  Riolli, Small, Markov, Menadue & Lennon to name just a few.  The story is that Prestia wants to come to Punt Road.  Let’s hope they’re not buying another Yarran.


But you wanna know what we came up with in the Wraproom?  Put Dusty & Cotch on the trade table.  A swap-over star, the next Adam Treloar say, and a first round draft pick for each of them. Dusty gets plenty of stats, but turns the ball over half the time.  Don’t argues look good on the show reel, but don’t win all that many games when the consequential delivery goes straight to the opposition.  Cotch gets in and under, and gets his hands on the ball, but his dinky little chips are never going to hurt you.  And he put himself above the Club when he wouldn’t wear The Sacred # 17 as the Richmond Captain.  The number carried by The Late Great Living Legend, Captain Blood.


Keep Ty Vickery.  Why do you think Clarko wants him?  He can kick goals.  Eight and a half to nine times out of ten he’ll drill his set shot.  And he can take a mark.  He hasn’t got a second effort, but given a second chance he could develop one.  Well, keep him for another year.  (Like the Coach Wrap? – Ed)  Reece Conca and Liam McBean should be asked to clean out their lockers.  Not sure about Taylor Hunt.  He’s a good ordinary player.


Now there’s some kids there in the Magoos who can play, but you can’t help feeling they’ve been poorly handled.  Todd Elton is one who comes to mind.

And what’s happened to Kamdyn McIntosh?  He burst onto the scene and faded away.  (You might be onto something there Wrap; that the Reserves need as much an overhaul as the Seniors – Ed)


But the bottom line is the game plan; presuming they have one.  They’re just not playing intelligent football.  They’re not playing with any purpose.  They’re not backing each other up. But most importantly, they’re not thinking beyond their own possession & disposal.  To see Martin, and to a lesser extent Cotchin, running past a teammate taking a marking or penalty kick, demanding a handball and then not knowing what to do with it other than kick it down the ground towards their own goal makes you want to cry.


And talk about bruise free football.  When they hit The Handbags hard, they sprung them open.  That they were overrun in the Final Stanza speaks of their lack of on-field leadership.  They kicked one goal in that quarter, with a couple of minutes to go.  The next two matches – against The Feeling Faints & The Bloods – they were all but texting Qantas about their seat allocations for the end of season trip.  A bus ride down to Phillip Island to see the penguins come in would be good enough for them.


Which brings us to the next point; Richmond have trouble booting winning scores.  They rely on Jack, who half the time is up the ground getting the ball down to the attacking zone.  Watch Hawthorn.  Watch anyone in the top echelon of The Game.  Their forwards are moving like kaleidoscope pieces once they see that the ball is coming out of their half backline.  Even Wooden Spooners Essendon, with half a team, could be dangerous in that regard.


Sack the coach?  Tell you what; it’s tempting.  One more year of Dimma sounding like Malcolm Turnbull would do it.  Still make the Finals – after their 10th loss for the season.  The best list I’ve had in all my time at Richmond.  Could be Dimma.  So what does that say about your coaching?  They’ve dropped Dimma’s Dissection on the Monday website posting at Tigerland.  It’s just called The Dissection now.  Someone must have written in about it.  Could have even written the letter in chook manure on the Punt Road Oval.


Good tipping and gamble responsibly.


And remember, if you read it in The Wrap, you’ll know it’s not crap.


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About John Mosig

I'm an Aussie Rules tragic who can remember, as a four year old, shaking the hand of Captain Blood in the rooms just before he ran out onto the ground after half time, as my Old Man slipped him a packet of under-the-counter Craven A cork tipped. Now it's my turn to take my grandson Ben through the ritual of character building that is the journey through PUNT ROAD to the outside world.


  1. Wrap the list is crap in all seriousness a huge lack of depth and the recruiting panel should have been shown the door a long time ago.The interesting point re Hardwick keep him and probably lose a huge number of members or sack him and a million dollar pay out it really was appalling admin to extend his contract thanks wrap

  2. Paddy Grindlay says

    G’day Wrap,
    On Kam McIntosh – did his ankle at training in about round 4, was out for the season.
    I am still a believer in the Hardwick era. We have a good top six and a decent lot of youngsters. The mid-their need to go and this draft/trade period needs to give us plenty of young players.
    But after the Sydney game…geez.
    All the best Wrap.

  3. Good to see you are all still drinking the Kool Aid down at Punt Road. I saw Dimma on AFL 360 a week ago. Donald Trump in a tracksuit. Napoleonic command of his lost battalions.
    Some of these coaches like Dimma and BScott are bigger careerists than Bill and Malcolm. The purging of scapegoats continues.
    Time to pack the rabbit traps and fishing line for another trip up the Diamantina next March I reckon Mr Wrap. Do the right thing by TLSPRF and take Dimma with you.

  4. It is indeed a sorry tail on the Tiggers Mr B. But taking Dimma out into the desert with meanest Autumn is not an option I would consider. Donald Trump in a tracksuit? Good call, but I see him as more the blathering bumbling Malcolm type.

    Thanks for the up-date on Kam McIntosh Paddy. I haven’t been following things as closely as I should.

    Time will tell Rulebook – whether or not the list is crap. But one thing’s for sure, they’re playing crap Football. In fact, it’s arguable some days, whether they’re playing Football at all.

  5. You don’t think any, or all, of this could be sheeted home to T. Chaplin perchance?

  6. You might just be onto something here Bucko. In the Golden Era of the second half of the 19th Century, the going over of tailings was a common practice on a burnt out field. Particularly by those without the energy to join a new rush. The dream of the desperate was to turn up a nugget of real worth, but the reality was, at best, for just a few troy weight found in the bottom of the pan after long periods of backbreaking toil. Yes, I do think The Tigers’ current situation has a lot to do with the signing of T. Chaplin. In fact, let’s call it the T. Chaplin Syndrome.

  7. John Butler says

    Wrap, at the risk of quoting myself, revisit my round one report. Signs of irrational exuberance were abundant.

    I don’t think the list is as good as Richmond supporters think it is. First ruck Hampson? That’s not causing anyone lost sleep. Houli and Grigg know how to win the ball, but know how to turn it over better. And no one in the midfield group runs back as hard as they run forward.

    I could go on.

    Still, compared to our list, oh to have such problems.

  8. Agree, Houli turns the ball over far too often; Disagree, Taylor Hunt is an ordinary, ordinary player.

  9. Wise words JB, wise words indeed. But is it the list, or the way the list’s been brought up? Natures v Nurture.

    You’ve got the coach, but not the list. Great win against The Dees, and a few close ones that got away. I’d say inside five years The Silvertails will be back to The Feared Old Dark Blues, The Only Team All Carlton Knows.

  10. They all turn the ball over Boys, and Dusty Martin is the worst offender. But that comes from their coaching. They’re not getting the message – presuming they’re being given it. Listening to Dimma through the year, you start to wonder if he may not have become unravelled. It happens you know. Mickey the Maltster was totally off with the fairies by the end of his coaching career.

  11. Middle Australia says

    Mr The Wrap, Very wise words. I find it hard to disagree with any of your summary so I won’t. An astute season’s review for us, TLSPRF.

    The Chairman

  12. My take’s a bit different, Wrap. The list is not crap and it’s not the product of crap recruiting. We’re paying the price for the decision five years ago to bolster a fragile, young team with some mature, experienced players, in an environment of compromised drafts. It was a reasonable decision at the time and brought better than expected performances including three finals appearances. But it was never going to produce real success in the long-term. Many of the players who’ve reached their “use by ” date have given reasonable service, some considerably better than expected, and most didn’t cost us much.

    That said, Blind Freddy could see that the side that lost to North in the finals was not good enough. To its credit, the club began the rebuilding process at the start of 2016, fielding a side with 800 games less experience than on that day last September and with less games on average than their “Baby Blues” opposition. The problem is that there aren’t many Blind Freddies among TLSPRF, and expectation was at such a ridiculously high level, the club wasn’t prepared to admit that a rebuild was already underway. Perhaps they thought the kids they were bringing through would magically develop. Whatever the case, the worst failing at Richmond this year has been its appalling PR around the real state of the team.

    For what it’s worth, I reckon they have to keep the faith with the top 5-6 players and the young players they’ve blooded over the last couple of years (i’m sorry to hear Lennon wants out – I think he has potential). Anyone in the middle group is tradeable, although we’ll have to be smart to gain much from them. Prestia will be a good acquisition but he’ll have to be an absolute gun if we sacrifice our first round draft pick for him. Vickery is a scapegoat but I agree with you, Wrap, he kicks goals and will hurt us badly if he winds up in the forward line at a strong club. Notwithstanding Hampson’s improved form this year, my top priority would be a mobile young ruckman.

    My final point is that the game plan is stale and stagnant. Even the best player will look ordinary when he’s part of that sort of setup. If that particular buck stops with the senior coach, then yes, Dimma is in trouble. Although he’s survived this year’s blood-letting, he won’t last through 2017 unless there’s a tangible improvement. Unfortunately his intemperate comments about a quick bounce-back won’t help dampen the unrealistic hopes of the mob. He needs to call the rebuild for what it is, and start sensibly and honestly managing expectations.

  13. Dusty has to hit impossible balls because nobody is moving or able to take a grab. he also gets it contested or under pressure, which should mean 2 or 3 in space, but we bludge and won’t run.

    coach – first gone.

    as for Chaplin – aaaaaaaaaagh! there is serious talk of making hm an assistant coach. can they not see what a laughing stock we will be? seriously fucked.

    anyway, PJ Harvey tomorrow night on things less good in the world. Prefer her o the HF Flank to Boomer any day.

  14. Earl O'Neill says

    That Jack bloke on the wing, you oughta try him at full forward.

  15. Some good suggestions Wrap although trading Cotch and Dusty is suicide. Ty has to go. Hawthorn are desperate for a key forward and will take anyone. Good luck making Ty play in front like all forwards should.

  16. I’ll agree that Richmond are static, just about everywhere around the ground, but that comes from the absence of self belief, which in turn comes from the coaching. The more I think about it, whoever hired Hardwick for a further two years, when there was no need whatsoever to do so, should walk out of the club and keep going.

  17. John Butler says

    Earl, that’s a really good suggestion.

    If Richmond don’t fancy it, maybe that wing-man could sneak a game up forward for the Blues.

    Stainless, if expectations were too high one of the main culprits would be the coach.

  18. Is it possible Hampson stays for the quality lady he brings to club functions? Doesn’t even frighten a Port supporter with our ruck “division”.

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