Dogs too good for disappointing Tigers

By Joshua Barnstable

Easter Monday. The day on which we are supposed to work off all that chocolate we ate
the previous day. Not me. I have a bit of a sleep-in, waking up at 11.20, giving me a little
bit of time before the footy starts on Triple M at midday. I’m happy that the game will be
shown live on television from 2pm. Western Bulldogs v Richmond. The team without a loss
against the team without a win.
The first quarter begins and the Dogs are making plenty of mistakes, with the Tigers booting the first goal through Jack Riewoldt after he marks inside fifty. This is followed by a nice running goal to Matt White. Then Nathan Foley kicks the Tigers’ third goal, from fifty, giving Richmond a strong eighteen-point lead.

I started to wonder what is happening. The Dogs are butchering the ball and the Tigers are running the lines and pumping the ball inside their fifty. The Bulldogs fail to kick a goal in the first quarter; they go into the break with a disappointing sixteen-point deficit. Chris Newman and
Nathan Foley are among the Tigers’ best while Nathan Eagleton, Daniel Cross and Shaun Higgins are the pick of the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs come out strongly in the second quarter, kicking their first goal through Daniel Giansiracusa after he snaps from 25 metres out. This is followed by Shaun Higgins taking a strong mark and kicking a goal. You know things are going the Doggies’ way when Dale Morris marks inside fifty and kicks a goal; it is just the second goal of his career. All of a sudden the Dogs are in front. Brad Johnson stretches the lead when he snaps a goal on the run. Higgins and Will Minson kick goals to take the Dogs out to a 21-point lead.

White reduces the Dogs’ lead after taking an uncontested mark inside fifty and walking into an open goal.  The Dogs’ lead at half-time is fifteen points, a 31-point turnaround on quarter-time. Lindsay Gilbee is starting to have a real impact, while Nathan Brown and Newman have had fourteen disposals each for Richmond. Bulldogs youngster Liam Picken has been reported for striking Brett Deledio. Deledio leaves the field with blood streaming from his eyebrow.

The Tigers make a strong start in the third quarter, with Brown kicking the first goal to cut the margin to nine points, before Johnson crumbs a pack and snaps a beauty. This is followed by goals to Mitch Hahn, Jason Akermanis and Giansiracusa to blow the margin out to 33 points.

The Tigers bring it back though with goals to Shane Tuck and Mitch Morton. The Dogs  lead by 21 points at three-quarter-time. Gilbee has had 24 touches while Cross and Higgins have had 21 each. For the Tigers, Foley has had 24 touches while Tuck has continued his great performances with twenty possessions.

The Tigers are in with a sniff before Akermanis kicks a goal early in the last quarter. This is followed by a quick clearance and Akermanis kicks his third goal. The margin is beyond five goals but it gets worse for Richmond. Poor turnovers continued and Akermanis bobs up to kick his third goal of the quarter after taking a brilliant mark running back.

Gilbee follows with a long goal from outside fifty. The Tigers get one back through Matthew Richardson but the Dogs slam home the final goals of the game through Josh Hill, after a pick-up that would have seen his fingernails stuffed with grass, and Adam Cooney, who roosts one home from fifty, much to the disgust of Akermanis,  who was alone in the goalsquare and could have booted his fourth of the final quarter.

The Dogs cruise through this Easter Monday match to win by 47 points. Akermanis has starred with four goals, including three in the final quarter, while White has been the only multiple goalkicker for Richmond, with two. There have been many positives for the Dogs, including howing their ability to get back into a match after losing the first quarter and the performance of young Liam Picken in showing that his debut scalp of Brent Harvey was not a fluke. This time he’s reduced Brett Deledio to minimal impact.

I’ve enjoyed this contest. I like the Doggies. I love watching them play, because you never know what is going to happen next but you know they will keep trying.

Richmond really need to start getting solid performances from players like Richard Tambling, Shane Edwards, Jay Schulz, Luke McGuane, Jake King and others. Once they do that, they will
be on their way to climbing to that ninth spot on the ladder.

Malarkey votes: Higgins (WB) 3, Gilbee (WB) 2, Akermanis (WB) 1.

Leave a Comment