Richmond – Missed it by that much

Richmond has a habit of making footy harder than it should be.  If they don’t beat Sydney on Saturday they won’t play finals.  It doesn’t get harder than that.  They won’t beat Sydney.


Richmond will miss the finals.


The Tigers, over the past seven rounds, are the second best performed team in the AFL.  In that time, only Sydney has been better.  The Swans are on top.  They can lose to Richmond and stay on top.


The match is meaningless, from Sydney’s point of view, but that doesn’t mean they will lose.


Richmond is currently eighth.  They will miss the finals on percentage to Adelaide or West Coast.  The Tigers could finish as low as tenth.  The year will be wasted.


Richmond’s last premiership was in 1980.  Since then, they have played in the finals four times.  Missing the finals is expected.  Just missing out by finishing ninth or tenth has become a bad habit.


In 1996, Richmond had to beat North Melbourne in the last round to make the eight.  A one-point deficit at three quarter time blew out to 32-points.  They finished ninth.


In 1998, Richmond needed to beat Melbourne in the last round to play finals.  The 19-point half time margin blew out to 76-points.  The Tigers finished ninth.


Richmond needed to thrash Carlton in 2000’s last round to reach September.  They lost by 73-points.  And finished ninth.


They finished 12th in 2005, just a game and a half outside the eight.  In 2006 they finished ninth, two games and huge percentage behind the Western Bulldogs.


The Tigers were ninth again in 2008, just two points behind Collingwood.


So close for Richmond, so many times over so many years.  It was better they missed out.  They’ve been flaky in and out of September since their last premiership.  Last year was no different.


Winning 15 games and finishing fifth was a charade.  Plenty of people were disappointed but no one was surprised when they were overrun by Carlton in the elimination final.


That loss left scars.


This year, no one was surprised when the Tigers slumped to 16th after round 14 on the back of four consecutive losses to Essendon (50-points), North (28), Fremantle (20) and Sydney (11).


In Richmond’s favour, those four losses were against teams that will play finals.  Aside from Essendon, the Tigers weren’t blown out but they had a 3-11 record.


They haven’t lost since, with seven consecutive wins for the first time since 1995.  Notable victories include Port Adelaide (20), West Coast (17), Essendon (18) and Adelaide (10).


The Tigers are in form.  Next up is Sydney at Homebush.  That will test their form.


If Richmond wins, they will surprise everyone.  Victory will earn an away elimination final against Port Adelaide or Fremantle.


When Richmond loses to Sydney, they won’t surprise anyone…




About Matt Watson

My name is Matt Watson, avid AFL, cricket and boxing fan. Since 2005 I’ve been employed as a journalist, but I’ve been writing about sport for more than a decade. In that time I’ve interviewed legends of sport and the unsung heroes who so often don’t command the headlines. The Ramble, as you will find among the pages of this website, is an exhaustive, unbiased, non-commercial analysis of sport and life. I believe there is always more to the story. If you love sport like I do, you will love the Ramble…


  1. Callum O'Connor says

    I was most surprised.

  2. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Richmond are a interesting story in that with , Graeme Richmond in control and
    Tom Hafey as coach they were a super power then the bizarre decision to sack t shirt ,
    Tommy they jagged a flag under. Tony Jewell but then proceeded to go thru coaches quicker than , Liz Taylor thru husbands and it had proceeded to go down hill ever since even living in sa I no more delusional tiger supporters than any other club who hero worship mediocrity and the club seems to readily accept it.It is bizarre the simple fact is they have had another amazing run injury wise but even if the swans take it easy and they sneak in with there list they are still a mile away from a proper shot at the holy grail . M Rucci made the point that the crows seem to becoming the new , Richmond in accepting being average in this case he is spot on

  3. The tigers are proabbly more deserving than the Crows of a finals spot. I think West Coast may make it. An interesting side note is that Since Jake King did the video with young Nate who is seriously ill the Tigers have not lost a game. An Interetsing weekend ahead.

  4. Irrespective of whether Richmond makes it or not, the lesson from this season is that you have to “win ugly” when your form is down and players are injured. In retrospect, the early losses to the Bulldogs and Melbourne are, frankly, unforgiveable when you see now what this team is capable of.

  5. Agree with the last comment. Tigers will only win the respect they seek from sustained finals appearances, preferably in consecutive years!

    Anyone who does not believe that Richmond is not a potential power of the competition is deluding his/herself.

  6. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Hardman yes they are a potential power of the comp with a lot of things to improve for that to happen including the list

  7. I hope Richmond makes the finals.
    Giving up a 35-point half time lead to North was also unforgivable.
    They should now be jostling for fifth or sixth spot…

  8. Troy Hancox says

    Tigers will be a force.
    Their darkest years are behind them.
    I have been a Richmond member for over 30 years. Through thick & thin.
    Rulebook, your comment regarding excepting mediocracy is NOT true.

    I don’t know anyone who thinks that way. Sure, they have finished 9th (too many times) 5 times. Sure they have not played to the level us supporters would have liked. But there is a word call fanatics. Thats what us Tigers supporters, members, fans, followers are. We are loyal.

    Tigers to win. Sydney want a “bruise free game” this arvo.
    We are playing a GF this arvo. Today will be our acid test of where our club is at.

    NB. Just a totally biased Tiger opinion.
    Love ya work Malcolm “Rulebook” Ashwood

  9. Skip of Skipton says

    You were channelling the Curse from the Gabba when you wrote this I suspect.

  10. Skip of Skipton says

    Go Tigers!!! you beautys!

  11. Skip of Skipton says

    1975 was the last time Richmond made consecutive finals series. “Rhinestone Cowboy” was the no.1 song at that time, I was six and went to the elimination final against Collingwood. My first time at Waverley.

  12. Geez Matt, you know how to put a mock on a side. Thanks for nothing.

  13. troy hancox says

    How sweet it is!
    9 straight. Confidence is everything! GO YOU TIGERS!

  14. Like I said – win ugly.

    I went to all those last round matches where we needed to beat top

  15. Jamie Mason says

    .. Reading this on Sunday .. Pissing myself with laughter… GO TIGES

  16. As I was saying…

    Where we needed to beat top sides to make the 8. Every time, the old Richmond flakiness would emerge and we missed out.

    Yesterday was hardly a polished performance. Sydney only decided to play after the score blew out to 33-0, and with several key players missing they still nearly pulled off a win. But you can only beat who’s out there and, when the game became a typical Bloods wrestling match, we somehow managed to hold on.

    Biggest tributes need to go to our defence, which has been so long and heavily criticised for being suspect under pressure. Finals pressure is probably a step up from yesterday’s, but not a big step. Richmond was under siege in the second half and conceded less than 10 goals – again. Dance, Chaplin, Grimes, Houli, Newman, Batchelor – take a bow.

  17. Matt Watson says

    Okay okay…
    I got it wrong.
    Even though Sydney dropped Pike, Franklin and 20 other stars.
    Didn’t Kevin Bartlett predict a North/Richmond grand final on Marngrook a few weeks ago?
    I should’ve paid attention.

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