Round 1 – Richmond v Carlton: And we’re away

What A Way to Start the AFL Season

Richmond v Carlton

Thursday 24 March, 7.20pm



Trevor Kannegiesser


AFL fans starved of football over a long off season could not have asked for more. The opening game of the 2016 AFL season between Richmond and Carlton was an enthralling contest. AFL football is a big part of the entertainment industry in this country, and it delivered a great first up performance.

In the end the Tigers did just enough to escape with a 9 point win over a much improved Carlton side. Although they won the game Richmond would have been disappointed with their performance, for long periods of the game the Blues looked the better side. Right from the start of the match this looked a different Carlton side. Their ball movement was slick and precise, their forward line was unpredictable and they played with real speed and dare. Sound familiar?

There was a lot of Hawthorn in the way the Blues played tonight and with all Carlton’s new recruits this year perhaps their most important will be Brendan Bolton. It was a great advertisement for the Hawthorn system and Alistair Clarkson I think all the assistant coaches will have to get their resumes ready because they are all going to be in high demand in years to come. The Blues still have plenty of holes in their list, and if you put the two teams from tonight side by side the Tigers have a real advantage in class and experience, which makes the performance of Brendan Bolton and the Carlton team even more impressive.

It all started according to plan for the Tigers, kicking the first two goals of the game but you could sense early on that this wasn’t going to be the easy Richmond win like some people predicted. And by the end of the first quarter with the Blues in front by three points the Tigers knew they were in a fight. The second quarter was a real arm wrestle, with Carlton having the best of the first half of the quarter, only for Richmond to fight back in the second half and take a slender lead into half time.

The Carlton midfielders really had the better of their Richmond opponents in the first half with captain Marc Murphy, Bryce Gibbs and young midfield brute Patrick Cripps all having very good first halves. For the Tigers superstar full back Alex Rance was an imposing figure in the Tigers backline and Jack Riewoldt and Dustin Martin looked dangerous up forward.

It looked like Richmond might blow the game open in the early stages of the third quarter and you couldn’t help but think that the Blues had run their race and the Tigers would come away with an easy win. But the momentum of the game swung again after a free kick to Jack Riewoldt was paid right in front of goal only for young first gamer Daniel Rioli to play on and dribble a kick into the goal post for a behind. After that the Blues kicked four answered goals and went into three quarter time with the lead and a big upset looked on the cards.

But to Richmond’s credit they dug deep in the last quarter and on the back of a couple of freakish goals from small forward Sam Lloyd, came away with a hard fought win. The Blues had a couple of chances to steal the game, after ice man Andrejs Everitt slotted a late goal from 50 meters out but a gallant Carlton team simply ran out of time.

For a Richmond team with high expectations this year there is much work to do, apart from Kane Lambert who had a great second half and probably let the Tigers to victory the Richmond midfield was disappointing captain Trent Cotchin struggled and Dustin Martin drifted in and out of the game. For Richmond to take the next step this year they need greater output from their next tier of midfielders players like Anthony Miles, Brandon Ellis, Jacob Townsend and Corey Ellis.  Another concern for the Tigers will be the output of their tall forwards and ruckmen, Shaun Hampson and Ben Griffiths really struggled to get into the game and although Ty Vickery finished with three goals he only took four marks and had six kicks and was unsighted for large parts of the game.

Carlton will go into next week full of confidence and belief. Young midfield bull Patrick Cripps is an incredible young player who gets better every week. His meteoric rise to the top echelon of AFL midfielders will help take the pressure off Marc Murphy and Bryce Gibbs, who have been carrying the Carlton midfield for many years. Number one pick in last year’s draft Jacob Weitering looks all class and will have Blues fans very excited.

So the wait is finally over: AFL footy is back and what a great way to start the 2016 season.



RICHMOND     4.1     7.2     10.6     14.8   (92)

CARLTON         4.4     5.7     11.9     12.11 (83)


RICHMOND: Vickery 3, Menadue 2, Riewoldt 2, Lloyd 2, Lambert, Edwards, Vlastuin, C.Ellis, Miles

CARLTON: Wright 3, Everitt 2, Lamb, Gibbs, Kreuzer, Murphy, Cripps, Phillips, Walker


RICHMOND: Rance, Lambert, Riewoldt, Menadue, Martin

CARLTON: Murphy, Cripps, Gibbs ,Docherty, Simpson

UMPIRES Stevic, Fleer, Mitchell     CROWD: 75,706

VOTES: Murphy (Carl) 3, Cripps (Carl) 2, Rance (Rich) 1.


  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    A very good summary Trevor.

    If this game is any indication of the season to come, I’m regretting having Carlton so low in my Gigs Ladder Comp, but I’m pretty happy about leaving Richmond out of the 8. Round 1 isn’t always a good guide though.

    Carlton’s effort has me thinking about the gulf in footy smarts between the Clarkson/Bolton way and the Malthouse way. Put another way, did Collingwood pinch 2010 in spite of his methods?

  2. Griffiths was good early showing the way to deliver the ball into the F50, unlike the bombers like Houli.

    Good win given how badly many played and how much “up” Carlton had. BUt continuing signs of poor form and structure that started around late July last season (eg the Giants game that we similarly stole in the last 5 minutes.)

    Still, any win with Steve Morris in the team is to be savoured. It defies the laws of physics.

  3. Oh, and J Riewoldt playing around stoppages in the D50 in the last 10 minutes showing why he is the spiritual leader of this team. Most under-rated player in the comp for mine.

  4. PW if Carlton had one effective forward they win by 4. The Tigers will not make the 8

  5. Bubbles the bagger says

    Holy Thursday in the Garden of Gethsemane , oops no it’s the G
    Bolton plays Jesus, Murphy, Gibbs, Kreuzer the 3 disciples who fall asleep ( last Quarter)
    Casboult missed for the 3rd time as the Cock Crowed
    God sent Forth Cripps and Weitering to Bolton aka Jesus to convince him that his journey & purpose
    will not be in vain
    Then Simon White turns up as Judas and the whole thing goes sour

    A little light in the tunnel. Of what will be a journey back of biblical proportions
    Enough to make me walk back into the temple and and rekindle my love affair with my mob
    Rest in Anger Malthouse!!!!

  6. Paul Buxton says

    Not a shadow of doubt Caaarrrrrlllllton would have won this if Troy Chaplin had been there.

  7. Stainless says

    There seems to be this notion out there that Carlton was fielding a team of babies, as exemplified in your comment on Richmond’s supposed edge in “class and experience”. I’ll leave others to comment about class, but Carlton actually fielded a team that averaged 83 games experience to Richmond’s 72. The eight changes to our team from last year’s Elimination Final lineup represented the net loss of around 1000 games of experience. Pleasingly, the contributions from Lambert, Lloyd, Menadue, C. Ellis and Miles (combined experience of less than 100 games) were not only significant, they came at crucial times in the match.

    But apparently Richmond’s list lacks depth.

  8. It’s all about hope Bubbles.

  9. Peter Fuller says

    Channelling John Cleese:
    It’s not the despair, Laura, I can take the despair. It’s the hope I can’t stand.

  10. crankypete says

    Stainless, i also thought Grimes and Astbury had some excellent moments.But you are pushing against the word of G Healy here. and it’s possible that footy commentators are as susceptible to groupthink as their Canberra cousins. hopefully not; I suspect footy commentators and journalists are smarter than those sent to the Press Gallery.

    PS 3 days in and we’re still on top!

Leave a Comment