Round 10 – Richmond v Brisbane: Vitas Gerulaitis and The Reality of Richmond



I got ahead of myself.


I imagined not just a hoodoo breaking win but a match report just as august. A victory for Brisbane and for my feeble attempts at writing. A match report that would depict an historic win for Brisbane as a glimmer of hope on the horizon, metaphorically representing the surety that all would one day be well again in these wretched times.


Richmond haven’t so much been a bogey team since we last beat them in 2009, they’ve just been better than us, much, much better than us. Even when we are good, they’ve been better. Last night makes it fifteen times in a row. In other words – Dayne Zorko has never beaten Richmond. I had so many clever ideas for this match report after we won. I was going to reference Vitas Gerulaitis’s famous line when he eventually got the chocolates against Bjorn Borg in the early eighties – “nobody beats Brisbane fifteen times in a row!” Only, they did.


Yesterday was day one of another type of new normal for all of us in Victoria. A return to remote learning, even for country Victorians like the Reid family. Or as it has been dubbed RL 2.0 (always pronounced with an “Oh” at the end rather than a “zero” for some reason). We are blithely trying to focus on the positives of pandemic life. Admittedly, it’s less a case of glass half full and more getting out the magnifying glass and peering into the cup to earnestly look for liquid droplets, vapour, what was a once a watermark – anything really. One of my daughter’s favourite childhood picture books was the classic ‘Madeleine.’ Like Ludwig Benelman’s eponymous heroine, we are trying to ‘smile at the good’ rather than be caught ‘frowning at the bad.’ So, the narrative this week has been – more games of Uno, less ironing, more time for drawing picture and of course, enjoying the winning ways of our mighty Lions.


Things started well. For the first ten minutes the Lions seemed to have learnt some valuable lessons from the way Richmond sorted us out in the Qualifying Final of 2019. Charlie was finding more space that he was allowed last time and an early goal to both he and Eric Hipwood, as well as an imperious mark at true Centre Half Forward to Cam Rayner suggested that there was going to be a lot of good to “smile at.” Lachie was racking up possessions in the middle like a test opener getting his eye in early; good signs all round. A win that would bring a legitimacy to the Lions’ premiership hopes for 2020. Richmond has been an unclimbable barrier for so long for Brisbane, this would be a talismanic win.


I don’t often feel like I have much in the way of suggestions when it comes to Harris Andrews in terms of his football. My career apexed in the Morwell Youth Club Under Twelves when I accidentally did a blind turn around an opponent I didn’t realise was there, in doing so dropping a ball and as I tripped over accidentally kicking it into space where our captain sharked it for a goal. I was the sort of player for whom the trophies “Coaches Award” or “Team Spirit” were first made – not that I even won those. But I did find myself yelling out “never leave your man as a defender” more than once tonight. Three times he left Tom Lynch to assist debutant Jack Payne in a marking contest against Rewioldt. Three times it resulted in a Richmond goal. Three times I yelled in vain. It is a sign of a rare bad night for our defensive champion when I can diagnose and analyse faults in his game. In an instant, the Tiges are in front.


Dispassionately, making even optimistically, the Lions actually make a pretty good fist of matching the Tigers in nearly all aspects of the game. The ‘football’ part of it shows why we have been a team to be reckoned with this year. We move the ball well around the ground and create opportunity after opportunity. It is just our goal kicking – again. Some of the misses are defendable; some are just howlers. Sam Skinner played on from the top of the goal square and shanked one; it really wasn’t ‘The Principal’s’ night after his poetic return to footy last week. Actually, it was just a couple of days ago, last round I meant. The condensing of the fixture has one as disorientated and displaced as Marty McFly about the where and who of what is going on. At least the where is quite consistently simple – Queensland!


There would be a sense of enjoyment to watching miss after miss after miss if I was a neutral spectator, but this is my team. The only thing that can be said is that our final score line of 4.17 makes the 8.17 we kicked against Richmond in the final last year look more respectable. It really contrasts with the bemused ease with which Richmond is able to find goals for themselves. There is one point where Marlion Pickett buggers up his pass to Dusty and it sails through for a major instead.


But let’s not dwell. Unlike Bjorn Borg, Richmond won’t retire, we have to finally beat them one day. I think it was Confucis or Socrates, or maybe Jack Dyer who said that ‘every loss just brings you closer to the next win.’ And if we see them again this year, it can only be in a final.


Other positives from last night, hmmm. Our next-door neighbours bought us their left-over birthday cake (delivering it in a Covid friendly manner I do stress, a text message and then left on the porch). It was really good cake too, one of the rainbow ones from The Cheesecake Shop. My youngest daughter also drew a picture of Charlie Camerom using her new textas. Other positives? Let me think – oh, my new Apple fitness watch informed me I have closed all three of my activity rings for the third day in a row. It’s a great feeling for a man when his watch tells him that it is proud of him.





RICHMOND            3.3    8.5   9.6   12.10 (82)
BRISBANE             2.3    3.8   3.15   4.17 (41)


 Riewoldt 4, Lynch 3, Aarts 2, Higgins, Bolton, Pickett
Brisbane: McCarthy, Cameron, Hipwood, Zorko


 Martin, Bolton, Baker, Lynch, Short, Balta
Brisbane: Neale, Ah Chee, McInerney, Lyons, Zorko, My neighbour’s leftover birthday cake






Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


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About Shane Reid

Loving life as a husband, dad and teacher. I'm trying to develop enough skill as a writer so that one day Doc Wheildon's Newborough, Bernie Quinlan's Traralgon and Mick Conlon's 86 Eliminatiuon final goal will be considered contemporaneous with Twain's Mississippi, Hemingway's Cuba, Beethoven's 9th and Coltrane's Love Supreme.


  1. John Butler says

    Shane, thanks for reminding me of that classic Vitas line.

    And my complements to your daughter’s drawing skills. She beats my stick figures any day.

  2. Stainless says

    Ah Shane
    It’s cruel I know but if you want classic lines, Paul Kelly’s “learn to live off losers, ‘cos they make their mistakes twice” springs to mind.
    To be kinder, I feel as though Richmond has dodged a bullet the last two times we’ve played Brisbane. I general play you’ve more than matched us, but there’s still a lack of self-belief with the Lions. Years of cellar-dwelling will do that.
    A Bernie Quinlan or a Mickey Conlan around goals might help too!!

  3. Adam Muyt says

    Another top piece of writing Shane.
    I turned the screen off at halftime. Knew we were on song for a big bag of behinds. Lost to Geelong in the same way. Tried desperately to lose to Port this way but they wouldn’t cooperate. You don’t win premierships with a midget forward line.
    Regards to the artist – it hums.

  4. Shane Reid says

    John, thank you and to the Almanac for including the pic. She went to sleep after we kicked the first two goals and is still none the wiser about what happened after that!

    Stainless, absolutely. Richmond were definitely the better team but it may have helped if the Lions had kicked a few more goals. The Tiges still look like the team to beat this year. We could definitely do with a Bernie Quinlan 2.0 in the forward line, but which team wouldn’t mind that!

    Thanks Adam, you didn’t miss much. Left field thought, but there have been a few times where this has been trialled, I wondered the other night if it could have been worth throwing Harris Andrews forward.

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