Round 10 – Richmond v Essendon: Celebrate Dreamtime at the “G”


One of the great joys of being a member of the MCC is going to special sporting celebrations throughout the year, but the one that means more to me than anything is the Michael Long Walk to the “G” to celebrate the Dreamtime game.


I listened to the music and speeches at Fed.Square, and thoroughly enjoyed the positive atmosphere of every one there. Kids of all ages with the land rights flag painted on their cheeks, lots of proud young people.


This year I decided against the Long March because I wanted to have a look at the Essendon 2’s at the Punt Road Oval. I shouldn’t have bothered, I couldn’t see any player more than 50 metres from me. I don’t know how the players coped in the darkness. I left half way through the third quarter feeling guilty I didn’t do the Long Walk. Every now and again you make a mistake!


I got into the “G” just as they turned the lights out. The atmosphere inside the ground was almost spiritual with the lights out and the dancers performing in semi darkness between the two teams, this culture that has survived 60 thousand years should be listened to and learn’t from.


And then the lights came back on, the dancers left, the teams finished their warm ups, Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti called it right on the coin toss up and the game started.


And what a spectacle the “G” turned on. A mild night, with over 80,000 at the ground, makes you proud to be a member.


Essendon had three goals up before Richmond had touched the ball. That’s the sort of game I like watching, but like all good things it didn’t last. Richmond scored twice but kept the Dons in the game with some ridiculous goal kicking attempts.


I’ve got a theory. One of the great coaching strategies seems to be to take a player off after he kicks a goal. So if you miss you stay on more. Now what footballer really wants to come off, especially after kicking a goal?


But, back to the game. The Dons scored three more in the latter stages of the first quarter to lead at quarter time by eight points. I felt a little uneasy, Richmond seemed to be in charge but the Dons were still in front.


The second quarter was similar, Richmond were the better team all over the ground, the Dons were giving it their best, but their skills were down. Richmond continued to find ways of kicking points or out of bounds so at half time we were still up by four points despite Richmond having six more scoring shots.


After the big break, Richmond’s continual pressure on Essendon was forcing errors in kicking, hand balling and decision-making. But did Richmond make the most of this? The answer is no. All I can suggest is that The Tigers are a team with empathy. They hate to see other teams suffer too much. How is it possible that they were so superior, but only three points up at three quarter time?


I somehow thought Dons could pull off an amazing finish. Perhaps a goal after the siren to win by a point, to cap off Richmond’s last couple of matches, when they dragged defeat from the jaws of victory, convincing their supporters to buy one way airline tickets to North Korea.


But I was dreaming, despite Richmond’s goal kicking leaving a lot to be desired, they managed to win by fifteen points. They had twenty-six shots on goal and a lot of out of bounds, to the Dons sixteen.


I reckon the Dons were a good chance on Saturday night, but it wasn’t to be. I’m sure we will bounce back and win four or five more games for the season. And as for Richmond, I think they will finish a very credible ninth!




4-4 6-9 9-12 11-15 81


6-0 8-1 10-3 10-6 66




Caddy 2 Riewoldt 2 Edwards 2 Ellis, Martin, Lloyd, Elton, Nankervis.


Daniher 3 Goddard 2 Heppell, Zaharakis, Green, Stewart, Fantasia




Martin, Cotchin, Rance, Ellis, Edwards, Houli


Goddard, Zaharakis, McGrath, Parish, Heppell


Votes   Martin {Richmond}3 Edwards {Richmond} 2 Goddard {Essendon}1


Umpires Stevic Dalgleish Deboy.


85,656 at the MCG

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