Round 12 – Richmond v West Coast: Bandwagons, ho!

This is not a bandwagon piece.

No, I haven’t written a report on the Tigers all year. Yes, I did write our season off after our Round 2 loss to the Bulldogs. No, I haven’t been to a match since our Round 4 loss to Melbourne. But this is not a bandwagon piece.

Yes, the Tigers are doing well all of a sudden and I’m much happier for that. It’s to be expected! Yes, I did write us off – quarter, match, season – when the Eagles kicked the first two of the game and just oozed dominance in Jack Darling, Chris Masten and Elliot Yeo (can that boy leap or what?). And Nic Naitanui is finally playing like the hype he has always looked. He actually managed to volley a goal whilst it was being transferred from hand to rushed behind. Oh well. Guess we won’t make finals. Fun while it lasted. Just to remind you, this is not a bandwagon piece.

But yes, my faith was rekindled in an inferno when Dusty Martin swung through a quick pair of goals. And when Ty Vickery plugged another to keep us within a goal (boos from the grudge-holding West Coast crowd came strong. Hardly surprising – even a parochial Fremantle home crowd voiced their displeasure against Vickery) I merely gave him his credit for resuscitating his career and becoming a crucial part of our line-up.
No, I didn’t do a quick runner to ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ when Dom Sheed, West Coast’s master of breaking half-arsed tackles, kicked a goal because Maric wasn’t standing on the bloody goal line. And I didn’t just flick back to the footy for interest’s sake in time to see Vickery bank his second. No. Such behaviour would be most unbecoming of a man who turned down an offer to see ‘Jurassic World’ to watch the Tigers.

Which is why, yes, I did my tribal chest thump when Dusty curved through a pearler. And I did nod sagely when Trent Cotchin flopped like a fish to win a free and put us in front. Good call and fair play. Suddenly, my sporadic faith was rewarded: the Tiges had snatched a half time lead.

No, I certainly didn’t check Facebook when Jamie Cripps slotted a very easy one in a paddock of space to start the second half. And I didn’t sulkily lambast Kennedy for being an overrated flat track bully when he slotted a pair, because I had faith in the Tigers to come back.

Yes, this faith was twinged when Brandon Ellis and Jack Riewoldt missed gettable gimmes. Apparently Dusty missed one by blazing away with Vickery open 30 out – didn’t see it, I was watching Tula choose her wedding dress. Well, be fair, the margin was five goals by that point. Even the staunchest of fans knows there’s no coming back from that sort of gap in the third quarter.

Yes, I’ll admit the Eagles were too good – more poised, more relentless, more efficient, more Naitanui. And I guarantee that I’ll be tuning in next Friday night to watch the Tigers take on Sydney at the SCG. We came away with the points and a finals berth last time we were up there: with that sort of precedent, I need no encouragement to get both feet on the bandwagon and cheer the boys on!

Unless, of course, I’m lured into temptation by the Steven Seagal double header on Go…

West Coast         4.3          7.6          12.8        14.6.90
Richmond           4.2         8.3         10.5       10.10.70
Best – (WC) Naitanui, Priddis, McGovern, Gaff, Masten, Yeo.
– (Rich) Ellis, Martin, Edwards, Rance, Grimes, Houli.
Goals – (WC) Kennedy 3, Darling 2, Naitanui 2, Cripps 2, LeCras 2, Sheed, Yeo.
– (Rich) Martin 3, Vickery 2, Riewoldt, Griffiths, Deledio, Cotchin, Miles.
Votes: 3- N. Naitanui (WC) 2- M. Priddis (WC) 1- J. McGovern (WC)

About Callum O'Connor

Here's to feelin' good all the time.

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