Round 13 – Essendon v Richmond: Dreamtime at Darwin’s `G




Out of the darkness on Friday morning, I hear the voice of fellow Almanaker Glenn, “How will the Bombers go on Saturday Rod”?   I replied, “Not at all confident, considering the last ten times this event has taken place.”


Dreamtime games at the ‘G have been dismal for Tragic Don fans, but this game is at Darwin’s `G, could that make a difference? Essendon have chosen Indigenous player Irving Mosquito for his first game, he has great ball skills and is fast, could that make a difference?


Darwin’s ‘G is set amongst parklands within walking distance of Darwin CBD. Janet and I have wandered around these parks on quite a few occasions. You have to be careful though, there are signs under coconut palms warning you that falling coconuts can cause severe injury.


I used to wear my Essendon cap walking around Darwin and I reckon I met at least a couple of dozen relatives of Michael Long, and folk that had met Kevin Sheedy, it was great having a yarn with all of them.


Enough reminiscing though, the games on the tele. (mute) and I have ABC digital radio on and a stubby of Coopers. It’s hot and sweaty in Darwin 29c, (Melbourne 8c cold and very wet) but that doesn’t stop Richmond getting the first goal when Essendon messed up too many handballs. What’s new? Richmond kept peppering the goals, luckily for the Dons missing all the time.  A rare forward move from Essendon saw Mosquito marking about 40 out and he converted much to the delight of the Don players and me in my armchair.  At quarter time we were only four points down even though Richmond were dominating.


Second quarter and Richmond continue to dominate, luckily not on the scoreboard, until Mosquito grabs a loose ball, has a couple of bounces and slots a goal from about 40 out, fantastic footy. Within a couple of minutes the ball is rushed into the Dons forward line and Anthony  McDonald-Tipungwuti swoops and kicks another for the Dons……but no.  Dylan Grimes puts on this dramatic act and gets a totally undeserved free. Talk about pathetic staging, he should be up on a charge of impersonating an actor. So at half time Richmond are only up by 7 points even though they continue to dominate play.


The third quarter for Richmond is a continuation of the previous two, luckily for the Dons their goal kicking hasn’t improved and when Essendon get a couple of late goals we are only 15 points down at the lemon break. I like the way the teams all went into cool rooms at the breaks, probably saved their lives!!!


The last quarter shows why Richmond are a powerhouse in the AFL. They outplayed the Dons who continue to get themselves in trouble with over handballing. When they get it into the forward line quickly they have a chance, but by the time they kick it sideways and backwards and handball a dozen times it’s too late.  The umpires paid a ridiculous free kick against Bell Chambers in the last quarter and a goal to Richmond, which didn’t help the Essendon cause. The Dons managed a couple of late goals, one to McDonald-Tipungwuti which thrilled the happy crowd.


The final score had Richmond winning by 12 points, (12 more scoring shots), Richmond too good.


I really enjoyed the whole game, especially the opening Welcome Ceremony which was fantastic, and the shots of the happy crowd throughout the game, reminded me of the happy times we had in the Top End.



Richmond: 1.5  3.8  7.10  10.13  73

Essendon:  1.1  3.1  6.1    10.1   61


Goal kickers

Richmond:  Lynch 2  Riewoldt 2  Vlastiun, Rioli, Lambert, Martin, Bolton, Choi

Essendon: Mosquito 2 Stewart 2  McDonald-Tipungwati  2  Clarke, Merrett, Stringer, Snelling


Best Players 

Richmond:  Bolton, Pickett, Lambert, Martin

Essendon:    Parish, Merrett, Ridley, McGrath



Stevic, O’Gorman, Gavine



5,401 at Darwin’s ‘G’




Bolton (R) 3  Parish (E) 2  Martin (R) 1



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  1. Sorry Rod but I saw a different side of the “dramatic act” and “pathetic staging” as you describe it of Grimes. Instead what I saw was a pathetic effort and lazy effort by Stringer. There is no question when viewed at normal speed that he pushed Grimes in the back. The umpire saw it and paid the free. What Stringer should have done was try to take front position, he didn’t try to body Grimes, but instead hoped for an easy goal line receive and pushed his opponent probably hoping the ump wouldn’t see it. Stringer at another stage feigned indignation at Grimes who had made a valiant attempt to spoil or mark a ball coming into the 50, which M-Tipungwuti took a great mark, and Grimes managed to avoid the potential to really hurt him. Instead we got false bravado from Stringer, which could have resulted in the ball being turned over.
    So one shouldn’t try to blame the umps or your opponents for your team or players own inadequacies!

  2. Hello KNDole, Thanks for your comment, however not too many people across the media (The Age and ABC) seem to agree with you,and on watching it again, I haven’t changed my mind. I don’t blame the umpires for our loss as I think my summary clearly states, Richmond were too good on the night.

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