Round 14 – Richmond v Carlton: No verdict was returned


I scan the stairs outside of Gate 6 for the afternoon’s company.


I see Alice first. She’s significantly taller than Bronte and therefore, easily spotted.


We struggle through the crowd to our seats. Alice, blue through and through, is happy to find we’re surrounded by Carlton fans. Bronte, who supports the correct football team, shares my displeasure.


It takes a while for our fellow barrackers to find their seats. It takes a while for them to realise Sunday brunch is over. It takes a while for them to actually, err, barrack.


And it takes a while for Richmond to get off the bus.


The early stages subdue my enthusiasm.


Here we are, at it again, threatening to take the gloss off a weekend that has so far featured a memorable lunch with Phil Carman and a win for the Brunswick HC that puts us 9-0 for the first time in our 94-year history. Borrie, the club historian, warns us that this is probably just the first “recorded” time.


The Tigers concede the first two and look sluggish. Our goal kicking is deplorable. Hopes of a stress-free afternoon of watching Carlton return to their box are dashed early. We trail at the first change.


Bronte and I have agreed that being in a rebuild, free of expectation, is just better for the heart.


Alice has shown a great deal of maternal care for the younger half of Carlton’s team – “He’s just so young, please don’t hurt him”.


If the first quarter is slow, the second quarter is something else. When my time is done, I’ll be asking for an extra half-hour to make up for the fact I had to sit through it.


In fact, I’ll add it to the list. I’m probably owed at least an extra week because of my footballing loyalties.


We amass 2.8 for the quarter. Carlton muster a single point. Time is spent with half an eye on the footy while the jury gets on with solving bigger issues, including but not limited to:


  • Beer vs vodka?

Verdict – vodka for alcohol content, beer if you’re only having one.


  • Sauce vs vinegar on half-time chips?

Verdict – vinegar, two votes to one.


  • How many dates should you go on before the boy/girl sees the inside of your bedroom?

Verdict – umpire’s call.


  • What karaoke song are you going to sing at next Friday’s work function?

Verdict – ‘American Pie’ (Jack), ‘Mr Brightside’ (Alice), ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ (Bronte).


  • Is the person wearing a box costume on behalf of the National Storage company male or female?

Verdict – how can he see out of the costume? (He isn’t missing anything).


  • Should Bronte message her Tinder match, sat six rows behind us?

Verdict – gee whiz, the score review system really does need an overhaul.


Half-time saves us from finally finding the meaning of life.


We divide and conquer the bar, Red Rooster, and the aptly named ‘Food Store’. Poland is next.


The third quarter begins. They may as well have just skipped it altogether. Two goals a piece leaves us still narrowly ahead going into the last.


It belongs to Dusty, along with Bronte’s heart.


The highlight is no doubt when he leaves two Carlton players for dead on the half-forward flank, eventually allowing Riewoldt to goal.


His efforts, are accompanied by the usual heroics from Rance and support roles from Lambert, Cotchin, Grigg, Ellis, Lloyd and Menadue, the last of whom I thought stepped up a notch.


Cripps has been wonderful for Carlton, prompting one rather boisterous barracker to loudly demand that the umpires “give him the three votes now so we can all bugger of”.


The siren is a relief, but we really should’ve won this one by a much, much bigger margin.


Our goal kicking and our entry into forward 50 are both still putrid. I’m worried, especially with Port Adelaide looming next Saturday. But then, we have won three of our last four…


After four quarters, several chips, a pie, two burgers, two beers, a cider and a great deal of pondering, the jury has one final decision to make…

  • Are Richmond actually any good?

Verdict: decision pending.


About Jack Banister

Journalism student @ Melbourne Uni, Brunswick Hockey Club Men's Coach, tortured Tigers fan.


  1. Joe De Petro says

    Firstly, I’m jealous of the American Pie reference, Jack, good one. Secondly, I agree, we still don’t know if the Tiges are any good. We will find out soon enough though.

  2. Peter Warrington says

    For a little while there, “nothing was delivered…”

    I thought Menadue was just about our best. Very important linker. couldn’t believe some of the guys listed in our “best” ahead of him.

    The goalkicking! Get disco down there now.

    Dan Butler. What do you have to do to be dropped etc etc. McINtosh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Anyway, 4 points

    And… is it just me, but if we had dished up the tame, lame, risk-free possession rubbish that Carlton had, wouldn’t we – and Hardwick – have been pummelled, told that you can’t win a flag playing like that etc etc? One rule for some..

    However in Cripps, Silvagni and Curnow, they have a solid talent base. Cripps was superb.

    (We a big chance this weekend because we are no chance. On paper. A trip away and a fortress mentality might be what we need. As long as we kick 18.11 not 11.18.)

  3. John Butler says

    It’s just you, PW.

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