Round 14 – Richmond v Carlton: Return to normalcy

 

In a weekend marked by high drama and some unexpected results, Richmond v Carlton provided a return to normalcy. The Tigers emerged as expected with a comfortable victory, and had the match in their control for most of the proceedings.

 

When I suggested just prior to ¾ time that they could don Joffa’s gold jacket and erect the game over banner, my Tiger-supporting companions were dismissive, having been burnt too many times in the recent past by Richmond’s penchant for finding novel ways to lose. For them a margin which oscillated between 13 and 19 points seemed insufficiently secure. However on a day of modest scoring, after the yellow and black had repulsed the Blues’ early third quarter rally, it was clear that the game was done and dustyed. The final quarter played out inevitably with Richmond extending their modest lead to win decisively.

 

Carlton had begun the match in spirited fashion and contrived a fortuitous quarter time lead. Two of the goals were from (legitimate) free kicks, Kreuzer managed an opportunistic kick off the ground through the big opening and Casboult was permitted a mark after his blatant push in the back of his Tiger opponent. Castagna scored Richmond’s opening two goals, one from a free and the other from a pin-point pass by Martin, who was already threatening a repeat of his dominant performance at the season opener. Ellis goaled just before the break to reduce the margin to four points. That this lead was illusory was reflected in the 19/9 inside 50 count to Richmond.

 

And so it proved. Within three minutes of the new term, Riewoldt found himself on the end of a slick movement from deep in defence. This was only the 3rd lead change for the match, but it was to be the final one. The quarter was notable for the Tigers profligacy as the only other major came almost 20 minutes later, when Riewoldt again was on the receiving end of a well-weighted pass, this time from Lloyd. The half-time siren came as a relief from the dross of a quarter in which Richmond had managed just two goals seven behinds, while the Blues could register only a solitary behind.

 

Carlton attempted a challenge early in the third quarter, with Kreuzer capitalising on a fumble by McIntosh to score the opening goal. Cripps missed an opportunity with his snap following good lead-up work by Petrevski-Seton and Silvagni. Bolton collected Plowman’s desperate spoil for a simple goal to restore Richmond’s advantage. Behinds at either behind post, and hand-balled to Riewoldt who had presented unmarked in the goal square; then Casboult marked a clever square pass from Silvagni, to give the Blues a single point “win” for the quarter, and create an illusion that the game might be in the balance.

 

Gibbs and Wright scored behinds from set shots as the final quarter began, which was effectively Carlton’s last opportunity. Martin used his brilliant balance to elude tackles, hand-pass to Prestia, who delivered a bullet pass to Butler for the steadying goal. When Riewoldt marked Cotchin’s precise pass – following a centre circle free – and goaled, he stretched the lead to almost four goals. Charlie Curnow marked and goaled, but Butler promptly replied following another Richmond move the length of the ground. The remaining 15 minutes saw a goal at either end of the ground, with Cripps capping his fine game with a mark and straight kick, then Nankervis benefiting from a free for holding (Kreuzer) in the goal square. True to their form for the day, the Tigers contrived to add an additional four behinds during this period to achieve their greatest margin for the day. I had rather mischievously suggested to my companions early in the match that the Richmond tactic was evidently to delay establishing a five goal margin, until it was too late for them to be reeled in.

 

The Tigers decisively exorcised some of the demons from recent performances with a clear victory, characterised by a sustained four quarter effort. Martin and Cotchin were excellent, Rance led the defence with his characteristic effectiveness, and Riewoldt enjoyed a day when the ball was delivered with precision, and seemed able to find space without much difficulty. After quarter time, the Tiger defence managed to quell most Carlton forward thrusts with better organisation. They were also more convincing going forward due to their better use of the ball.

 

Some minor consolation for Carlton was the fact that the Blues plugged away on a day when the tide was running against them for most of the match. Kreuzer, Cripps and Simpson figured prominently, and Docherty and Gibbs maintained their good run of form.

 

Comments

  1. John Butler says:

    “done and dustyed”. Nice work Peter. :)

    Yep, pretty run of the mill, that game. But I’m loving Kreuzer’s work this season.

    Some of the youngsters are starting to look a bit tuckered out. Might be a long last nine rounds.

    Cheers

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