Round 15 – Geelong v Richmond: Will Jack Henry become the new folk hero?


In American folk-lore John Henry was a ‘Steel driving man’ who spent his days drilling holes for the building of a railway. From what we saw on Saturday will our Jack Henry rewrite the books in Australian folk-lore?


I might add that our John ‘Jack’ Henry has a brother (Oliver) playing for the dark-side who twice this year has been the folk hero for his team from Carringbush.


It has become a habit for the Henrys with Jack’s great mark in the dying stages against our nemesis late on Saturday to win a thriller for the Pivotonians.


Unfortunately much of the hype from the game has been the Tom Stewart incident and not enough about the effort of the boys from Corio.


The game was played in four halves if that is possible,  The Cats controlled the game for a quarter and a half.  Richmond then did ditto.  The last quarter was a shootout.


Making my notes I wrote early in the last quarter ‘2020 revisited?’ as the Tigers had taken all before them since late in the second quarter.


Geelong had played pretty good footy up until then and had created a 35 point buffer. Stewart had been superb in the back half  while the old reliables in Cameron, Duncan and Cam Guthrie were causing havoc around the ball.


For us the big tick had to be the work of former Tiger Tyson Stengle who is growing in stature with every game. His hard work (shades of Eddie Betts) was influential.


My worries started when Dustin Martin our real nemesis kicked a super goal, as only he can, from the boundary in a clutch of three for his team.  Hello, hello says I hear they come!  They stormed further ahead and for a moment I thought “am I at the Gabba circa 2020?”


In a period of 35 minutes they added  7 goals to our one.  Thankfully Zach Tuohy kicked a boomer to keep us within striking distance.  When they get the ball rolling the Richmond team are fleet of foot and made the Pivots look pedestrian in response.


We are done I thought!   We don’t normally fight back when the game has gone against us.

Surprise, surprise. Stengle and Brad Close (very much underrated) took the bit between their teeth and played major roles in the resurrection. The very dejected Tom Stewart was also superb, as he had been for most of the day, to cut of supply.

 A sign of the times for us?


 Normally it is the Sellwoods, Dangerfields, Hawkins and Duncans (thanks Gary Ayres!) who get us out of trouble.


Great to see the youngsters take the bit between the teeth.


Maurice Rioli marked and goaled for Richmond to put them back in front with five minutes to go but then came a moment for Australian folk-lore when John – Jack Henry coming in from the side took a superb mark and goaled to put us back in front. A ‘steel driving mark’ if ever I saw one.


It was a great finish to what was a great game before a record Geelong v Richmond crowd of 59,335.  It surprised me when I was told this but n the heyday of Richmond v Gary Ablett Senior at the G the Tigers stayed away in numbers.


MCC officials estimate before game was 49,000


GEELONG           5.2      8.5     9.8      13.11 (89)
2.0      5.3    10.7     13.8 (86)


Stengle 3, Cameron 3, Henry 2, Blicavs, Miers, Smith, Tuohy, Close
Richmond: Bolton 3, Lynch 3, M.Rioli 2, Baker, Martin, Edwards, Ralphsmith, Clarke


Stengle, Cameron, Stewart, Duncan, Guthrie, Atkins
Richmond: Baker, Bolton, Vlastuin, Lynch, Pickett, McIntosh


Prestia (concussion)


Gary Rohan (illness) replaced in selected side by Zach Guthrie
Richmond: Ivan Soldo replaced in selected side by Hugo Ralphsmith


 Cooper Stephens
Richmond: Ivan Soldo (replaced Prestia in the first quarter)


Malarkey Medal:

3          Tom Stewart    (Geel)   (interesting to see if he does get votes for Brownlow?)

2          Shai Bolton(Rich)    (get on him for the Brownlow)

1           J.Cameron       (Geel)


More from Bob Utber can be read Here.



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About Bob Utber

At 84 years of age Citrus Bob is doing what he has always done since growing up on a small farm at Lang Lang. Talking, watching and writing sport and in recent years writing books. He lives in Mildura with his very considerate wife (Jenny) and a groodle named 'Chloe on Flinders' and can be found at Deakin 27 every day.


  1. Hello Citrus. Took my teenage boys to Melbourne for the weekend and caught the Hawks and the Dogs Friday night which was fine but we left early! Saturday and to the G for surely the match of the season thus far. Pleased to see Glenelg Tigers alumnus Brad Close doing well. And the second act for Stengle is unfolding very nicely! The last quarter especially was the finest footy theatre. I quite like a twilight fixture although not for the grand final!

  2. CITRUS BOB says

    Ah yes, Michael it certainly was football theatre at its best in the last term! Even started barracking from the press box which is a no-no!

    Close has been one of my favourites for a while and gives the forward line that desperation it needs. Great work by the Cats to restore people’s faith in Tyson Stengle. Eddie has played a big part there
    Wish I had known you were in town as was there doing exactly what you were doing. Perhaps the Knackers could run a calendar where they can catch up with or avoid other knackers?
    There were quite a few people who I would have liked you and the boys to meet.
    Great to hear from you.

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