Round 15 – Richmond v Carlton: Tigers win in unconvincing fashion at the G

It was the clash of two old rivals at the G on Friday night. It was an intriguing game between the Tigers and the Blues, as both sides had different agendas when it comes to this game. The Tigers were looking to continue winning, and with the Pies losing to the Power the Tigers had a chance to go to 5th on the AFL ladder. The Blues were looking to continue their improvement as a team, having come off a stretch of reasonably good performances in the last few weeks.

The Blues were competitive throughout most of the match, in the end the Tigers just had a bit more class by foot to get over the line and they did so by 30 points. In what must be said was done in very unconvincing fashion. With this win, the Tigers moved to 5th spot on the AFL ladder and further consolidated their finals position.

As the first quarter began both sides knew they had to get off to a good start. It was the Tigers who, in the first minute, got the perfect start with the opening goal. They were then able to keep the ball in their half in the early stage of the quarter; this was through their pressure on the man with the ball. The Tigers looked good early. The Blues, like previous weeks, were hanging around and slowly getting into the game. Both defences were on top as neither side could break the game open.When the Blues did start to get on top, they started to pepper the goals but just couldn’t convert. It was a tight and low scoring contest as when there were opportunities for both sides to get goals, both sides missed. The only exciting highlight in the quarter was the massive goal from Levi Casboult that went at least 70 metres. It was the Blues first goal and bought the margin back to four points after the Tigers got a mini break. So as the quarter time siren went, the low scoring quarter came to a close and it was the Tigers up by four points, 2.2 to 1.4. No side was able to take their chances when they had the run of play in the first. There was bit of niggle in the first quarter, which shows that both sides were up for the contest.

As the second quarter began, again both sides were looking to get the early advantage, and no side was able to get on top early. Like the first quarter it was a very tight contest and both sides were missing shots at goal. In a reasonably dull second quarter there weren’t many highlights as it was a very defensive game. With both defences being on top and resisting forward charge, the game was being played in the middle of the ground. A rare highlight was a coast to coast play from the Tigers, which ended up in a goal to Shane Edwards. Goals were hard to come by in this quarter as the Blues were only able to get one and the Tigers got two. As the half time siren went in a game being dominated by the defences, it was the Tigers up by 10, 4.5 to 2.7. Both sides had their chances in the first half to get on top, but were unable to take the opportunities.

The third quarter began with the Tigers up by 10. The first goal was crucial, in this low scoring game. Not long into the quarter it was the Tigers who were able to get that opening goal and get a bit of a break, with the margin being 17. The Tigers had lifted and were able to get on a bit of a run and get five unanswered goals to blow the margin out to 35 points. It was all the Tigers at this stage of the game and they were full of running and all over the Blues. After that run of five Tigers goals, the Blues lifted a little and went into three quarter time with a bit of momentum. As they were able to get a couple of goals back late in the 3rd term, to give a bit of hope to the Blues, the margin became 24 points, which was doable but it seemed unlikely. So as the siren went it was the Tigers by 23 points and no way had the game in the bag, it was 8.7 to 4.9. The Blues did have the running in the last 5 to 10 minutes of that quarter and were still in the game.

So the last quarter began and the first goal was critical in the outcome of the game. If the Blues were able to get it, the game was on; if the Tigers got it, the game was over. It was the Blues with the first opportunity but they were unable to convert. Through another turnover it was the Tigers with that important first goal of the quarter and the game looked all but over. The margin had got out to 29 points and in a low scoring game that looked like too much for the Blues and it was as if the sting had well and truly gone out of the game.The game had turned into a circle work drill as it was going end to end. The sides traded a couple of late junk time goals and the margin was an even five goals. As the siren went it was the Tigers who won by 30 points, in what must be said in unconvincing fashion.

So the Tigers had won scrappy again, but a win’s a win and they move on to next week 5th on the ladder and further consolidate their finals aspirations. The Tigers seemed to be in a lull at the moment, but they were banking wins which is the main thing at this stage of the season. The Blues, for most of the game, were competitive like they had been since John Barker had taken over. It was just that period of the game in the third quarter that was the difference in the two sides. They are definitely improving and Blues fans should be proud of their competitiveness and efforts.

About Nick Weidmann

Former Honours student in Journalism at the University of Tasmania and passionate Essendon supporter

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