Round 17 – Richmond v Brisbane: Move along, nothing to see here


After the heady days following Richmond’s win over Port Adelaide two weeks ago, the sky was the limit and some media experts seriously considered Richmond’s premiership chances. But this being Richmond, disappointment was inevitable, and here at Eithad last weekend, I and every other Richmond supporter came back to earth with a thud.


To cope with the disappointment, I took the only sensible course of action available to me: I sulked and spent the week avoiding anything footy related. During my work days, I reverted to listening to online music streaming and my evenings have been spent catching up on an IQ full of recorded TV shows.


Feeling refreshed after my mini-break from footy, I ventured back to Eithad on Friday night to see Essendon give St Kilda a reality check, and I headed back early on Sunday afternoon to see Richmond play Brisbane, a team that cannot be taken lightly because they are capable of playing really well and do not give up easily – just ask Essendon.


For some idiotic reason known only to those deeply entrenched in AFL House, Richmond have to play a home game here at Etihad. The roof was open, thus negating the one benefit of being at Etihad: protection from the cold winter wind. And while I thought to bring a coat, scarf, beanie and gloves, I left my warm crochet knee rug at home, instead choosing to bring a half-eaten packet of Twisties to avoid the unpalatable food for sale at the ground.


I had hoped to see an energised Richmond, keen to atone for last week’s disaster, but the game was unremarkable with very little to distinguish one quarter from another. Unlike last weekend, the Tigers brought some effort to the game, but just enough to comfortably get the four points. And maybe this should be enough: get the four points and move on. Perhaps I expect too much from footy and perhaps we have been so spoiled this season with so many games with tight finishes and exciting momentum swings.


That the Tigers weren’t fully invested was evident in the number of seemingly easy kicks and handballs that were butchered under no pressure. In the first three quarters, the Tigers’ kicking for goal was woefully inaccurate, and when the Tigers reverted to the bad old days of kicking backwards, the Tiger supporters voiced their displeasure.


Nick Robertson’s head butt on Trent Cotchin in the first quarter drew half-hearted boos from the sparse crowd for the remainder of the game, and Robertson’s subsequent pestering of Dustin Martin didn’t win him any friends.


Dusty is always a pleasure to watch; he racked up 40 possessions at will and, importantly, had 14 clearances, two goals and plenty of don’t argues. One of the few passages of play to draw a roar from the crowd came in the fourth quarter when Dusty ran through the centre square to kick a long-range goal.


Daniel Rioli worked tirelessly with second and third efforts that resulted in the Tigers winning the ball. Jack Riewoldt could have had a day out but kicked four goals and four behinds. Alex Rance, keen to prove a point after the previous two weeks, tried to do everything in defence and was occasionally caught out when leaving his opponent. Trent Cotchin and Dion Prestia had plenty of the ball too and it was heartening to see Nick Vlaustin back in the team after a long absence.


After final siren, players from both teams calmly shook hands. By just watching the players, there would be no way of telling which team had won: no one was excited and no one was disappointed. Seagulls swooped down to rest on the railings in front of empty seats, waiting to begin their search for chips.


The Tigers will be back at the MCG next weekend in a game that is much more important in terms of vying for positions in the top eight. Let’s hope that the Tigers – and their supporters – find the motivation needed to atone for the three-point loss to the Giants back in Round 9.


Richmond       4.4         5.8       9.13     16.16      (112)

Brisbane         1.3         4.6         6.8       12.9        (81)



Richmond: Riewoldt 4, Butler 3, Martin 2, Castagna 2, Edwards, Cotchin, Prestia, Rioli, B Ellis

Brisbane: Keays 2, Schache 2, Hipwood 2, Cutler, Zorko, Bastinac, Mathieson, Walker, McCluggage



Richmond: Martin, Cotchin, Riewoldt, Prestia, Butler, Short, Miles

Brisbane: Witherden, Andrews, Taylor, McStay, Rich



3 Martin (Richmond); 2 Cotchin (Richmond); 1 Riewoldt (Richmond)


Crowd: 28,188

About Gill

As a youngster, Gill thought that frequent Richmond premierships were assured, but in the many years since 1980 she realised her folly and distracted herself by crunching numbers at a university. The magnificence of the Tigers’ 2017 season has restored her faith in Richmond and all of humanity.


  1. Yvette Wroby says

    Lovely report. Love the confusion when they were shaking hands and not being able to tell the winners. You are saying winners aren’t always grinners.

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