Round 17: Richmond v Essendon – Worth the pain

After witnessing one of the greatest games this season ( JIMMMY!), I’m heading back to the ‘G’ with the casual attitude of yesterday ‘arvo’ thrown out the window,  Yesterday I wanted a close, high standard free flowing game of football and I got it.  Today, as I put on my Richmond jumper (now with the 17 signed by Newman thanks to mum’s success at the cocktail party) all I want is a Tiger win. And I don’t care how we get it. (I loved Bowden walking the ball over the line last year)

The Hawthorn side of the family have left and now it’s back to just mum and I. The two of us are mighty early today, taking our seats in the Great Southern Stand. It’s not the MCC which (blame Dad for not putting me down at birth) I will one day to get into, but at least it’s on the wing where I like to watch from.

The Tigers are already having their first run on the oval and we find Benny Cousins running about in a tracksuit and jacket. We fear he wont play and is just there as a ‘trainer’, but, he seems to be doing all the drills. We hope as always, that he just likes to be different.

‘Cuz’ has managed to find the correct uniform for the match as the players run out. He also manages to find the form from where he left off. He’s everywhere in the first term, setting up Riewoldt’s first goal..

The ladies behind me aren’t letting me forget about it either. If Benny gets within ten metres of the ball, it’s “well done Ben” or “give it to Benny.”

Jake King follows up showing how badly he wants to stay at Richmond. After kicking the ball from half back and hitting Riewoldt on the chest, he continues to run. Jack hands the ball off to him and he slots the goal from 50 out. A lot of the boys can learn from his hard work.

As the quarter ends, the Tigers lead by three points. Essendon look a bit too relaxed. They are not running as hard as they usually do, and will need to lift if they want to win.

Richmond display why we’re sitting on three and a half wins at the start of the second. From a throw in, Winderlich goes unmanned and kicks a goal as easy as they come in AFL footy. Some of the midfielders need a bit of a lesson in defence.

That’s Richmond’s last blue for the quarter, Richmond find their usual second quarter blitz as kicks hit targets. Defensive pressure in all areas of the ground reaps rewards in the form of goals. Nothing can go wrong, when Matt White takes one too many steps and is tackled by Riemers.He gets the kick away and a lucky bounce sees the ball over the goal line. The most bizarre though is yet to come. In a stoppage, Brent Prismall (you missed out on a star there cat fans) runs away with the ball straight into a (wait for it) Jordan McMahon tackle, and is brought to the ground. Things are going really well now.

Then the inevitable but always a fearful event occurs. The siren for half time blows. The Tigers are clapped off by the MCC Richmond fans as they head for the rooms. “They must have a spa and forget about the game” mum jokes. I too would like to know what occurs down there. I don’t remember Richmond having this problem when they came from the Southern stand gates last year.

The third quarter starts and so does the comeback. Ricky Dyson kicks a beauty and the Dons don’t look back. Lovett takes a contender for mark of the year right in front of us and Scott Lucas snaps another nice goal.

Now we’re in trouble.

The most improved Tiger of the season (sorry Tambling) Daniel Jackson steadies the Tiges a bit. At the start of the year I wouldn’t have had the boy in Richmond’s best 22. Now he’s the standard’ run with’ player, is a clearance king, and (should be) leading the Jack Dyer medal count.

Lovett continues to annoy me, kicking two well earned goals. If there’s going to be a Bomber that will tear us apart, it’s him. Riemers (anyone but that mongrel) slots a goal putting Essendon in the lead. Mum and I look at each other. We’ve seen this before.

My boy Newman bangs the ball into the 50 favoring Riewoldt, and the scores are back level. The two of them are in good form today.

The boy people are already labeling the next Richo kicks his first goal in AFL footy. I couldn’t be happier. Our forward line is developing very nicely at the moment and “the Postman” is one of the up and coming player’s parts of it.

Riewoldt kicks another and the Tigers look good. Essendon are still taking the game too lightly, not running or tackling nearly hard enough for the game plan that they use. But Mum and I aren’t celebrating yet.

The fourth term starts with Jack slotting his sixth. He’s looking more and more like Nick but lets not put on any pressure. If the Tigers looked remotely like St Kilda this would’ve been classified as the ‘sealer’ but unfortunately since we’re sitting on the opposite end of the table, this is still ‘game on’.

Riewoldt finds the ball again inside 50. He gets a handball away and then….POSTMAN!!! Surely we can’t stuff it up from here.

Then a significant event occurred .Everybody in the great stadium knew it. It was so obvious that all that was missing was the PA to say “Attention, the Essendon that deserves to make finals has now arrived, please stand by for a momentum shift.”

Goals to Dempsey, Stanton and Riemers flood in and all of a sudden the margin is back to five points. As the ball goes down Richmond’s end, Morton and Nahas don’t go for a much needed behind (I’m sure Jimmy would have!). I guess they didn’t want another draw.

Essendon make one last run forward. The ball is bombed high and a pack flies. Little   Edwards pulls down a ripper. I’m shocked, scared and thrilled at the same time. He kicks the ball away as the siren sounds. I jump up and hug mum.

We don’t deserve to be treated like this. We celebrate few wins and when we do, the boys put us through hell to get there. But it’s all worth it when we get the privilege of singing the greatest football song.


Richmond 3.2 8.4 12.9 15.11 (101)

Essendon 2.5 5.6 10.9 14.12 (96)


Richmond: Riewoldt, Cousins, Deledio, Cotchin, Newman

Essendon: Prismall, Fletcher, Lovett, Ryder


Richmond: Riewoldt 6, Post 2, Morton 2, Deledio, Jackson, King, White, Brown

Essendon: Lovett 2, Riemers 2, Ryder 2, Lucas 2, Mcphee, Stanton, Dempsey, Winderlich, McVeigh, Dyson


  1. Mike congratulations on the win I guess that makes 2 people in your house happy this week.Great feeling hey?

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