Round 17 – Richmond v Fremantle: The hardest defeat to take



To lose a game that you have out-and-out deserved to win is the hardest type of defeat to take.

Richmond were on top all night long. They outplayed their opponents all over the ground, and were sitting pretty with a two goal lead for the majority of the game. With a significantly larger amount of inside 50’s, scoring shots and disposals, the Tigers had no real excuse to lose.

But they did.

I could blame Bachar Houli’s inexplicable last-minute brain fade or a few questionable free kicks, but I won’t. If a team hit the post seven times in a game of football as well as kicking eleven other behinds, you can’t blame anyone but your own selves.

For three and a half quarters, the Tigers were well on top. Maric and Hampson were holding their own against Sandilands, while neither forward or midfield line had heavily influenced the game. Goal-for-goal football dominated the match, and we four freezing Tiger fans were feeling cautiously optimistic.

The scent of victory strengthened throughout the third quarter. The scoring pattern was still the same, but Richmond held the lead stoically, answering every Fremantle charge with one of their own.

Chaplin, Vlastuin and Rance kept their opponents honest while Lambert’s work in the centre was invaluable throughout. The Fyfe vs Cotchin was entertaining to watch, even more so as the Tiger captain won the battle.

Richmond were wasteful, but late in the last stanza, they looked to have it won. If they held on for another three minutes, they’d be set up perfectly for a possible top four minutes.

But it was not to be.

The clock’s against Fremantle as Tommy Sheridan misses a shot that would give his team the lead. With about 90 seconds remaining, surely Richmond can hold possession and earn a hard fought win…
Or not.

Bachar Houli, who hasn’t been good nor bad tonight, does the inexplicable. He sees Kane Lambert patrolling the defensive 50 directly in front of the opposing goal and decides on a straight, looping punt in his direction instead of a long one to the boundary. Garrick Ibbotson takes an uncontested mark ahead of the confused Lambert and spots an unattended player inside 50.

Fremantle don’t waste two golden opportunities in as many minutes. David Mundy slots it, and for the first time since the first quarter, Fremantle are in front.

The siren follows shortly after. My pen doesn’t survive the stairs from the Gods to ground level, Dad looks like he wants to strangle someone, Mum’s attempts to improve the ugly mood go exactly like Richmond’s final few minutes and Ollie cops the finger from a random drunk Freo fan mangling the lyrics of his club’s song.

What infuriates me most is that we dead-set deserved to win. Yes we kicked poorly, but were the victim of some very questionable free kicks, held the lead comfortably for 90% of the match, replied every charge the Fremantle mounted upon us but still lost. It was wonderful to see Troy Chaplin star in defence, while upgraded rookie Lambert and captain Cotchin’s efforts were impressive. I loved Nick Vlastuin in defense. He wasn’t beaten all night and was very solid in defense. Mundy and Barlow were influential in the midfield while McPharlin and Alex Pearce kept Riewoldt and Griffiths to just one goal (and four behinds!) between them. Sandilands collected his usual half-billion hitouts, but Maric and Hampson performed admirably.

But of course, there is next week. Against Hawthorn.

That might be interesting.

RICHMOND 1.4 5.8 8.14 10.18 (78)

FREMANTLE 1.4 5.6 8.9 12.10 (82)



Richmond: Maric 2, Newman 2, Lennon 2, McIntosh, Riewoldt, Deledio, Lloyd

Fremantle: Pavlich 3, Crozier 2, Mayne, Taberner, Sheridan, Fyfe, Hill, Barlow, Mundy



Richmond: Chaplin, Cotchin, Ellis, Lambert, Vlastuin

Fremantle: Barlow, A.Pearce, Mundy, Sheridan, Hill


Cotchin (Rich) 1, Barlow (Fre) 2, Chaplin (Rich) 3.


  1. Sean Gorman says

    Paddy nice job here. always difficult the lost games to write on especially the kind you experienced. look upon it as character building. I thought the Tiges played better all day but to only be a few goals up at any given point was going be a problem for you the longer the game went. As for the mangling of the song that is what the Dockers dirge is designed for. Good luck against the Horks.

  2. Tigers match up well against the Hawks. Pace is a bit of a problem in the opposition for Hawthorn, their mid-field is slow, so the tigers need to run like crazy and it might upset them. You never know

  3. Gut wrenching loss. Not that I was barracking, mind. Chin up Paddy.
    Look I wasn’t paying as much attention as you, but I can’t have Cotchin or Deledio. Went missing when the game was there to be won.
    I thought Dusty Martin kept taking the game on and trying to win it. The other two get stage fright.

  4. Spot on Paddy

  5. JoshCoales2002 says

    Well written Paddy. You guys easily should’ve beat us. Chins up Tigers still could make top 4 and I hope the Tiges go far in the finals. Except please don’t play Freo!

  6. steve johnston says

    I agree the umpiring was poor, but it went both ways. I think the 50m against Pearce when his arm was hanging out of the socket was one of the worst calls by an umpire all season.

    If you beat Fyfe, you’ve probably let Mundy and Barlow off the hook and those two were outstanding on Saturday night

    Freo’s ball use was probably the worst I have seen it all year.

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