Round 18 – Richmond v Hawthorn: Once in a blue moon

I’ve sat down to write about the Tigers win over the Hawks about ten times this week. The words just wouldn’t come. So I thought I’d write with the cricket for company. The fourth Ashes test from Trent Bridge. Australia all out for 60. Sport is a fickle companion.
The Tigers win over the Hawks last Friday was a different story (at least for us Tiger fans.) Tiger star Brett Deledio kicked the first three goals of the match. Lids went off showing his full array of skill: a brilliant tackle on James Frawley, a smother and gather off no less than Luke Hodge, and pouncing on an advantage ball to sprint away, all resulted in goals. The Tigers would eventually win by that three goal margin.
I sat in the Ponsford Stand with an old Tiger mate Matt, who, in true bandwagon fashion, has erupted after years of dormancy. Matt brought along his nine year old son Fynn, niece Grace and her mate Amanda. The boys were Tigers, the girls Hawks. Fynn started the night by telling me all the chores he was doing without being asked. Tidying his room, putting out the garbage and feeding the dog. Fynn’s a big boy now. So are the Tigers. Playing on a crisp, clear night, a rare blue moon (the second full moon of the month), signaled the end of the Tiger’s self declared Big Boy Month, which had netted them four wins and a painstaking loss to the Dockers.
After great wins in junior footy the best players are sometimes listed as team effort and so it was with the Tigers on Friday night. Simply, they brought unrelenting intensity and discipline. Anthony Miles attack on the footy personified Richmond’s approach to the game. He would have been a very sore boy on Saturday morning. Ivan Maric, who hauled in five contested marks, were also a standout. Such was efficiency and organization of the Tiger defence that the Hawks didn’t kick a goal to the Ponsford Stand End. A rare day. After winning ugly against other sides during the month, there was nothing ugly about this win. Of course nothing less than a team’s very very best is going to get close to matching it with the Hawks.
Having locked themselves in with the lunar cycle I can only assume that following on from Big Boy Month, that August must be Adolescent Month, September Grown Up Month and October Month of the Premiership Elder. Adolescent Month brings with in new found confidence and power. It also brings the opportunity to get way ahead of yourself and crash into a screaming heap. Damien Hardwick and his staff will be working hard to initiate his big boys through this powerful and dangerous phase if they are to play with the grown ups in September.
While Matt has decided to spend the week listening to the Tigers’ theme song and Facebooking photos of his dog wearing a Richmond scarf, I’ve been more low key. Other people have been telling me to ‘enjoy the ride’ but I’ve woken to many a false dawn at Tigerland. The Elimination Finals of the last two years were dawns of volcanic ash rather than rising suns. Deep down though, for the first time in my memory, I’m watching the Tigers play with an expectation that they’ll win.
The moon has to travel around the Earth more than twice before this season is at an end. During Grand final week there will be a rare Red Moon, a total lunar eclipse. Who knows which football prophecies will come to light at that time? Until then I’m keeping a lid on it.
Once in a blue moon.

About Chris Daley

Tiger fan Chris Daley works in Community Nursing, which has taken him to Perth, Broome and now Dandenong. Being tall, he used to get a game in the ruck playing bush footy outside of Warrnambool.

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