Round 19: Richmond v Melboune – Debt not the only thing the Dees demolish

by Michael Allan

Another week, another opponent, unfortunately for Richmond another Victorian opponent. Richmond have only beaten interstate teams this year but as I head off to the ‘G’ I feel that the drought will break.

Today I’m particularly looking forward to the much anticipated match-up: Riewoldt v Frawley. Both emerging stars have had fantastic seasons so it should be a great contest.

Richmond start strong early, the ball staying down our half for the first five minutes. However it then gets particularly frustrating when in this time we fail to kick a goal while Melbourne provide one half decent counter attack that results in an easy goal to Jurrah.

The first quarter sees both teams not playing in their form of previous weeks; I’m hardly convinced Melbourne’s a finals threat with this start. Richmond should be in front, inaccuracy in front of goal has cost us.

I’m very pleased with the second term. My former whipping boy Matt White kicks his second. Angus Graham snags one; it’s met with a mighty roar of “GOOS!!!” from the men a few rows behind us. Cuz kicks a goal too, if he isn’t re-signed Hardwick has an awful lot of explaining to do.

To no-one’s surprise Richmond give up a handsome lead. Melbourne find an unlikely hero in Lynden Dunn whose two goals give Melbourne the lead. Richmond respond through Graham, once again followed up by “GOOS!!!” from the supporters behind us.

Brad Green has looked dangerous all day and finally slots his first after the siren to give Melbourne the lead again. I’m not feeling as confident as I did at the start, Richmond need a spark.

Richmond doesn’t find it’s spark. They’re woeful after half time.

It starts with Will Thursfield. Mum and I hold our breath as he lines up for a goal. Like Lewis Jetta yesturday, it will mark his first in AFL football. The kick’s a shocker. But just as Will’s chances for his first major seem gone he finds himself with a set shoty yet again. This time an easier kick. Once again it goes across the face of goals, there’s a reason he’s our full back.

The late inclusion Nathan Jones starts Richmond’s downfall with a goal. From there Richmond can’t recover. Austin Wonaeamirri runs into an open goal increasing thje margin, The Dees should be further ahead, their playing much better than us.

Richmond somehow claw their way back. Cousins has to be re-signed with his two goal performance while Riewoldt finally beats Frawley in a contest.

But alas, of all players, Lynden Dunn kicks his fourth. It’s only a two goal difference going into the last term, but I’m not confident. Richmond are missing their intensity of previous weeks.

Mum and I move to the Punt Rd end to watch the last quarter. It’s an intersting clash of cultures as the Richmond Grog Squad(a group of Richmond’s classiest supporters) are standing behind the controlled, calm yet passionate Melbourne cheer squad.

A goal to Mitch Morton results in an erruption from the Tiger fans. Beer flies and midddle fingers are directed to the cheer squad. They’re chants begin, they seem to have the comnfidence I lack.

But it doesn’t last long.

Melbourne take control. Finally the better team gaibns a clear advantage. All-Australian contender Mark Jamar kicks a goal to get the ball rolling, I concede defeat when once again Melbourne (this time Brad Green) runs into an open goal.

The Grog squad is silent, now the Melbourne fans are giving the love back. It’s been a strong week for Melbourne with the debt wiped clean. And at the expense of Richmond, their demolishion has carried over to this match.

They may make the eight after all.

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