Round 2 – Collingwood v Richmond: Gambling


Collingwood vs. Richmond


Melbourne Cricket Ground, 7.50PM

Gambling is bad for you. In fact, as my former Economics teacher would say, it’s a negative externality, a byproduct created by the market mechanism which has an overall detrimental effect to society as a whole. Yet gambling seems to be more prevalent than ever. The advertising surrounding the MCG is abundant in the green of TAB and the light blue of Sportsbet, who have just signed on as a major sponsor of the Brisbane Lions, despite the AFL’s alleged push to remove gambling as a fixture of the competition. I’m even in a group chat on Facebook where, under the pseudonym ‘PeterWalrus’, we bet on horses, dogs, soccer, basically anything that moves.


But you can’t deny, gambling makes watching sport exhilarating. The tension in a close game when you have a bet on the line is palpable. You feel the despair of defeat and the elation of victory just like the players on the field; for those of us who are physically inept, it’s the closest we’ll ever get to the rush and adrenaline of playing the sport we love. At least, it is for those of us with nerves of steel. I am not one of these people. I can barely stay on my seat in a match, if I had money riding on it, I’d probably pass out. However, my mate certainly is one of these people. Let’s call him ‘Angus Kelly’, because that’s ‘his name’. Angus is a brave soul. Angus put 3 bets on the match this fateful Friday night. Angus bet the following…


  1. Richmond to win
  2. A multi including Richmond to win
  3. Total score < 168.5


We’ll get back to Angus later.


But you can gamble with more than just money. Richmond gambled on Thursday night when selecting their team to take on the Magpies. With big names Brett Deledio, Shane Edwards and Ivan Maric out of the side, the Tigers gambled by selecting a youth-filled team, including Corey Ellis, Connor Menadue and Jayden Short (7, 6 and 0 games respectively) over the experienced Troy Chaplin, Steven Morris and Jake Batchelor (207, 79 and 75). Whether this was born out of arrogance is debatable, but certainly, going into the match, Richmond should have won. With finals appearances in the last 3 years and the Magpies’ embarrassing loss to the Swans last week, Richmond were deservedly the bookies’ favourites.


To return the favour, the Pies gambled within the game itself. With key forward Travis Cloke once again unable to make his presence felt within the match, the game plan changed, with Alex Fasolo becoming the forward line focal point. This gamble paid off. Despite his diminutive 181cm frame, Fasolo turned the tide of the match with six goals.


With the game on a knife’s edge, the result essentially came down to a gamble made by one single player in one single moment. When Nick Vlaustin made the decision, with less than a minute to go, to handball, rather than kick, out of his defensive 50, he took the game into his own hands. The gamble didn’t pay off, with the resulting free kick from the new deliberate out-of-bounds rule eventuating in a goal to Brodie Grundy to put the Pies in the lead with just four seconds remaining. Vlaustin gambled. Vlaustin lost.


Speaking of losing a bet, we return now to the modern-day tragedy that is Angus Kelly. In a tragedy worthy of Shakespeare, one kick from Brodie Grundy simultaneously defeated all 3 bets, which goes to show how, regardless how tempting betting is, there seem to be a great deal more losers than winners.


Collingwood 2.1 3.3 7.7 13.9 (87)
Richmond 2.2 3.8 7.12 12.14 (86)





Collingwood: Fasolo 6, Grundy 2, Cloke, Langdon, Moore, Aish, de Goey


Richmond: Riewoldt, Short 3, Lambert, Vickery 2, Martin, Lloyd




Collingwood: Fasolo, Treloar, Pendlebury, Williams, Taylor Hunt


Richmond: Houli, Riewoldt, Short, Martin, Townsend



Umpires: Foot, Farmer, Rosebury. Crowd: 76, 761


Our Votes: Fasolo (COL) 3, Houli (RIC) 2, Treloar (COL) 1




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Other Round 2 stories here.


  1. Yes Jonathan, betting on footy can be challenging .

    In 2015 i stopped my footy betting around the halfway mark of the season. I had a multi super with the Bulldogs and Geelong to win,, as well as a separate bet on Geelong to win. I loaded up ; why wouldn’t you? Geelong home to Melbourne a club that had last won at Kardinai Park in 2006, prior to that it was 1988. I couldn’t go wrong; could i ?

    With 10 minutes to go my tickets were at the bottom of the Royal Oak fire place. No more footy bets for me in 2015. Truly, gambling is a mugs game.


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