Round 22 – Richmond v West Coast: Lamenting the one that got away…


Richmond v West Coast

1:10pm, Sunday August 18




As I entered the MCG at midday, the ground was bathed in winter sun; with the temp just over 19° there was almost a feeling of Spring in the air.  A little over 4 hours later, I’d exited Gate 2 and the sky was grey, the air cold and the ground damp and muddy…an exact mirror of how my mood has changed over the afternoon.  We were so close…and yet so far when the final siren sounded.


Today we were lucky enough to secure tickets in the MCC Members Reserve, and this also gave us access to dine in the Hugh Trumble Café on the ground level.  This bistro serves quick but delicious meals and I really enjoyed the kids-sized parma and chips.


With about 25 mins to bounce-down, we headed upstairs and found seating on level 4 directly in line with the centre square.  There were still plenty of empty spaces all around the ground so I wondered if the predicted crowd of 48,000 would actually be achieved.


West Coast started strongly and in less than 4 minutes of play Jack Darling had 2 goals to his name.  Later in the quarter my heart was in my mouth as Willi Rioli dribbled through our 4th goal (the roll of the AFL ball can be so fickle), but we were cheering loudly as the majors kept coming from Petruccelle, Allen and Cripps.  By the quarter time siren we’d kicked 7 goals to 3 and feeling reasonably upbeat, but there was still a long way to go…


We kept checking the weather as the forecast was for a 95% chance of rain in the afternoon, and the clouds were certainly rolling in as the game moved towards half-time.  The ball seemed to spend an ever-increasing amount of time in the opposition forward half and the scoreboard started to reflect this as Richmond made a significant dent in the 24 point quarter time margin.  Midway through the 2nd , Liam Ryan was “flyin’” yet again to take a strong pack mark. His goal was our first (and only) of the quarter.  At halftime we were still in front, but only by 9 points.


The rain started to tumble down during the halftime break and when play resumed the margin tumbled as well; though the wet ball spent the first 10 mins of the quarter going back and forth in the midfield.  It took almost 11 mins for either team to finally register a goal, unfortunately it wasn’t an Eagles one.  There was another nine mins of play before Cripps finally manufactured a goal for us, from among a big pack of players well inside our forward 50.  Dustin Martin got the last goal of the quarter and now the margin was only 1 point…finger nails well and truly bitten down to the quick!!!


It all came down to the final 30 mins of footy. With the run of play firmly favouring the Tigers, I was more than a little concerned.  Recalling our 4th quarter start in last year’s Grand Final – where we were 2 goals down within the first few minutes – gave me some semblance of hope that we could still get back the lead and win the game.


Josh Kennedy kicked his first and only goal of the day at the 27min mark, and scores were level.  The ABC Radio commentators noted that 2016 was the last season that was completed without a drawn game; I didn’t know that there hadn’t yet been a draw in 2019.


Alas, the “no draw” record for 2016 was not to be broken today. With 5 mins to go, Jack Riewoldt kicked the goal that proved to be the winning margin for Richmond.  As the Tigers theme song rang out across the MCG, I did something I don’t normally like doing and exited the arena. I usually prefer to stay until my team have exited, no matter what the result, to give due respect to the effort they have just exhibited – but with the rain still falling, I didn’t hang around.


It was, without doubt, an exciting game and a good indicator of the likely finals form of both teams…although of course should we meet again in September, I will be willing the result to be opposite…


Round 23 sees us back at home in Perth against Hawthorn on Saturday night, whilst our opponents today will play host to Brisbane on Sunday afternoon, so the final positions in the top 4 will likely not be known until the end of the weekend.  There’s an awful lot at stake in the final home-and-away game, so I will be glued to the tv on Saturday night with all fingers and toes crossed for an Eagles win.



RICHMOND        3.1     6.5      8.8      13.10 (88)
WEST COAST     7.1      8.2      9.3       13.4 (82)


Richmond: Lynch 3, Riewoldt 2, Castagna, Caddy, Bolton, Lambert, Short, Martin, Soldo, Edwards
West Coast:
Cripps 3, Darling 2, Rioli 2, Petruccelle, Hickey, Allen, Ryan, Waterman, Kennedy


Richmond: Martin, Houli, Edwards, Grimes, Prestia, Lynch
West Coast:
Yeo, Hurn, Shuey, Gaff, Sheppard, Jetta




  1. Don’t think Eagles fans need fly home too dejected. Seemed listening on the radio that it had shades of last year’s Grand final. As a Tiger supporter my heart skipped a beat every time I heard the name Shead. He seemed to be prominent in the last 15 minutes.

  2. Initially the Eagles swooped on an unsuspecting Tigers and raced to an early lead. Gradually Tigers found some growl and soon pounced to ruffle up Eagles feathers.

    What an entertaining game – a mini grand final. As a neutral supporter, I enjoyed this one immensely, much better than the garbage served up by Adelaide and Port Adelaide in their matches.

    The Big Cats (Lions) had a very exciting win over the Moggies (Geelong Cats) – another enjoyable contest.

    Things are shaping up for a most interesting finals series (I don’t discount Collingwood – although belting the Crows dosn’t mean much).

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