Round 4 – Richmond v Brisbane: Remarks on the unremarkable

I’d been looking forward to today’s game – a traditional Saturday afternoon game against an improving opponent. I was at Docklands to see Brisbane’s stunning come-from-behind win against Essendon in Round 15 last year, and Brisbane’s five-point loss to Port Adelaide – in Adelaide – had been a talking point during the week. I was genuinely interested to see the improvement in Brisbane because I remember all too well how it feels to barrack for a team that’s stuck at the bottom of the ladder.


In a stark reminder that winter is coming, Melbourne’s weather put on a shocker of a morning. And when I and about twenty others waiting at the train station scurried for cover from a sudden downpour of rain and hail, I realised that sensible people were probably at home on the couch with a hot cup of Milo. Nevertheless, I continued my journey and found myself a sheltered spot at the MCG. By the time the game started, the ground was bathed in brilliant sunshine, which made the decision to turn the floodlights on seem a little silly.


The first score of the game – a mis-kick by Dusty to give Charlie Cameron a set shot from right in front of goal and the goal umpire’s decision being over-ruled after a lengthy score review – was farcical. As was Dusty’s shot for goal from a free kick at the other end of the ground, a kick that the umpires called back and had to be repeated. These examples of over-umpiring were met with disgust from the sparse crowd.


The game finally gets some momentum, and whatever spark has inspired Brisbane in the previous three rounds just isn’t here today. The Tigers apply defensive pressure around the ground and the Lions respond by fumbling the ball and being too slow for the much faster Tigers. Jack Riewoldt took a beauty of a mark in the first quarter, but otherwise it was business as usual for the Tigers. The Lions only score four behinds to half time, and in the second half the only interest is whether Richmond can keep the Lions goalless. This hope is dashed by Dane Zorko late in the third quarter.


In the face of little opposition, I’m happy that the Tigers don’t let up when defending. They stay switched on when it would be all too easy to relax with the game well and truly under control. Dusty’s six goals were a highlight and the much-maligned Reece Conca played his best game in a long time. Jack Graham might have earned himself a week off by being reported for rough conduct and Dan Butler’s poor decision-making might see him dropped for a bit to re-focus. Maybe Jack Higgins could get another run next week against Melbourne


A lot has changed to make me feel that a 93-point win to Richmond is unremarkable. But a memorable game needs both teams to play well and battle to the end. I hope that Brisbane find their spark again because if they do, everyone will benefit.



Richmond:     5.5     8.10     11.12     16.14     (110)
Brisbane:       0.2       0.4         1.4         2.5       (17)


Richmond: Martin 6, Castagna 3, Townsend 3, Lambert 2, Riewoldt, Caddy
Brisbane: Zorko, Rayner


Richmond: Cotchin, Martin Lambert, Rance, D. Conca, Grigg, Riewoldt
Brisbane: Zorko, Rayner, Robinson, S. Martin, Witherden

Our Votes: 3 Cotchin (Richmond), 2 Martin (Richmond), 1 Lambert (Richmond)

Crowd: 32,870


About Gill

As a youngster, Gill thought that frequent Richmond premierships were assured, but in the many years since 1980 she realised her folly and distracted herself by crunching numbers at a university. The magnificence of the Tigers’ 2017 season has restored her faith in Richmond and all of humanity.

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