Round 5 – Richmond v Geelong: On Being Saved by Mitho and Donno


by Chris Daley


I had been tormented by the Tigers performance against the Dees last week. No belief. I was starting not to believe in them. I didn’t know whether they believed in themselves.


I ummed and ahhed about going on Saturday. Then in the morning, Twitter tells me the ressies are playing at Punt Road. The Tigers are playing the Cats, the same club they’re playing in the ones. Talk about a match day experience.



The barrackers are standing on gravel terraces or on the wooden benches of the Jack Dyer Stand.  There’s a sausage sizzle and drinks are sold in cans.  No one’s worried that these cans are going to become missiles. None do. I stroll out on to the ground to hear the three quarter time address. I’m at the footy.


I wander across to the G, swipe my card and head to the top deck of the Olympic Stand.  The Tigers’ homecoming hero for the day is Andrew Kellaway.  Now I reckon having a Homecoming Hero is a great idea, this great idea turned bad however when the MC asked Andrew to “Kick a Goal to set the tone of the day.” Now, I liked Andrew as a player. He was an All Australian and a Jack Dyer medallist but anyone worth their footy salt would know what position he played.  He was the GOALKEEPER for the international rules team. They should have said, “Look Andrew we’re gunna lob the ball on to the top of that bloke’s head, is there any chance you could spoil his marking attempt, grab the ball and boot it down the ground?”. But they didn’t. Shod in business shoes, from fifteen metres out dead in front he missed. And set the tone for the day.


Tom Hawkins is a huge man and a good player.  He gave David Astbury the slip to kick two early goals.  The rest of the first quarter seemed to go nowhere. The Tigers entered quarter time goalless.  Rather than leaving the crowd to decipher what they’d just witnessed, the PA and scoreboard blasted at us that we shouldn’t “contain our excitement”.  This little segment was brought to us by a company that sells plastic containers. I felt my passion for footy draining away.  My container was leaking.


The second quarter was much like the first.  Steve Johnson provided some vaudeville, and Shaun Grigg was doing a good job on Joel Selwood.  The scoreboard flashed uncontested marks 51-26 to the Cats.  For me that was the real tale of the tape.  Richmond just didn’t seem to be running hard enough to the space, or if they did their teammate didn’t have the confidence to kick it to them.  It was kick long down the line to a contest. The half time siren blew. I needed a beer.


On the way back to my seat the ground’s emergency warning system came alive. “CODE ORANGE. PLEASE EVACUATE THE STADIUM”.


It’s finally happened I thought, someone’s thrown a can.


Thing was, nothing happened. We all just sort of looked around and shrugged our shoulders.  The second half started before I was back at my seat.


Then I saw an example of something that has always made me curious; the spectator wearing the colours of a team that weren’t playing.  This bloke was for the Hawks. Brown and Gold cap and hoody.  He was having a rollicking time with his mate who was dressed the same but for the Cats. Now regular footy followers will know what I mean when I say these blokes were right at home in the ‘standing room only section’.  I never made it back to my seat.


I spent the second half with Mitho and Donno. Donno the Hawk explained he was actually on his way to the Docklands to see that night’s Hawks v. Roos match.  His own double header. Old work mates, they were catching up for a day at the footy.  There wasn’t much about the game they didn’t know, and there wasn’t a yell from the crowd that wasn’t met with some quick wit.  They had everyone laughing.


Even as Selwood did what all champions do, imposing himself on the game to put the Cats six odd goals up, I was beginning to feel better. Real people enjoying footy, more entertainment then could ever be hoped for from footy’s marketing boffins.


As my mood lifted suddenly the Tigers kicked the next four and threatened again.  But it was too little too late.


I dunno what happened to Donno, but the Hawks winning by ten goals would have made it a long day for him.


I hope that the Tigers can find the fun and enjoyment in footy and the freedom of spirit that will come with it.  They’ll then have the confidence to run to space and to kick through the ball.


But at the moment we’ll just have to wait. As Tiger fans we’re used to that!



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.


  1. Chris Daley says

    I mentioned to day uncontested marks. … Sorry

  2. Chris Daley says

    Can’t type with my thumbs! I meant to say uncontested marks in the piece. Not contested.

  3. It does now ;-)

  4. Danny Russell says

    This made me envious – about watching the ressies at Punt Road.

    I went to York Park in Launceston a couple of weeks ago to have my senses assailed by a too-loud PA system and some dodgy pre-match grape-stomping “entertainment”. In between, there was some good football, but I found myself wondering if it was worth the cost (not just the dollars).

    I’m beginning to believe that AFL is for the TV, and if I want my fix of footy culture I’m better off walking the 500m from my front door to the local ground on Saturday afternoon.

  5. Jen CosteLLO says

    Thanks Chris for your entertaining article. You’ve captured elements of the essence of footy to which many of us long to return. The blaring PA these days is such a detractor. Of course I was glad for our Cats win but the Tigers late surge made us look far from convincing. Still was an enjoyable game to watch with hopefully improvement to come from both sides. “Mitho & Dummo”..classic!

  6. Donno, not Dummo! says

    Great write up Chris. Glad that we could help in making the afternoon a little more entertaining.

    If everyone can just cheer up one Richmond supporter each weekend, the world will be a happpier place.

  7. yep I always have my best footy times as a neutral. cheering the Giants against the Swans etc. when we lived in Melbourne, the year of the great 95 revival, I saw some cracking games like Hawthorn v North, Friday nights at the G and beers and no real skin in the game.

    I couldn’t go to Rd 23 against the Swans even tho in sydney last year because I just knew the tension would make me sick. literally. the Richmond rollercoaster has that effect on me. the sorts of rides that are fun as a 10yr old are not so fun for a 50 yr old :(

    your analysis re Geelong spreading better than us was spot on. you could see early on they were willing to let us take the ball and then sting us via Duncan and Motlop to Hawkins on the turnover. they’ve done us that way for about the last 5 games and we just can’t seem to be coached through it. very disappointing. too little, too late, from too few.

    worst moments – Cotchin’s miss, yet again; and jack’s shank after taking his screamer. confidence, training, whatever. we just haven’t got it, whatever it is.

  8. Chris Daley says

    Sorry Donno!

  9. Dave Brown says

    You’ll be Dummo in perpetuity in the hyperlink, Donno. G’day BTW

  10. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Enjoyable read , Chris ironic how the level below or grass roots footy seems so much more real and enjoyable than afl footy . The tigers have several players with deplorable disposal skills , turn overs kills the run of the mill sides especially

  11. Chris, there is no Like button on these posts, if there was I would click LIKE

    Enjoyed the read

Leave a Comment