Round 8 – Richmond v Fremantle: Snatching Defeat from Victory’s Jaws


What have I just watched?


I have just watched Richmond.

We’ve lived it all today. Three quarters of despair at our own mediocrity, full of frustration and missed kicks and shouts of “if you don’t mind umpire”.

Hospital handballs everywhere. I wanted to send KB into the rooms at half-time to tell the players handballing is still just a fad.

And then hope. A dazzling quarter of superb footy. We could’ve kicked 10 goals, but we kept missing at the crucial moments.

I’d almost resigned myself to the fact we wouldn’t get there at all, before Brandon Ellis kicked his miracle, mongrel goal.

And then, in the next heartbeat, elation turned to despair. We’d found a way, against all odds, to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory again.


Before the game, I wasn’t confident. We really, really needed a win, and more importantly, we were expected to win. It’s the sort of game we always lose.

For three-quarters, we lagged hopelessly behind. Our form of the first five weeks seemed a distant memory.

Even me, the optimistic fan, gave us no chance at three-quarter time. 30 points down against Ross Lyon’s Freo team. We’d kicked 5 goals for the day. We needed 5 in a quarter to win.

Tell your story walking.

We hadn’t even looked like it.

Surely this is why the final quarter was so brilliant.

As soon it started, we were surging.

The Tigers of old had returned (and by old I mean 3 weeks ago).

Everything is happening quickly. Our fumbly hands have been replaced by clean ones.

The ball isn’t leaving our 50-metre arc.

Jack and Rioli goal early on. We’re in business.

When Caddy goals to put us within 2 kicks, despair has well and truly been replaced by hope.

And then we slow down. We’re finally within touching distance, so close but so far.

We keep missing set shots.

Jack misses an easy one, and then kicks the same shot from 20 metres further back just 30 seconds later.

One more goal is needed. Another minute ticks by. Grigg marks. He doesn’t miss. Who better to put us ahead?

He misses.

Ball up, somewhere in our fifty metre arc. Bodies everywhere. It somehow lands in the hands of Brandon Ellis. I’d forgive him for being bemused. I don’t know how there is room. But he kicks on his left towards goal, this absolute mongrel finger breaking thing. It goes through. I don’t know how.

30,000 sounds like 60,000. The pent up frustration, anger, pain, of three insipid quarters is seemingly released.

A message from the Old Man – 21 seconds left.

At this point, I’m already dreaming up doomsday scenarios. There is still time to lose. There are ways, and if anyone can find them, it is us.

You can borrow my crystal ball anytime.

Neale bursts out the middle and Mundy marks.

Around us, seats flip up. There are groans. Some try and haul abuse at Mundy as he lines up to kick.

It makes no difference. His kick is never missing.

There are 8 men on the mark. Maybe, just maybe, one of those 8 could’ve done something useful in the 20 seconds prior.

How has someone run 20 metres from a centre bounce without anyone coming off the back of the square to lay a tackle?


The Tiger Army trudges home, defeated once more.

Another chapter in the Richmond tragedy has been written. Shakespeare would’ve been kinder to us.

Mundy sank us two seasons ago with a similar last gasp goal.

A year ago to the day, Sam Lloyd won us the game with a kick after the siren against the Swans.

Does the joy outweigh the suffering? I’m not sure this is the moment to reckon with that problem, because the suffering is currently winning the battle.

For now, I’m just glad David Mundy isn’t Karmichael Hunt.

The optimist in me would say that 6 more points last week, 3 more points today and we would be top of the ladder.

But the realist is worried – we’ve won 4 quarters in our last 16. That’s a big problem.

In a close game, I’m dumbfounded by the shepherding free-kick against Riewoldt, the 50-metre penalty for encroaching on the protected area, and several others.

Of course, if any one of these decisions had been made differently, we would’ve won.

But it would just be glossing over cracks. You can’t win games of footy by turning up at three-quarter time.

Last time Mundy broke our hearts, we beat the eventual premier, Hawthorn, the next week.

So maybe it isn’t all a lost cause. But gee. We’ve got some work to do.


RICHMOND     2.1   5.1   5.5   10.10  (70)
FREMANTLE     2.3   5.6   9.11   10.12 (72)


3. M.Walters (Fre)

2. S.Grigg (Rich)

1. B.Hill (Fre)


Richmond: Riewoldt 3, Caddy 2, Cotchin, Castagna, Martin, Rioli, Ellis
Fremantle: Taberner 2, Kersten 2, Mundy 2, Hill, Fyfe, McCarthy, Pearce

Richmond: Rance, Martin, Grigg, Cotchin, Grimes
Fremantle: Walters, Hill, Johnson, Langdon, Hamling, Mundy


: Nil
Fremantle: Sutcliffe (cut head)

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Blind, Deaf, Dumb

Official crowd: 31,200 at the MCG


About Jack Banister

Journalism student @ Melbourne Uni, Brunswick Hockey Club Men's Coach, tortured Tigers fan.


  1. I watched the last quarter of this game on TV. Sadly there can be only one loser. Equal opportunity schadenfreude in the last 2 minutes.
    I thought you deserved it more (the loss I mean). What about Ibbotson playing dope on a rope for Dusty 3 times in the one play? Ross went down early to get the crutching shears ready for him.
    The Riewoldt goal line “shepherd” was hands in the back any day of the week. Umpires put the whistle away in the last quarter, but as a neutral it looked consistent to me.

  2. JBanister says

    I don’t think we deserved to win given how we played. The game should never have been so close as to allow the umpires to make a difference, though. But to get so closed to stealing one…

    The less I say about the shepherd, the better…

  3. Paul Young says

    Sorry you had to sit through that Jack.

    I found it absolutely staggering how Richmond coughed up this game with 21secs to go.

    Once they had taken the lead, I was sure Richmond would dispense with a forward line and have a 12 man backline. After all with only 21secs left it had to be about prevention & defence. To me there seemed no point in having any Richmond player in their forward half.

    But strangely, It appeared there was little effort to get numbers back.

    Straight after the siren I rewound the footage to when Mundy was running for the mark. I paused just before the mark to count the Richmond defenders. There were SIX! That’s all – only six defenders inside fifty. Each Freo player appeared to have only ONE opponent. Unbelievable.

    Why Richmond did not have at least three coming off the defensive side of the square and another 8 or 9 inside fifty is just mind boggling.

    Makes one wonder what the coaches were doing.

  4. JBanister says

    At least it gave me something to do on Sunday!

    Their set-up was just appalling. Rioli was stood by himself on a wing, the place on the ground the ball was least likely to go.

    We just got too caught up celebrating. Bachar Houli was going mental on the TV footage.

    I’m not sure in that circumstance there’s anything the coaches can do. Players have to make the decision on the spur of the moment, although that decision should be informed by learnings from training, etc.

    Overall, just staggering.

    Freo, to their credit, did have to do a lot right. Neale showed great poise, Sandilands put a wonderful block on Martin. None of that makes me feel any better, though!

  5. it’s been critiqued now a million times,a and the coaching is at fault – for wither having a dumb plan, not being able to teach it, or not force the players to adopt it.

    i only switched on 3/4 time due to mothers’ day stuff. and i knew we would lose, i said it before the last bounce. you just know.

    50% peaheart and 50% peabrain

    literally my blood pressure can’t stand it, so i won;t be flying the flag at spotless, and am, as inevitably i do, going to cook, not watch etc etc blah blah blah jesus they shit me!

    ps in terms of hospital handpasses, anyone who still thinks McIntosh is a footballer should watch the one he dished off in the last 10 minutes. we have so many dumb or timid players, Castanga the opposite, crazy brave.

    jesus they shit me…

  6. Rulebook says

    I wish to go back to a game in Perth v Freo in 2014 the tigers hit the front and then they blew it in the last minute it had stood out lsomething chronic that Brett Deledio had been selfish and hadn’t performed a team role late in the game.Word got out that, allegedly Hardwick had blasted him and threatened to drop him the next week sure enough it didn’t happen.I will always wonder what would have happened since if there had actually been strict standards re team rules it has always seemed the tiger stars could do what they like and yes that last,21 seconds a incredible and bizarre lack of leadership.thanks,Jack

  7. JBanister says

    Funny Peter – it is getting hard, tough few weeks!
    Very interesting to see what they do at the selection table this week. Expect 3-4 changes, or more.

    Interesting take Rulebook – Martin was playing the ball and should have been playing Neale. It got found out, as well, which was definitely deliberate. The review on Monday would’ve been fairly brutal I would’ve thought!

  8. you know it will be C Ellis and Markov out. Hunt and Tivendale straight back in.

    (they should have stuck with Miles and he would have been tight on Neale.)

  9. and Rule there a few deledio stories. i was happy to see him go. his early season form at the iants has been like that at the Tiges in most years…

    the other thing that stuck out in the 4th quarter, along with McIntosh’s worst handball of all time, was BT or Eddie screaming “Houli’s got to go here”, and of course he didn’t.

    same old.

  10. My Dog's Name is Richo says

    I sat through the KB era, and ventured to the wastelands at Waverley for the Cats’ prelim thumping. Wallsy came and went. Spud’s rebuild (Paul Hudson?) flopped. On and on and on …

    I listened, from the sodden banks of Lake Eildon, to Karmichael beat us, as mates around the fire howled with glee (they took the Suns at about $4 – on my advice – when Ivvy pulled out that afternoon).

    I sat through the Carlton and North finals with a sense of foreboding that landed like a stomach punch.

    A fortnight ago, I tuned out to the Adelaide Oval slaughter, only to then be encouraged by the first half at Etihad, all the while being pestered by the same Tiger foreboding.

    But not sure I have ever been left so empty as Sunday evening. When Kersten (who?) goaled 20 minutes into the third quarter, I walked out through the MCG gates. “Pass out?” No thanks. By the time Rioli goaled, I was having a beer in a mate’s Richmond backyard, watching the unlikely unfold but hoping we wouldn’t get too close, you know … because I left early.

    Good teams win games like that, even when they don’t deserve to (witness Rd 6, 1992, Tigers cough it up to the Eagles by a point when Mainwaring kicks one in the 31st minute … a mate of mine was walking past the ground listening on the radio. He handed his dog to an attendant to watch the last 10 minutes) .

    So, for the 35th year in a row (i.e. my entire adult life), we are not a good team. Again. For as long as I get annoyed, though, and still get that foreboding, and the empty feeling, it’s obvious to me that I still care.
    So … changes for Round 9?

  11. JBanister says

    Haha – very true Richo. I wish I’d had the heart to leave!

    I can’t see Elton holding his place, he’s showed glimpses but nowhere near enough. Soldo probably the obvious change. Then play Nank forward for bigger periods.

    Miles has to play for mine, and Prestia if he’s fit.
    Likely C Ellis/Markov/Short/McIntosh out.

    Also think they will drop a small (Castagna/Butler) for Lloyd.

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