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Round 8 – Richmond v Sydney: One that got away

A wicked bounce, a chip over the top and the ball is with Richmond’s Lloyd as the final siren sounds. A true kick from the 50 metre line on a 60 degree angle delivers an upset win to the Tigers over the Swans. However it’s more than one piece of play over the course of a game that contributes to such a result …. a dropped mark, a smother, a tackle, a poor choice, a free kick one way or other…..  or individual acts of brilliance and endeavour.

Friday’s Swans Legends Lunch at the Grand Hyatt in Melbourne provided the opportunity to reflect on the brilliance and endeavour of three of our premiership champions – Adam Goodes, Rhyce Shaw and Mike Pyke. Hosted by Swans number one ticket holder Adam Spencer, the event was a mix of adoration and roast. There was a lot of love in the room and many stories. Adam Goodes courage to continue on in the 2012 Grand Final with a damaged knee, Shaw’s to overcome teenage chronic fatigue and Pyke’s to travel from afar and take on a totally new sport all inspired. As always I was left with a sense of pride in my club and the players that have contributed to recent success. The chance to bask in their reflected glory and hang out with past champions like Skilton and Bedford is intoxicating. Surely such love and pride will automatically overflow to our present team and deliver another win?

Saturday night’s game starts just as the ladder suggests it should with the Swans dominating with the first three goals, two to Buddy, one of them from 60 metres on the fly. Buddy love abounds! Though we start to overuse the ball, make poor choices and miss targets while the Tigers start to hit the scoreboard.  We seem to have a habit of playing the Tigers in to form. We should be further in front however momentum is ephemeral and the Tigers now have it and carry it into the second term. The Tigers control the ball and patiently chip it sideways, backwards and eventually forward denying the Swans. Most of the quarter is a stalemate until the Tigers impact with three late goals and go in to the main break a few points up.

The Swans make some positional changes, the most prominent is assigning Cunningham to run with Deledio, who has been prolific in the first half with 25 touches. We are missing our clearance king, Joey Kennedy, with extra pressure on the midfield to cover the larger MCG our defence is under siege. The ascendancy stays with the Tigers however now they are wasting their chances with several missed set shots, which were very gettable. They should be further up.

The tide is stemmed when our Georgie Hewett attracts a head high tackle.  He seems to have a Selwood like ability in this regard.  He calmly slots the goal and in an instant the momentum is with us. Goals follow to Tippett, two more to Buddy, who has five and to Jake Lloyd.  The final break comes at a bad time halting our surge to an 18 point lead.  It has been an enthralling battle between Buddy and the Tigers Rance, one of the premier defenders going round. The points go to Buddy at the moment.

From the first bounce of the last quarter it is like it’s a different game. The Tigers win the ball from the centre and relentlessly move it forward. Five unanswered goals have the momentum firmly with the Tigers along with a two goal lead. It’s happened quickly though and sufficient time remains to fight back.  And we do with firstly a beautiful snap by Jack from a deft tap from ruckman Sinclair, then a superb set shot from Hannebery who has again been prolific, to get us within a few points. Young Papley, who has had a quiet game draws a free and converts his chance when needed to rest the lead back.  After Tippett clunks a big contested mark and goals we have breathing space with about 8 minutes remaining. The ball is locked in our forward half for extended periods, however a kick to a vacant Tigers forward half favours Griffiths who has a break on our Teddy who can’t reel him in. The goal, Griffiths fifth reduces our lead to less than a goal.

It’s into the last two minutes and again it’s mostly locked in our half, though we miss the opportunity to run down the clock. A hacked kick from defence lands in Riewoldt’s hands, and the rest is history. In particular, Riewoldt has been the most effective forward, calm and constructive under pressure. Buddy was again superb, though Rance resolute in reducing his chances, particularly late in the game.

It’s one that got away from us. We should have won, though I can’t say we necessarily would have deserved to.

My votes: 3 Deledio, 2 Hannebery, 1 Riewoldt

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Read more Round 8 game reports by clicking here

About Keiran Croker

Keiran is a lifelong Swans supporter, despite a brief dalliance with the Cats and Tigers in primary school years. Family connections to Port Melbourne and South Melbourne demanded loyalty to the Swans. The long wait for success was worth it.

Comments

  1. Peter Flynn says

    Jeez K Croker.

    I was hungover and working with this thrilling game on in the background.

    A slight worry about Swans away form at the minute.

    Buddy v Rance was from the 1980’s.

    Sounded like a ripper lunch.

    I like A Spencer especially his 702ABC phone in on the HSC Maths Extension 2 paper.

    P Flynn

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