Saints see off the Tigers in Simmonds’ final hurrah

By Steve Healy

Troy Simmonds played his first match back in Round 4, 1999 against Carlton at Princes Park, wearing the red and blue and in number 46. He had four kicks in his first outing of what would be a career of highs and lows and many a criticism. Fast forward 4,031 days and Troy is playing his 197th and final game of his career for the Tigers. The man who was once knocked out by Michael Long in the 2000 Grand Final has had a strange career to say the least.

Before the match, I turned on the radio where suspended Richmond midfielder (and Almanacker) Daniel Jackson was explaining that Troy Simmonds was a great mentor to the younger blokes and will be sorely missed.  The game promised to be a fascinating one. With the Tigers coming off their first win of the season in the wet, and Jack Riewoldt in blistering form, the Tigers could certainly challenge the Saints, who had previously won two on the trot and were imbedded in the top four.

From very early on it looked like it would be a St.Kilda rampage. After kicking five last week at the same venue, Montagna marked 40 out and kicked it straight through the middle to open the scoring. Rhys Stanley, in his third game, was showing terrific athleticism early on, and plucked one out of from stars and drove it home from the tip of the square. But the Tigers did well from this point on, pressuring the Saints and winning the clearances. Jones got a fifty but unforgivably missed, and the Tigers hung in there. Having only watched two Richmond games in full for the season previous to this one, I felt privileged to see a young player of Dustin Martin’s quality dominate the first quarter. Unfortunately, the young Tigers missed a couple of chances from Webberley (who was also impressive) and Farmer from long range. Like last time these two teams played, the quarter time score was three behinds to 2.3 15. As for Troy Simmonds, he had a few early touches including a good contested mark in the middle of the ground.

The second quarter began with a third missed opportunity from Milne. Stanley also took one of his trademark grabs, and centered to McEvoy, who also missed. Finally, after a 28 minute goalless period, it was Peake who broke the drought after he curled one through after receiving the pass from Ray on the run. It was Jack Riewoldt who provided the game’s highlight, almost standing on Gilbert’s head to take one of the marks of the year. But that didn’t answer Richmond’s worries, they got caught on the rebound and Montagna split the middle for his second goal. It was getting to crisis point for the Tigers after Milne dribbled one through from the boundary line, and then snapped another through over his shoulder in quick succession. Schneider added a goal, before Astbury hit the post with a golden chance to put his club on the board. But he should not have worried, from the kick in McEvoy marked it and then sent it backwards, almost directly to Riewoldt, who cut it off and kicked the simplest of goals. McQualter answered but the Tigers were now ignited to some extent, with a couple of goals from Riewoldt and Collins and the margin was at a manageable 31 points when the siren sounded, 3.6 24 to 8.7 55. Goddard led the charge with 19 first half possessions, and had a big clash with Cousins in that second quarter.

A little bit more doubt crept into the Tiger camp as Milne put one through from just inside 50 to open the second half. Dustin Martin had come off with an injury worry, but luckily returned. Riewoldt kicked yet another goal for the Tigers, off the ground to be precise, which is an act that may now be in his weekly repertoire. The Riewoldt show continued, he hit the post from a free kick, before taking a spectacular contested mark and slotting it home. Collins kicked his second through the legs of Raphael Clarke, and after Riewoldt put his fifth over the goal umpire’s hat the margin was back to two goals. Troy Simmonds attempted a 50 metre kick but missed to the left.  Milne replied with an opportunistic goal, and even Koschitzke got in on the action with an important goal for his confidence. The Saints took a 26-point lead in to the three quarter time huddle and some momentum as well.

The last quarter began with a couple of behinds from Astbury and Nahas, who was hardly noticed all night. Milne kicked his fourth behind, before he added his fifth goal to officially kill off the Tigers with twelve minutes remaining. The rest of the game was just junk time, Koschitzke kicked a second from just inside fifty, and Riewoldt added his sixth to keep the Tigers with just two goal scorers for the match. The siren sounded, Troy Simmonds was lifted off the ground, leaving the big stage for the last time in his strange career. Saints by 38 points.

Despite the result, there were many positives for the Tigers to come out of this game. Dustin Martin probably played his best game so far; Webberley had a great game, as did experienced players such as Cousins, Tuck and Newman. They are a fantastic chance to beat West Coast next Sunday Afternoon. As for the Saints, they have won three in a row against the odds without Riewoldt in the side. They may only need to go for three more matches without the man that is St.Kilda in many people’s eyes.

Richmond 0.3—3.6—7.8—8.11 (59)

St.Kilda 2.3—8.7—11.10—14.13 (97)


Richmond: Riewoldt 6, Collins 2.

St.Kilda: Milne 5, Peake 2, Montagna 2, Koschitzke 2, McQualter, Schneider, Stanley.


Richmond: Riewoldt, Newman, Martin, Cousins, Tuck, Deledio, Webberley.

St.Kilda: Goddard, Milne, Ray, Hayes, Montagna, Gilbert, Fisher.

Umpires: Margetts, Stevic, Stewart.                   Crowd: 32,858 at Etihad Stadium.

My Votes: 3. Brendon Goddard (STK), 2. Stephen Milne (STK), 1. Jack Riewoldt (RICH).

About Steve Healy

Steve Healy is an entity of a Melbourne supporter.

Leave a Comment