The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 1 – Carlton v Richmond

The first printed edition of The Footy Almanac came out in 2007, before we had a website. In the absence of a real 2020 season, we will be publishing the 2007 pieces for the first time ever on Follow the season!



Carlton v Richmond
5.10pm, Sunday, April 1
Melbourne Cricket Ground

by Paul Daffey


Matches between these clubs have meant more than most. In the late 1960s and early ’70s both clubs were at the top of the ladder and belting the billy goats out of each other. From before the bounce this contest looked like it would have some of the old spark. Setanta O’hAilpin stirred the large twilight crowd by bumping Matthew Richardson before proceedings started.


O’hAilpin, lining up for only his 13th AFL game, clearly surprised Richardson, who, after rousing himself, tucked in an arm and began playing hoppo-bumpo. Shoulder to shoulder the pair danced, giving a gentle hint of wilder days.


Just minutes in Richo and Setanta were still at it. They stood with arms locked and feet planted as the ball approached. Setanta was giving away plenty in bulk and experience. Richo used his strength to nudge off his opponent. The ball bounced into his arms. He snapped for goal on his left foot, from the boundary. Had he kicked the goal, it would surely have been his day. He hit the post.


Graham Polak, recruited from Freo to play at centre half-back, lined up next to Richo as a tall forward. Like most of us, Jarrad Waite was surprised to see him there. Polak got a couple of early breaks. Waite’s confidence looked shot. Denis Pagan later moved him into attack where he kicked two telling goals. His mercurial performance epitomised a match that proceeded in surges.


Richmond surged in the second quarter. Their driving force was Nathan Foley who before this game was barely known. Originally from Colac, Foley fought his way up from the Tigers’ rookie list. In the opening term of this match, he had 16 possessions – seven kicks and nine handballs. His opponent Adam Bentick matched him for application, then put the brakes on him. Nick Stevens assumed the starring role. Playing on Richmond captain Kane Johnson, he was clearly best on the ground.


Bryce Gibbs, just eighteen and playing in his first AFL game, came off the bench ten minutes into the first quarter. His first possession was memorable. It happened right in front of me. He sharked the ball off a pack at half-back and handballed with such crispness and efficiency that few would have noticed it. He looked like a No 1 draft pick.


Gibbs showed similar poise, under pressure, to register a goal with his first kick. He dispatched an unlikely handball over his shoulder to free up Brad Fisher who ran into an open goal. Gibbs was not among the top possession-winners, but his polish on debut must have given his teammates a lift.


Richmond surged in the second quarter kicking five goals. The Blues had their chances. Brendan Fevola took three shots at goal in three minutes, for one behind and two out of bounds on the full. In his frustration he cannoned into the back of Andrew Krakouer after the half-time siren, an act that prompted Patrick Bowden to remonstrate. Several Richmond players jumped in. The first half ended the way it began: with the stands in full voice.


The game was in the balance throughout the third quarter. Marc Murphy, unsighted in the first half, came into the match. His captain, however, continued to struggle. Lance Whitnall was soundly beaten by the dour Darren Gaspar, who was uncharacteristically sprightly. At one stage, he took a pass from a teammate forward of the centre circle!


Carlton were on top but they continued to miss shots. The Tiges were lucky to lead by eight points at three-quarter time.


Fevola began the last quarter with a lead and mark of such conviction that the tone was set for a Carlton surge. Soon after Fev had kicked the goal, Setanta outmanoeuvred Richo to take a strong mark and chip to a running teammate. Momentum was with the Blues.


They bombarded the goals but their inaccuracy kept Richmond in it. Eddie Betts was buzzing around like a fly in a bottle. He scooped up the ball at speed on the boundary line and hooked it on his left foot towards the goalsquare. Fevola took a towering mark and kicked his third goal, which decided the match.


The Blues won by 17 points. Fevola had made it possible.


Carlton 5.5 6.11 10.17 15.25 (115)
Richmond 5.2 10.4 13.7 15.8 (98)


Fevola 3; Waite, Fisher, Bentick 2; Walker, Gibbs, Betts, Carrazzo, Russell, Kennedy.
Richmond: Pettifer 4; Richardson 3; Tivendale, Schulz 2; Tuck, Howat, Hyde, Tambling.


Stevens, Fevola, Walker, Betts, Bentick, O’hAilpin, Simpson, Fisher, Thornton, Gibbs.
Richmond: Gaspar, Foley, Newman, Pettifer, Tivendale.

Gibbs (Carlton).


llis, Kamolins, Nicholls.


(Carl.) 3,Fevola (Carl.) 2, Gaspar (Rich.) 1.


(Carl.) 3, Newman (R) 2, Walker (Carl.) 1.




Check out other Round 1 reports HERE.


If you want a printed copy of the 2007 edition of the Footy Almanac, they can be purchased HERE.


Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


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  2. It sounds like there wasn’t much to cheer about in this game. It proved harbinger for what was to come as both clubs lurched their way to the very bottom of the ladder by season’s end.The Tigers were still a decade away from finding success; Carlton is still looking!

  3. The Phantom Suggester says

    I am sure that all sorts of ideas are on the table at the moment, and we have a long haul in front of us, but may I respectfully make one suggestion re: possible material to be published/republished on the site in the coming months?

    How about giving a run to the pieces that were completed, submitted, trimmed, edited etc for the 2016 Almanac, then never published in book form due to the “old school” Almanac for that year being shelved?

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