The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 10 – Richmond v Brisbane: A dead draw

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!



Richmond versus Brisbane Lions

7.15pm, Saturday, June 2

Telstra Dome, Melbourne



FIRST, THE GOOD NEWS. Deb and Ross are Queenslanders (both alumni of the esteemed Nambour High School), but more than that, they’re loyalists. Since the year dot, Ross has supported St George in what is now the National Rugby league, and Deb, Parramatta. In the AFL, Ross chose… Richmond… during the 1982 Grand Final. Deb came on board when they married 18 years later.


Small details like the establishment of the Brisbane Broncos and Bears/Lions has not shifted them, despite those clubs’ buckets of flags and the extended droughts of their chosen clubs. Since moving to Melbourne two years ago, Deb and Ross have even held fast in the face of almost weekly live horror shows by the Tigers.


Before the game we had a good, cheap and undisturbed meal at the Hare Krishnas’ restaurant upstairs in Swanston Street. And then we saw the AFL’s first draw for 2007.


Ah, you think I’m still on the good news … Sorry, but now it’s bad.


After this match both the Melbourne dailies, The Age and the Herald Sun, were moved to publish the same letter attacking this dire spectacle. The writer was Pauline Serafini, who at the very least shares her surname with two former Fitzroy legends, of whom one is a current Brisbane director. How, then, did more casual Lions and Tigers fans react?


During the last 10 minutes of most drawn AFL matches, the crowd noise resembles the swell and crash of heavy surf, punctuated by stark silences and frenzied screams, before the siren abruptly freezes all emotions. The predominant sound swirling around the Doom in the last quarter of this match was not the majesty of the oceans; it was the surly crackle of undergrowth before the explosion of a bushfire. And the post-siren silence was not awed; it was blank.


As Nigel Lappin observed, the players and the crowd were even robbed of the normal suspense, as the siren sounded about five minutes ahead of expectations. We should have known, though. No quarter extended to more than 28 minutes.


The total match time of 106 minutes compared oddly to the normal span of 120 or so. Perhaps the timekeepers took matters into their own hands.


Lappin himself, though, was a speck of gold among this rubbish. Apart from kicking a contender for goal of the year on the three-quarter-time siren, he rediscovered the pace, confidence and precision that had seemed destroyed by his many long-term injuries. Up forward, Rhan Hooper (now pardoned after reprising Darryl White’s off-season truancy in guernsey No. 33) can chase, Mitch Clark can lead, and Joel Patfull can mark in a pack. Perhaps the Lions midfielders should sometimes take the killing searchlight off Jonathan Brown.


Thin pickings for the Tigers. Boy, do they need the presence of Troy Simmonds! Daniel Jackson blanketed the pivotal Simon Black and provided a creative punch of his own out of the centre. Richo kept them afloat with an under-and-around snap trumped only by Lappin. Jay Schulz also gives them something up forward, more than Kent Kingsley does. (Wallace’s youth policy: sack Gaspar, hire Kingsley).


Another returning Lion, Josh Drummond, scored 227 points in the Herald Sun rankings (a competition high for 2007 to date), but this was, I’m sorry, a George Bernard Shaw stat. Drummond was merely the Lions’ loose defender in one of Terry Wallace’s tiresome chess matches. But he was largely blameless for the stat that mattered: the Lions’ collective 50 errors (and 42 by Richmond; most teams rack up about 30 on a normal day).


Really, the only class on show in this match was during the 35 minutes before Lappin’s siren special, when the Lions turned an “inevitable” 2.8 (20) into 10.10 (70) and seemed home. Then, in the last quarter, Patfull, Brown and Hooper all dropped the key and, out of the murk of 20 minutes of primary school kick-to- kick, Tambling and Pettifer each found it to get Richmond out of jail.


Afterwards, Wallace lamented that his young Tigers were afraid to follow their instincts. (That’s rich!) Ever the lateral thinker, he also called for extra time to decide home-and-away matches, to abolish the “emptiness” of the draw. What’s next, Tez? A shootout? The last drawn football match to inspire more ennui than this was Ukraine and Switzerland’s second-round shocker in the 2006 World Cup: 0-0 at full-time, still 0-0 after extra time, before Ukraine won 3-0 on penalties. Switzerland couldn’t hit the target once in four goes from the spot! Leigh Matthews was quick to shoot down Wallace’s tie-breaker kite; if I coached the Lions, I’d want to avoid a shootout, too.


Still, for some madly happy Tiges fans, this was two more premiership points than the first nine rounds had delivered. Deb gushed: “I’m hysterical – it’s great: nobody lost!”


But football did.



Richmond 2.4 4.7 8.9 10.13 (73)

Brisbane Lions 1.5 5.8 10.10 10.13 (73)



Richmond: Richardson, Tambling 2, Shulz, Kingsley, Jackson, Edward, Deledio, Pettifer.
Brisbane: Patfull 3, Brown, Lappin 2, Adcock, Begley, Clark.



Richmond: Jackson, Johnson, Richardson, Foley, King.

Brisbane: Lappin, Patfull, Drummond, Notting, Hooper.



Sherman (Brisbane) 50 games, Grun (umpire) 50 games.



Schmidt (Brisbane).



Sully, Grun, McInerney.



Lappin (B) 3, Jackson (R) 2, Patfull (B) 1.



Black (B) 3, Patfull (B) 2, Tambling (R) 1.






For more Round by Round reports of the 2007 season click HERE


Printed copies of The Footy Almanac 2007 can be purchased here.


2007 Footy Almanac

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