The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 15 – Hawthorn v Richmond: Just another Richmond day

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!



Hawthorn versus Richmond

2.10pm, Sunday, July 15

Melbourne Cricket Ground



I USED TO THINK OF MYSELF AS AN OPTIMIST, but I’ve recently realised that this isn’t the case. I’m just optimistic for a Richmond supporter. For me the glass is half-empty. But at least it contains something you can drink. Most of my yellow and black compatriots see liquid explosives, or poison, or urine from an old woman with a bladder infection.


Obviously we don’t come out of the womb depressed, sullen and wearing yellow and black. We are turned and twisted and sculptured this way by the trials we are forced to endure. Week in, week out. I’ve always thought of St Kilda as the team that attracts musicians and artists as fans. But any truly agonised and depressive poet or artist, curled up in an icy garret, dipping his brush in a cup of his own blood, must surely be of the Tiger faith. I think that the Saints attract the commercial types.


Shrouded in this cloak of suffering I shuffle my way to the ’G, mumbling to myself that we may yet be a chance to take the points. Classic delusional behaviour. I’ve had a couple of phone calls during the week from punting friends wanting to know if the Tigers can win. Of course they can, I say. The Hawks are down after last week’s thumping by Adelaide. Our boys are angry with the Richmond/Hawthorn recruiting debates, the whole Tambling versus Franklin thing. If ever there was a game that we could win…


And so it starts. The first goal of the game is Richo’s, running into the open square and nearly decapitating the goal umpire. He pumps his fist a little too hard, a little too long. He’s an emotional being, Richo, but he normally saves this sort of stuff until the game is won. I’m reminded of the Essendon game, and I don’t want to be reminded of the Essendon game.


By the middle of the quarter the Tigers are three goals up and looking good, but the Hawks work their way back into it. We take a five-point lead into quarter-time, but we are no longer looking like the dominant team. I’m reminded of the Fremantle game, and I don’t want to be reminded of the Fremantle game.


The start of the second quarter picks up where the first left off, with the Hawks in control. Sam Mitchell, good in the first term, is even better now. He has eleven touches for the quarter, each of them earned, each of them used well. He makes it easy for Jarryd Roughead, who has four goals from his first four touches of the match.


Hawthorn surge ahead, but just when I’m thinking I may need to go home to put the roast in the oven, the Tiges come back with goals to Nathan Brown, Kayne Pettifer, and a goal of the week contender from Jay Schulz.


While it got the yellow and black faithful out of their seats, it was this over-the-shoulder-bend-it-the-wrong-way snap from the pocket that said so much about the state of the game, and in many ways, these two teams. This is what Schulz can do, but he does it so irregularly. Meanwhile, at the other end, Roughead was going about business in an effective, if less spectacular fashion. The game is revealing itself to me like so many before. We’re not going to win. I’m staring at a half-empty glass of brake fluid mixed with Draino. If there is to be any consolation for the bitter and twisted soul that I have become, it lies in the Franklin/Tambling contest. The big Hawk has done nothing till half-time, kept quiet by the improving Will Thursfield. Unfortunately, Tambling has done even less.


I miss the start of the third quarter due to the AFL’s insistence of estimating the number of catering staff needed for a game, and then booking just half of that figure. Thus by the time I finally get my pie and coffee the game is effectively over as a contest.


With Hawthorn back to a three-goal lead it is obvious that the Tigers have taken the coach’s words to heart. Not the ones he has delivered at half-time, but the same speech Terry Wallace has given after every Richmond game this year, the We’re tired of honourable losses oratory. Now, with Hawthorn grabbing the ascendancy, the Richmond players decide it is better to die insipidly than with any hint of valour.


Sam Mitchell keeps doing what he does – really well – while Jordan Lewis, Ben McGlynn, Rick Ladson and their ilk show why the future of Hawthorn is so rosy. Not to be outdone, old timers Joel Smith and Shane Crawford get plenty of quality possessions and make a statement with each one, like old roosters working their way around the henhouse, desperate to keep the chopping block at bay.


The late highlight is a Manassa-like run from Hawthorn defender Campbell Brown, taking the ball from behind the back flank to the forward fifty-metre line and kicking a lovely long goal. Mind you, that a player could run so far and in a straight line without once being challenged by an opponent says something about this game and these teams. One feels that both clubs are looking forward to September, if for totally different reasons.


Oh, and the second half saw Lance Franklin kick four goals, while Richard Tambling didn’t manage to touch the ball once. Somebuddy just knocked over my half-empty pot of piss.



Hawthorn  4.2 9.7 14.10 19.15 (129)

Richmond  5.1 8.4 10.6 11.10 (76)



Hawthorn: Roughead 5, Franklin 4, McGlynn 2, Lewis, Ladson, Crawford, Hodge, Dixon, Brown, Thorp, Campbell.

Richmond: Brown, Pettifer, Schulz 2, Edwards, Richardson, Johnson, Tuck, King.



Hawthorn: Mitchell, Roughead, Lewis, Crawford.

Richmond: Foley, Polak, King.



Thorp (Hawthorn).



Goldspink, Grun, Stevic.



Mitchell (H) 3, Roughead (H) 2, Lewis (H) 1.



Mitchell (H) 3, Roughead (H) 2, Sewell (H) 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


  1. Jill Fitzsimons says

    I love this! Beautifully written. I love Tiger writers – they produce some fantastic work. Jay Schulz. Sigh. I still have a woollen jumper with the TAC logo. It’s from the year we lost of our TAC sponsorship due to Jay’s behaviour. It felt like an all-time low and then he went to Port and became a star. Little did Howard know that in 2017 and 2019 we’d eventually come good. I remember this game too. Great to be reminded of how far we’ve come and to enjoy the reflections of others who bleed yellow and black.

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