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The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 17 – Sydney v Richmond: Richmond-hurt

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!



Sydney versus Richmond

7.15pm, Saturday, July 28

Sydney Cricket Ground



DARKNESS LIVES INSIDE THE BELLY OF THE TIGER. Believe me, I know. My mum is a Richmond supporter and she has turned into a cold, bitter?old woman.


She hasn’t smiled in 25 years and music has been banned in her house since Geoff Raines donned a Collingwood jumper.


Mum sits fairly and squarely in the anti-Richo corner. (Aren’t they hilarious Richmond supporters? I mean, they can’t even decide if their champion is a champion or not – I suppose that happens when your club makes a habit of giving its stars the boot.)


Anyway, I sat down with mum the other night and watched the first quarter of the Swans versus Richmond game.


It was never going to be pretty so I brought mum some Mountain Goat Surefoot Stout and steamed dim-sims to lighten the mood. Incredibly, she was somewhat underwhelmed so I gave her a hand with the dimmies.


The Swans started well and Richmond were on the back foot early.


Spida slotted the first. Then Bustling kicked to the Swagman who took a speccie who passed it to Spida who threaded another one.


Our big men were throwing their weight around and it was looking ugly, Richmond-ugly, and (to borrow a phrase from John Harms) mum was looking angry, Richmond-angry.


Kelvin Moore put Richmond on the board but Hall replied immediately and I cracked open my third stout in 10 minutes because I knew where this was headed and I needed courage, Dutch courage.


I started to explain to mum that she should enjoy her twilight years and her first decision should be to drop Richmond and embrace another club and be happy.


It was then I saw something. Mum’s eyes were normally black like the shark but I saw a flicker, a light. I think this was a revelation for her (not dropping Richmond, being happy) and she listened. I told her Richmond was evil and she should move to a good club like West Coast or GTV Collingwood or Port or Adelaide. At first mum was livid and she started belting me with her walking sticks but I curled up like a wood-louse and yelled, “Travis Cloke!”. After cracking only two of my ribs, she stopped, God bless her, and I told her if she followed Collingwood she would be supporting a cashed-up club with lots of Channel Nine executives wandering around, be with fans who were universal in their support for their champs and had a Cloke to watch.


Not only that, she had a club that often belied the talents on its list and sometimes even made it to Grand Finals (I didn’t have the heart to tell her that was where the joy ended).


It may have been the stout talking, but mum was sold and the thought of meeting some Nine chiefs thrilled her – she was keen to tell someone that 60 Minutes was rubbish these days and it was time to bring back Tony Barber.


My ribs were hurting but my work was done. I was off to the pub to meet Howie and I knew persuading him to switch to Collingwood would be a wee bit trickier.


I appeared at the pub at quarter-time and Nathan Brown and Shane Edwards had reduced the margin to a goal but this was fool’s goal, fool’s hope. The problem was that the Tiger pack at the pub didn’t know it.


They were Richmond-drunk.


At the start of the second, Bustling put his hands on the back of McGuane, marked, kicked the goal and the Tiger pack went off. These lads were hard core. These were the guys who stood at the Punt Road end and they were scarred – Richmond-scarred – by the hands-in-the-back rule since the day Richo was pinged against Essendon.


There were lots of finger pointing at the TV and I looked at Howie and Howie looked at me and we stayed silent, Richmond-silent, before I cleared my throat and said: “Mate, have you ever thought of following a good club?”.


There was pony-tail and the new-romantic and there was the curly-haired guy with glasses and about 15 others and they were turning. When Troy Simmonds missed everything, pony-tail yelled: “Give us a point, at least”.


At the start of the third, Simmonds missed everything again and this was followed by a very quiet Richo also putting it out on-the-full. Curly screamed at the TV: “Laugh it up, bastards”.


Kayne Pettifer had become the spiritual leader, Kane Johnson was captain inspirational, Wallace was a tanned joke, Richo was useless, Howie was outside having a fag, and someone had scribbled on my notes, Umpires are fucked, and new-romantic was trying to intimidate me.


I looked at him and he looked at me and I said: “Mate, have you ever thought of switching clubs?”.


I saw something in his washed-out eyes – a flicker, a light. He was confused, Richmond-confused.


I folded my arms to protect my ribs.



Sydney  4.3 9.5 16.7 21.12 (138)

Richmond  3.2 6.7 9.9 10.12 (72)



Sydney: Hall 6, Davis 4, Schneider 3, O’Keefe, Everitt 2, Jolly, Schmidt, J. Bolton, Bevan.

Richmond: Brown 3, Hughes 2, Edwards, Riewoldt, Pettifer, Krakouer, Moore.



Sydney: Hall, Goodes, Jolly, C. Bolton, J. Bolton, Davis, McVeigh.

Richmond: Newman, Brown, Thursfield, Edwards, Tuck.



Connors (Richmond).



Chamberlain, Head, Hendrie.



Goodes (S) 3, Hall (S) 2, J. Bolton (S) 1.



Goodes* (S) 3, Buchanan* (S) 2, Davis (S) 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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