The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 6 – Richmond v Geelong: Only three more years of this crap!

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 www.footyalmanac.com.au. Follow the season!

 

 

Richmond versus Geelong
5.10pm, Sunday May 6
Telstra Dome, Melbourne
by
ADAM McNICOL

 

AS A RICHMOND SUPPORTER BORN IN THE LATE 1970s, I had already seen some awful things. I had seen almost as many hundred-point thrashings as wins. I had seen Richard Lounder. And Anthony Banik. And Matthew Dundas. And Billy Nicholls.

 

But I was looking forward to the match against Geelong, despite the fact that we were winless and our coach, Terry Wallace, said we would be no good until 2011. Our great effort against the Eagles in Round 5 gave me more than hope: it gave me expectation.

 

I tipped the Tigers to win.

 

We went into the match without the shonky kicking of full-back Darren Gaspar, the worst No. 1 pick in the national draft since Lounder and Banik (honourable mentions to Stephen Hooper, Alex McDonald and Clive Waterhouse). Gaspar had retired after being told by Tez he was no longer required because we were seeking results over the last 17 games which would most advantage our long-term future. Wingman Greg Tivendale was also dropped, just in case any supporters remained unaware of the situation.

 

I still thought we would win. Then I noticed Kane Johnson and Shane Tuck were starting on the bench. Was it possible to make the message any clearer? There was just a smattering of applause as Geelong kicked the opening three goals. Steve Johnson, who was back in the Cats’ team after serving a five-match ban for drinking himself silly on Christmas Eve in Wangaratta, stood out as the class player on the field.

 

The noise level lifted slightly when Cameron Mooney snapped a miraculous goal with his left foot from deep in the left pocket.

 

Barely a murmur of discontent could be heard among the Richmond fans, even when Johnson set up another goal, this time for Paul Chapman, and the scoreline suddenly read 7.1 (43) to 0.0 (0).

 

In such situations, Geelong are never content to play like millionaires. They go straight to playing like billionaires. Players were suddenly handballing back over their heads, others were kicking off the wrong foot for no reason, and beanpole ruckman Mark Blake drew cheers by booting a perfect drop-punt, on the run.

 

When the siren finally sounded to end the first term, the Cats had piled on 10 goals to lead by 55 points.

 

Most Richmond supporters seemed to agree our team had taken the long-term approach to a new level, yet there was none of the anger associated with similar performances in the Danny Frawley era. Maybe Terry Wallace is Australias greatest salesman. Some fans refer to him as Snake Oil.

 

I consoled myself with the thought that we were just months away from trading the first pick in the draft for Kepler Bradley or Justin Longmuir.

 

The first text messages arrived. U r a young man, dont do anything rash now,wrote my mate Olmy.

 

Luds wrote, Oh were from Tigerland, the fighting fur… Oh sorry, my mistake.

 

The onslaught continued at such a pace in the second quarter that we soon realised the Cats were a chance to overhaul their AFL record score of 37.17 (239), set against Brisbane at Carrara in 1992. At half-time they led 20.6 (126) to 2.7 (19).

 

By then, I had witnessed a record of my own. I spotted the first Richmond supporters leaving at the 26-minute mark of the second quarter. They probably made it home with enough time to cook a Sunday roast.

 

You would have expected the Geelong supporters to be dancing in the aisles. Instead, they were angry. Their love for the 2007 team, and especially the coach Bomber Thompson, had dried up when they capitulated against the Kangaroos at Kardinia Park a week earlier. By belting the hopeless Tigers, ‘Bomber’ would get another let-off.

 

The Richmond fans didnt get upset. They just continued to leave.

 

Those who remained began the inevitable discussion about why we recruited Richard Tambling (pick four in the 2004 national draft) and not Lance Franklin (taken by the Hawks with pick five), who had kicked nine goals for Hawthorn the day before. Of course, an analysis of Richmonds recruiting cant end there.

 

As a friend said to me a couple of days before, Im not sure we couldve fitted Pavlich, Franklin and Richo in the one forward line.

 

Geelong at least kept alive some interest in the match by piling on eight goals in the first 19 minutes of the third quarter. Gary Ablett, Travis Varcoe and Tom Hawkins made the most of Richmonds shambolic Gaspar-less defence. Nathan Ablett still looked like he was running in quicksand, but even he started popping them through from everywhere.

 

By my reckoning, the Cats were three goals ahead of the goal-rate required. They went into the last break having amassed the highest three quarter-time score in VFL/AFL history: 29.9 (183). They led by 144 points.

 

I departed the Dome and headed off to play mixed netball. The ABC radio commentary suggested Geelong just couldnt be bothered chasing down the record in the final quarter. However, the final margin of 157 points was the Tigers’ biggest loss since entering the VFL in 1908.

 

At least weve got only three more seasons of this nonsense to come.

 

Geelong 10.2 20.6 29.9 35.12 (222)
Richmond 1.1 2.7 5.9 9.11 (65)

GOALS
Geelong: Chapman, Mackie, N. Ablett, Hawkins 4; G. Ablett, Varcoe, Ling 3; S. Johnson, Mooney 2; Ottens, Enright, D. Johnson, Selwood, Bartel, Tenace.
Mooney 2; Ottens, Enright, D. Johnson, Selwood, Bartel, Tenace.
Richmond: Hughes 3; Richardson, Tuck 2; White, Pettifer.

BEST
Geelong: G Ablett, Blake, S. Johnson, Bartel, Varcoe, Mooney, Ling, Corey, Mackie, N Ablett.
Richmond: Richardson, Hughes.

MILESTONE
Wallace (Richmond) 50 games as coach at current club.

UMPIRES
Avon, Kennedy, K. Nicholls.

OUR VOTES
G. Ablett (G) 3, Blake (G) 2, S. Johnson (G) 1.

BROWNLOW
G. Ablett
(G) 3, Corey (G) 2, Mackie (G) 1.

CROWD
34,584

 

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

 

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

 

The Footy Almanac 2007

 

 

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Comments

  1. Paul Spinks says

    Brought back fonder memories for me than the author – but an entertaining wry report. Though, Chris Scott’s comment last year that we’d be a better team this year reminded me of Wallace’s call.

    This was the match the made me stand up after sitting down after standing up after the Carlton match (but, in retrospect the Cats’ performance against the Dees became better than first thought).

    Some commentators were less impressed. Caroline Wilson accused us of being flat-track bullies. And on the drive home I heard Finey on SEN for the first time. He was ranting about Geelong being “gay deceivers”. I thought to myself, “who is this bloke?”

    Of course, I wasn’t predicting this performance to lead to a premiership. Cat fans weren’t even at ‘putting a lid on it’ stage yet.

    And Tiges fans are happy now.

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