The Tale of the Tiger Tape — 2019

I know there are a lot of Tigers out there who are hanging out for the arrival of the 2019 Tigers Almanac. To help tide you over until you get your claws on a copy, here’s a piece that missed the cut of the book, my look back at Richmond’s year…

 

So dominant have the Tigers become in recent times that its difficult to fathom that it was only three years ago that Martin Hiscock and several of his mates tried to overthrow the Richmond board, a fact perhaps summed up best by the revelation that MARTIN HISCOCK AND CO is an anagram of ACTION: SACK RICHMOND!

 

Only a year later Richmond were premiers, and they were the standout side all through 2018 before falling at the the Preliminary Final. In 2019, they have triumphed again, and here is a week-by-week summary of how they did so.

 

ROUND 1: Many thought Richmond would comfortably account for Carlton in their traditional opening round clash, but after a slow start the Blues were threatening to overrun the Tigers and the match showed signs of turning into an epic tale of ‘Moby Dick’ proportions. The fact that Richmond led 69-56 at the three-quarter time break added weight to that theory, with 6956 being the postcode of Melville.

 

ROUND 2: Having lost Alex Rance to a season-ending ACL injury a week earlier, the Tigers crashed heavily against Collingwood, losing by 44 points. Some Richmond fans may have experienced a sense of déjà vu after the loss, because the score-line of 66-110 was identical to the Tigers’ Round 4 loss to Hawthorn on ANZAC Day 1989.

 

ROUND 3: The Tigers ended a 43-year drought by naming Syd Stack for his debut in this match. 15,540 days earlier, the last Syd to play, Carlton’s Syd Jackson, played his final VFL game in the 1976 Preliminary Final.

 

Richmond led at quarter time of the match against GWS but there were still important questions to be asked at that moment: Would the team with Stack crack? Would the team with Balta falter? Would the team with Short get caught? Would the team with Lynch feel the pinch? Was the team with Broad a fraud?

 

By the end of that match, the answer to all five questions seemed to be “Yes”, as the Giants crushed the Tigers by 49 points.

 

AFLW: Though Richmond’s men were struggling at 1 win and 2 losses, they received some good news ahead of their Round 4 clash, with Bulldog captain Katie Brennan signing on as the Tigers’ first AFLW player. While this news made Richmond fans very happy, to hear the phrase “THE TIGERS’ KATIE BRENNAN” led, anagrammatically at least, to many a BREAKING SENTIENT HEART out at Whitten Oval.

 

ROUND 4: A week after Sydney Stack played his first game, the Tigers brought in another debutant, Jack Ross, 100 years after the first V/AFL Jack Ross made his debut for Geelong in 1919. The Richmond newcomer became the fourth Jack Ross to play V/AFL footy.

 

The Tigers celebrated by beating Port Adelaide by seven points. Richmond kicked 15.9.99, only the second time in AFL era that the Tigers have registered that score. Coincidentally, the other occasion, in 2009, was also against Port.

 

ROUND 5: The Tigers racked up a second win in a row, defeating Sydney by 22 points. This time around it might have been Swans fans who had a sense of déjà vu , with the final score — 13.11.89 to Sydney’s 10.7.67. — being identical to the score in their loss to the Dogs in the 2016 AFL Grand Final

 

ROUND 6: A big win for Richmond over Melbourne was enhanced by a good omen. The final score was 85-42, and the only other team to have beaten Melbourne 85-42 — St Kilda in 1966 — went on to win the flag.

 

ROUND 7: For Tiger fans, the less said about their Round 7 match the better. They were hammered by the Dogs, with young Aaron Naughton brilliant for the victors. Those watching AARON NAUGHTON and his reddish hair fly through the air taking spectacular marks that night may have thought, “He reminds me of something”, at which point it may have anagrammatically hit them: “OH! AN ORANGUTAN!”

 

ROUND 8: Bouncing back from their loss to the Bulldogs, Richmond led Fremantle by 19 points at half time. With the Dockers trailing 53-74, they really needed someone to step up and show some Brownlow form. and they may have been reminded of that fact had they been aware that 5374 is the postcode of Brownlow. Nat Fyfe must have known, because he had a great second half and ended up polling the three votes. But the Tigers won comfortably to move back into the top eight.

 

ROUND 9: A strong four-quarter performance from Richmond against Hawthorn was perhaps best summed up as follows: A quarter time score of 20-17 to the Tigers was a nice little nod to the year of their most recent premiership. By half time Richmond was leading 66-38, and were proving to be irresistible, a fact emphasised by 6638 being the postcode of Mount Magnet. At three quarter time, the Hawks were trailing 45-73 and pretty much dead on their feet. This was hammered home by the fact that 4573 is the postcode of POINT ARKWRIGHT, which is an anagram of ROTTING HAWK, R.I.P. When the final siren sounded, Richmond had won by 36 points, and Hawthorn’s score of 8.11.59 provided another premiership omen for the Tigers. The previous time the Hawks had kicked 8.11 was against Collingwood in 2010, and the Magpies went on to win the flag.

 

ROUND 10: A very inaccurate Essendon had scored just 2.10 by three-quarter time in this match, and trailed 22-59, a score-line that was postally speaking, rather ironic. 2259 is the postcode of Alison, which is the name of an Elvis Costello song in which he sings, “my aim is true“. In the end Richmond won by 23 points, and the match, the 15,493rd in V/AFL history, produced the first ever score-line of 73-50.

 

ROUND 11: A hiccup for the Tigers at Docklands, as they went down to North Melbourne 62-99. For the Kangaroos, this was revenge 92 years in the making, because they themselves had been beaten 62-99 by Richmond in 1927.

 

ROUND 12: On the face of it, this was a terrible match for Richmond, as they got pummelled by Geelong. But history suggested that the result didn’t matter. The only important thing was that the Tigers turned up to face the Cats on the 7th of the month. The game was played on June 7 and, although it was the 195th meeting between the two clubs, it was just the third to played on the 7th of a month. The Tigers triumphed on August 7, 1920 but the Cats conquered on Jul 7 1934. In both years, Richmond won the premiership.

 

ROUND 13: A third loss in a row for the Tigers, but the big positive to come out of the game was the form of Mabior Chol in just his second AFL match. Now there’s no suggestion that he could be the next Matthew Richardson, but it is a fact that THE TIGERS’ MABIOR CHOL is an anagram of “HERE’S BIG OL’ MATT RICHO”.

 

ROUND 14: The Tigers had the bye in Round 14, which was effectively the midway point of their season. Essendon and Fremantle were kind enough to mark that fact by scoring 71 and 71. No doubt the two clubs were fully aware that 7171 is the postcode of Midway Point.

 

ROUND 15: The Tigers returned to the winners list, switching young Sydney Stack from defence into the forward line, and comfortably defeating St Kilda, with Stack kicking four majors. Questions had been asked of the Tigers leading into this match, including the important one, how many goals constitute a stack? Sydney answered that question emphatically: four!

 

ROUND 16: A huge win over the Suns made it two in a row for Richmond, who unveiled another smooth debutant, DEREK EGGMOLESSE-SMITH. Given that he went on to play only one further game in 2019, perhaps another club — say the Western Bulldogs — should consider looking at him, especially considering he’s an anagram of , “HMM. DOGS SEE SLEEK TIGER.

 

ROUND 17: The Tigers were on the front foot from the start in this match. By quarter time GWS were trailing by 26 points and looked to be in as match trouble as the Shu Wan forces were against Cao Wei in the Battle of Jieting. And it was probably no wonder, because at the stage the Giants were trailing 2-28 and the Battle of Jieting was in the year 228.

 

ROUND 18: A stunning 30-possession game from Dion Prestia led the Tigers to a big win over Port, who appeared to be bereft of ideas about how to counter Richmond. This was somewhat ironic, because DION PRESTIA is an anagram of IDEAS IN PORT.

 

ROUND 19: Richmond continued to build momentum, comfortably accounting for Collingwood at the MCG on Friday night. The Tigers were 34 at quarter time, and arguably took their game to another level in the second term to be 61 at half time, a scenario reflected by the fact that 3461 is the postcode of ELEVATED PLAINS.

 

A rare event occurred the following day, with two matches — Brisbane’s win over Hawthorn and Carlton’s victory over Carlton — both finishing with a score-line of 87-60.

 

ROUND 20: In a nice gesture to their opposition, Melbourne gave a nod to the year of Richmond’s first VFL premiership by trailing 19-20 at quarter time. The Tigers thanked the Demons by beating them by 33 points.

 

ROUND 21: Trailing the Tigers 12-40 at half time the Blues were up against it like the Swedes were against Russian prince Alexander Yaroslavich (aka “Nevsky”) in the Battle of the Neva. The Battle of the Neva was, of course, waged in 1240.

 

Carlton were still behind by four goals at the last change, and gave themselves a reminder of the postcode of their home base Princes Park by trailing 30-54 at three-quarter time. In the finish Richmond prevailed by 28 points.

 

ROUND 22:  Another premiership nod by the Tigers to themselves in their match against West Coast. The trailed 19-43 at quarter time, 1943 being the year of their fifth premiership. Just for fun, Richmond then overhauled the four-goal deficit to win 76-65, providing the omen for another flag: The only other team to win 76-65 at the MCG in the AFL era was the Tigers themselves in 2017.

 

ROUND 23: There was an element of poignancy to Richmond’s last-round match against Brisbane, which was played on August 25. The Tigers’ and Lions’ only other August 25 fixture was Fitzroy’s last match in Melbourne in 1996. Richmond won the game as they did in 1996, but fortunately for the Lions the margin this time was 27 points, not the 151 points they had been hammered by 23 years earlier.

 

THE HOME-AND-AWAY WASH-UP: While neither team was probably aware of it, Richmond and Collingwood gave a little a nod to each other’s origins with their final ‘Points For’ tallies for the season. The Tigers’ total was 1892, the year of Collingwood’s formation, while the Pies finished up on 1885, Richmond’s foundation year.

 

Meanwhile, there was an element of disappointment among footy maths heads, with hardly anyone pointing out that Richmond finished in the square root of 9th place.

 

QUALIFYING FINAL: The Tigers had a first-up finals win over Brisbane, and created a bit of club history in doing so. Richmond kicked 18.4, a score they had never previously recorded, and one that had only previously been registered four times in V/AFL history.

 

PRELIMINARY FINAL: Richmond advanced to the Grand Final with a come-from-behind 85-66 win over Geelong, providing themselves with yet another premiership omen.  The previous time the Tigers had won a match 85-66 (in 1943), they went on to win the flag.

 

GRAND FINAL:

 

With the Tigers having won the flag in 2017 but missed out ion 2018, the big question leading into this match was, if Richmond won, would the AFL bring Meatloaf back after the match to sing “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad”? The answer, to the relief of most, proved to be ‘no’.

 

Many had anticipated a Richmond-Collingwood Grand Final but the Giants put paid to that idea with an upset win in the Preliminary Final. So, there were no Pies on Grand Final day, but the Tigers made up for that by kicking plenty of sausage rolls as they thrashed GWS.

 

Some omen lovers forecast a Tigers loss, based on the fact that Richmond had won the flag in 1980 and then lost the 1982 Grand Final after going in as favourites. In 2019, the Tigers had also come in as favourites after winning two years earlier. Sadly, it was not to be, perhaps because this time around there was no appearance from a naked Helen D’Amico to distract Richmond players.

 

There was, however, an element of that era in this year’s result. In 1979, Collingwood lost the Grand Final by five points after kicking the first goal of the match. The following year, the Tigers won the premiership by 80+ points. In 2018, Collingwood lost the Grand Final by five points after kicking the first goal of the match. The following year, the Tigers won the premiership by 80+ points.

 

As he had been in 2017, Bachar Houli was one of the Tigers’ best in the Grand Final but missed out on the Norm Smith Medal. Houli could easily now be a dual medallist, if not for RICHMOND’S DUSTY MARTIN angarammatically showcasing his RUDDY NORM SMITH ANTICS!

 

LOOKING AHEAD: The average height of Richmond’s 2020 playing list is not yet known, but with Callum Moore and Connor Menadue both being delisted by the Tigers after their premiership win, we know it will be a couple of CMs shorter.

 

 

The Tigers Almanac 2019 is out soon.
Order copies HERE.

Orders will be posted from Dec 12

 

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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About Andrew Gigacz

Well, here we are. The Bulldogs have won a flag. What do I do now?

Comments

  1. Colin Ritchie says

    Fab read Gigs! I don’t know how you do it, facts & figures, anagrams, your stories have the lot!

  2. Love it Gigs. But it fries my brain that you inhabit a world where one can’t pick up bread and milk without encountering a portent of doom!

    On round 3, just as well the Tiges didn’t have a Dolores in the mix with those important questions

  3. Amazing stuff, Gigs.
    Even by your usual high standards.

  4. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    All I got out of this was “naked Helen D’Amico” unfortunately.

  5. Thanks Col and Smokie.

    Thanks Punx. I like the idea of frying a few brains — in the nicest possible way of course!

    Swish, I’m glad it wasn’t a total loss, then.

  6. Gigs, portents of doom nesting in anagrams of the banal fries me enough, but what really fries me is you beavering away at this. If it was me, and ‘West Coast Eagles’ was a letter out from delivering ‘Snort Coke Nostrils’, I’d wanna chuck in the towel. But you’re obviously not fazed by this. I expect that for every anagram that works there must be countless misses that sap your will to live? Can you share the best of the near misses with us almanackers? (and I’m hoping for crazy stuff like ‘Barry Hall’s fist’ being a letter short of ‘Hugs and Kisses’ or ‘Vegetable rights and peace’!)

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