Tigers rise to the occasion

I couldn’t sleep at all. I sat in bed at 1:00AM, and slowly, it crept to 4:00AM, where I finally closed my eyes for a couple of hours of shuteye. I had so many things on my minds, for some reason I was thinking about all these mathematical situations, the game between North Melbourne and Geelong which, when I awoke at 1:00, thought I had overslept and dived at the radio. It was nighttime though, it didn’t register in my mind. And another thing floating through my mind as I tried to sleep was who the current number eight was for the Adelaide Crows, and the name of the Crow youngster who did his knee in just his second match last year. As I finally drifted into dreamland, I awoke with my answers: Myke Cook and Brodie Martin.

I decided to do a report on the Tigers and Swans game, and I was lucky I did. I was looking forward to young Trent Dennis-Lane playing; hopefully he doesn’t suffer from the goalkicking yips, just like his mate Lewis Jetta. I also wanted to see Dustin Martin in action. Interesting that he’s got some ink on both sides of his neck. That must have hurt, but you would think Dusty will regret that when he’s an old man. In fact, when I think about it, I can’t picture Martin as an 80 year-old.

The game started and Ben Nason got his toe onto the ball in the goalsquare to kick his first, but the Swans replied through Jarred Moore with a long bomb from 50m out. Jack Riewoldt took a hanger, although I wasn’t sure if he was paid the mark or got a free kick. Nonetheless, he kicked the goal, only for it to be countered by Kieren Jack. Riewoldt found the big sticks again with his second, and you could tell he was on. Shane Mumford had a shot on goal but missed, but was downed after he kicked. He was then asked the toughest question of his young life by the umpire, whether he would take the point or take another shot at goal. The ball went back into Mummy’s hands and he put it through, giving the Swans a three point lead going into quarter time, 3.3 to 3.0.

As I listened on the radio, my North boys fell short against Geelong, but were gallant in the last quarter. As the second quarter started at the MCG, Riewoldt kicked his third with a good mark, two-deep in the goalsquare. Jarrad McVeigh shone under the grey skies though, putting through a goal from outside 50, with a little help from an unguarded goalsquare. Mitch Farmer received a handball and put through a classy goal from outside 50 to give Richmond the lead again, but the Swans managed to kick two goals for the first time for either club during the afternoon, with McVeigh goaling from a tight angle, then running into an open goal after a great tap by the Canadian Mike Pyke. The Swans led by 12 points going into the main break, 6.6 to 5.0.

Would the Tigers overrun the Swans, or would Sydney’s mettle and experience get them over the line? It seemed like the latter, as Moore kicked his second goal from 50m out, then Ben McGlynn, who tore Richmond apart in Round 3, intercepted a Chris Newman kick-in. Yes, a Newman kick-in. McGlynn kicked the goal and stretched the lead out to 26 points. Andrew Collins kicked took a good juggling mark to kick his first, but Adam Goodes replied to that after a good Pyke mark. Then the Canadian gave the MCG something to talk about. As the ball went in long to the Sydney goalsquare, Pyke flew and took the mark, and saw space between himself and the goalposts. He galloped on, and put it through for his first goal in AFL. The Swans led by 33 points. Game over. Martin had a flying shot from a big pack though and threaded it, giving Richmond some hope.

I thought I’d never say this, but I actually prefer Channel 7’s footy coverage over Channel 10’s. Sure, Channel 7 show a plethora of ads on the Sunday match, but on the Saturday afternoon and Saturday night games on 10, they seem to cut to a break as the ball leaves the goalkickers boot, as we don’t get to relive what transpired before it from a different angle, while with Channel 7, sure they go to an abnormally long break, but they do show the replay of the goals kicked before cutting away. And they seem easy to listen too, even if the likes of Bruce McAvaney and David Schwarze can make your ears bleed, while Channel 10 is very…robatronic, without any drama or story.

Just as quickly as I realise this, Channel 7 let us down, missing out on a small chunk of action that led to a Richmond behind. At least we didn’t miss what happened next. Ben Griffiths intercepted a Rhyce Shaw kick-in, yes a Shaw kick-in. Griffiths went back and slotted the goal from 45m out on a tight angle, and then a great leap running without any thought of his own safety to Riewoldt saw him kick his fourth and cut the margin to just 14 points at the main break, 9.3 to 10.11.

I was faced with a very tough dilemma as the final quarter started though. Do I switch over to Channel 10 to watch Sports Tonight? I was dying to see some highlights from the clash at Kardinia Park, but I didn’t want the result from the MCG game spoiled. I bit the bullet and flicked over to Channel 10 just as the end scores from this match were flashed up on the screen. I quickly shut my eyes. And opened them when it was safe. In the end, they showed about 20 seconds of highlights from the game at Geelong, as I flicked back to Channel 7 I saw Newman receive a handball, run from the centre to half forward with a bounce and nail the goal from outside 50. That’s a captains goal. Trent Dennis-Lane did what Jetta couldn’t do in his first 12 matches, kicking a good goal from the forward pocket to take the margin back out to 14 points. Riewoldt took a great mark on the lead after Newman spotted him with perfect precision from the wing. Now that’s a good kick. Riewoldt goaled, but Ryan O’Keefe equaled that, spotting Goodes on the lead surrounded by Tigers. Goodes goaled under immense pressure, like champions do, to stretch the lead back out to 14.

Then came the moment. Running back with the flight of the ball, Collins put himself in a world of danger, backing into Lewis Roberts-Thomson, the two collided heads and Collins was down, LRT on his feet. The ball spilled out to Newman who calmly angled the ball across his boot and put it through, checkside style. Then came the call of the day from the

Director after hearing Ox's comment

Ox. “He’s out cold!” he proclaimed about Collins, who was running off the field.

Then, in a miraculous effort, Collins returned to the field to take a great mark in the same fashion he was knocked in the head. He goaled, cutting the deficit to just two points. I started to believe the Tigers could win. They could, they would. Collins was the hero. Marking at the back of a pack on the boundary line, he quickly played on and snapped his third to give Richmond the lead with just under a couple of minutes to go. Richmond held onto the ball well, and the euphoria around the great stadium of the MCG was electrifying as the final siren sounding, signaling Richmond’s fourth win of the year and fourth in the past five games.

And Channel 7 actually waited around after the game to show the theme song being played on the P.A system, hearing that ‘yellow and black’ roar just sends shivers down my spine. Channel 7 went higher in my books.

Richmond 3.0—5.0—9.3—14.5.89

Sydney 3.3—6.6—10.11—12.13.85


Richmond-Riewoldt 5, Collins 3, Newman 2, Griffiths, Martin, Farmer, Nason

Sydney-McVeigh 3, Goodes 2, Moore 2, Dennis-Lane, Pyke, McGlynn, Mumford, Jack


Richmond-Deledio, Newman, Jackson, Riewoldt, Connors, Collins

Sydney-Bolton, O’Keefe, McVeigh, Hannebery, Pyke, Mumford


39,386 at the MCG


3: Brett Deledio (R)

2: Chris Newman (R)

1: Jude Bolton (S)

About Josh Barnstable

21 year old North Melbourne supporter from country Victoria. Currently living in Melbourne studying a Bachelor of Sports Media. Dreams of becoming a sports journalist and broadcaster.


  1. Damian Watson says

    Good account Josh,

    I agree with you about the Ox.

    However I believe you are being relatively unreasonable about Channel 10. Unlike their Free to Air counterparts, 10 are dedicated to telecasting live football.

    Also they are a commercial station so it is an obligation for 10 to show ads throughout a match after each goal.To witness an uninterrupted match on commercial television would be a miracle, but it just can’t occur.

  2. When the tiges get rolling the noise lifts thrillingly. It was pretty humdrum for a lot of the afternoon, with Richmond going missing for most of the second and third terms but just before 3/4 time they started to find something…and the Punt Road End started to roar. A “neutral”, by game’s end I was on my feet clapping.
    I took a Newcastle Knights member to his first ever AFL game and MCG visit. Afterwards all he could say was how poorly footy translates on TV – you have to be there. We were gald we were yesterday.

  3. Top report Josh,

    Did they actually stick around to show the song in rural Victoria? Damn Channel 7!

    Don’t be so critical of Martin, at least his ink has family tradition behind it. Plus, my Dad’s stopped asking “Is that Dustin Martin?” when he gets on the screen now.

  4. Tony Robb says

    I know its a big call but, after winning 4 from 5, can the Tiges begin the dream about ninth.

  5. Haha Tony – it’s not impossible. When you consider that the Tigers tend to come ninth in even numbered years (94, 96, 98, 00, 06, 08) then it seems impossible to avoid now!

  6. Thanks for the comments.

    1: Damo, Channel 10 are dedicated to showing live football? And when do they do that exactly? The only time they show live footy is during an interstate game or a blockbuster, the same with Channel 7. They are as poor as each other in regards to showing life football.

    2: The Tigers might just be the best neutral team to support when they are up and about.

    3: They didn’t show the team singing the song Adam, but they played the entire theme on the speakers at the MCG.

  7. Josh,
    I’m not a fan of the song in the rooms being telecast…I reckon that moment is for players and “insiders”. The crowd singing after the match, though, was fantastic. Spine-tingling stuff, and I barrack for the Doggies!

  8. Steve Healy says

    Well done Josh,

    I actually think what channel 10 does is better. The ball goes through the goals, then when the ad break stops they usually replay it again. And I much prefer one ad instead of several in a row. You can argue as much about channel 7 coverage as you like- but at the end of the day its a pointless excersise. However, I wouldn’t mind the sunday coverage if they just did the normal one ad after each goal like they do on friday night, but its obvious the reason they string it out to just before 6 is to attract more news viewers.

    By the way, I object to you using derogatory comments to describe David SCHWARZ (not Schwarze), I find he provides good insight to the game at times. And I doubt Dean Bailey is the director of the channel 7 footy coverage

  9. Crio,
    The players singing the song in the rooms can be quite different. Who wants to see Geelong singing the song? No one really, other than Geelong supporters. But when Richmond players sing the song, it’s probably the most heartwarming 40 seconds of the day.

    I was at the Richmond v West Coast game a couple of weeks ago and it was terrific to hear the crowd really get involved. Sounded like 60,000 people singing it.

  10. Steve,

    I don’t know how to explain this, but i’ll try. Channel 10 commentators sound very relaxed and casual, as if there’s no passion to commentating, while Dennis Cometti and Bruce McAvaney have passion. And I think Channel 10 worry more about giving out prizes to the best players etc. Of the 21 goals kicked on Saturday night at AAMI Stadium, I’m positive about only eight got replayed.

    David Schwarz does not belong in a special comments chair Steve, that is all.

  11. Steve Healy says

    I disagree. Huddo, Tim Lane and Quartermain use plenty of passion in their commentary. As for Kelli Underwood, thats another story…

    Well I don’t know who you’d rather have in his place. Former champion, big star on the radio and on channel 7, even if he does say some stupid things I’m sure he’s not gonna get fired for it

  12. Damian Watson says


    Channel 10 has indicated many times that it is committed to telecasting live football from Melbourne once the anti-siphoning laws are altered. This willingness has been shown by it’s ability to broadcast big matches live, unlike Channel 7 until recently.

    The main difference is Channel 10 are willing to show live footy whereas 7 opt to comitt to Better homes and Gardens on a Friday Night and only respond to public opinion.

  13. Damian Watson says

    Also how could you accuse those callers to lack passion. All commentators convey passion in their own way as well as providing insight. Channel 10 callers are good exponents of both, the same is said on Channel 7.

    Obviously on radio the atmosphere is a little more passionate and laid-back because it is a different medium but it is still unreasonable to accuse a lack of passion in regars to Channel 10 callers.

    What is wrong with distributing prizes to best players? that has been awarded on many TV stations as far back as the World of Sport era.

  14. Steve Healy says

    I agree Damo. Every caller is passionate in their diffferent way. And the caller is usually only as exciting as the game is.

    By the way josh I forgot to praise the first paragraph, I love it, it reminds me of things that happen to me sometimes

  15. I’d take Channel 10’s coverage anyday, but with Channel 7’s commentators. Cometti and McAvaney are a dynamic combo together in the box.

    But the superior commentary is offset by the regular streams of multiple ads after goals, and 7’s ridiculous insistence on showing BHaG before the footy on Friday nights (as Damo mentioned)

    Another thing that annoys me: Bruce’s love of the phrase “arches his back”. Often when he says that, they do nothing of the sort. I mentioned this to Dad whilst watching the match, and he started commentating the match. “Jackson arches his back and handpasses to Cotchin, who arches his back, short kick to Deledio, who plays on, arches his back and kicks long inside 50…” You get the idea.

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