Tigers Romp in the Swamp


“…YELLOW AND BLACK! Oh we’re from Tiiii-gerrr-land!”

So sang the Tigers at the end of the match. If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t watch matches, but prefers to read Almanac reports about the match in suspense, wondering who’s going to win, well, what can I say? Sorry. But it seems fitting to start with the celebrations at the end, a wild and passionate rendition that 6 players were singing for the first time – plus Damien Hardwick. And every one of them sang the words with pride, not holding back their joy. Success comes and goes, but one thing that us Tigers will always have is the best song in the AFL.

The conditions in Adelaide were simply horrible. Rain came pouring down, and from the ABC radio commentators’ descriptions, the surface sounded like it was more American Everglades than AAMI Stadium. Maybe Richmond should have brought Ben Marsh (or as Dad suggested, Andrew Raines) back just for this game? There was also a strong breeze blowing down the ground towards one end, to which the Power elected to kick.

It looked destined to be a low-scoring, stoppage-filled affair. In the first minute when Nahas was lining up the goal, he discovered the ball was flat! With the replacement ball, Nahas shanked it, kicking up a spray of swamp water and almost failing entirely to open the scoring.

However Robin redeemed himself by doing a clever banana pass to Jack Riewoldt, who ran around and snapped truly. Then the little man soccered Richmond’s second following a good clearance and handball from Tuck. A million miles away from the quagmire, in an air-conditioned office and a collar and tie, whilst thinking of extra compensatory picks the Gold Coast should get, “Vlad” Demetriou was hoping Nahas avoided Brownlow votes so he wouldn’t have to embarrass himself calling his name.

I didn’t envy McGuane as he slid along the soggy turf to save a Hitchcock snap at goal. As each of his legs went on either side of the post, he copped the full force of the goal in the Tyson Gold. Maybe a cricket box was in order?

Sheets of water were sploshing around as the players trampled across the saturated turf, but the Tigers, led by Tuck, Cotchin and GWS target Dustin Martin, seemed to be dealing with the conditions better. While listening to the radio, I brought up AFL Match Centre to follow the stats and chewed nervously on the zipper of my jumper as Port Adelaide came to within 7 points at quarter time.

Richmond in the second quarter utilised the wind better than Port Adelaide had. Early in the quarter C.O.N kicked chipped the ball off the ground through the big sticks. As the woman reporting on the AFL website commented, “Pim Verbeek should consider Jack Riewoldt in his 23-man squad.” Ten minutes later he had his third, and towards the end of the quarter Nason’s roving goal pushed Richmond out to a 29 point lead. It was looking good so far. But no-one would be less likely to adopt a gold jacket attitude than a Richmond supporter. We’ve experienced too many flashes of hope that have been brutally crushed by eventual defeat.

Port had the wind in the third quarter. We needed to hold firm in the third quarter, and hold firm we did. Like the two quarters before it, the third quarter was a soggy affair – one grizzled commentator on ABC said it was the worst conditions he’d seen in 20 years. A 4 goal lead was as good as an 8 goal lead, especially when we had the wind in the last quarter. The ever-cynical Josh Barnstable didn’t seem to agree: “This is Richmond, remember” he said on MSN Messenger.

Then came the final stanza. If Muhammad Ali vs George Foreman was the Rumble in the Jungle, this was the Romp in the Swamp. Stoppages galore – the out-of-place-looking yet valiant Angus Graham was performing well in the ruck and the young Tiger midfield were hard at the contest in the wet conditions. The stats sheet at the end gave a good indication of the scrappiness of the match – Richmond had over twice as many kicks as handpasses, 142 tackles and only 37 marks. Ball-up, knockout, quick kick, contest, tackle, ball-up, knockout…the cycle starts again. Yet the Tigers were clearly the better team – the commentators were praising the Tigers’ endeavour whilst criticising Port’s lack of.

The rain continued to pelt down at AAMI stadium. Boos and jeers from the Power fans were clearly audible, but a light shone down from the heavens on the small cluster of loyal Richmond fans huddled together. Goals to Nahas, Nason and Riewoldt added to their joy and the Tigers walked from the stadium, more mud brown than yellow and black, but ecstatic victors. In my house, I jumped with joy, although my jumping height was restricted by my lanky stature and our low ceiling, whilst David furiously complained about tipping Port. It felt fantastic to silence all those who predicted a winless Richmond season – in the rooms, the Tigers and Damien Hardwick belted out the song with unbridled jubilation and finally, Richmond fans experienced success again. And bloody oath did we deserve it! YELLOW AND BLACK!

Port Adelaide  2.3 2.4 3.10 3.12 (30)

Richmond       3.4 6.9 7.11 10.17 (77)


Richmond: Riewoldt 4, Nason 3, Nahas 2, Tambling

Port Adelaide: Ebert, Hitchcock, D.Stewart

VOTES: 3. S. Tuck (RICH) 2. T. Cotchin (RICH) 1. J. Riewoldt (RICH)

Unlucky to miss out: Martin, Cousins, Graham, K Cornes


  1. Great report, Adam!
    Soooooo happy to see the tigers finally get up! And in such a convincing manner!
    Riewoldt is a gun, I envy you him.
    Poor McGuane … lol :p

  2. Ripping report Adam, you captured the Richmond win perfectly.

    I heard the Deledio interview after the match, I liked how he dismissed the commentators after they said Richmond couldn’t win next week against St Kilda, and about having a worser list than Port, which I agree with. Port have more ‘stars’ then Richmond, but the Tigers have better youngsters.

    Spot on about the best song in the AFL line, I must say I got goosebumps when I heard them belt out the song after the match. I’m sure you did as well.

  3. I also second what Susie said.

    Riewoldt is coming out of his shell, he’s such a good mark.

    And it was just being in the wrong place with the wrong angle of his legs with McGuane.

  4. Pamela Sherpa says

    Glad the Tiges had a win Adam,they have showed some promising form this year so glad they could break through. And what a victory -in the wet.
    You do have a great club song. Hopefully the young Tiges will get another chance to sing it this year -and cause a few upsets.

  5. Steve Healy says

    Great report Adam

  6. Tony Robb says

    there are times in sports when a win gives followers of the game a huge smile and yesterday was one of them. I was constantly on the phone to a mate of mine who is mad for the Tigers. I wouldn’t like to be the nieghbers when the re-cycling truck empties the bin this week. But I was also wrapped for the Tiges as they have a good bunch of kids who needed to win. McGuane’s effort not only saving the goal but also then attacking to pack, and Ebert’s Huge Head, when still in the hands of the trainers, was fantastic. And wasnt it actually good to watch some unsanitised footie. Basic but briliant. Port are weak as water. What sort of club actually advertises that no one turns up to watch them by placing plastic sheets over 10% of the seats which they have done all year.
    Enjoy the day Adam and sing the best song in footie with gusto.

  7. Thanks everyone for the comments, I much appreciate it. Definitely looking forward to some more wins this year – Hardwick is on the right track.

    Tony: Ah yes, I forgot to mention McGuane’s courage in his collision with Ebert. Cue Chumbawumba music? Sometimes a bit dodgy by foot is McGuane but you can’t deny his heart.

  8. Danielle says

    Great report Adam,
    i hope you enjoyed the win.
    Saw a few Richmond supporters today while shopping at Highpoint.
    They were wearing their jumpers and looking especially happy.
    Hopefully your boys can get a few more wins, they deserve it.

    Danni :)

  9. Up the TIGES ! Fantastic Report Adam,

    Good to see Cousins finding some form lets hope he can keep it for the rest of the season.

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