Round 12: Richmond v Melbourne

You’d think I’d be happy about the tigers first win…Well I am! However; it doesn’t stop the utter frustration from the abysmal umpiring…wait, let me clarify…the abysmal rule interpretation that these poor guys are made to enforce!!! Surely the umpires of the AFL have a legitimate case to put to Workplace Relations for unfair working conditions???

The 3rd quarter was the worst with 11–1 free kicks (or thereabouts) there was no more than 30 seconds of genuine play in between each free kick given…What I would give just to see a contest again!!! There are clearly too many rules, if you wanted to be pedantic, you could quite easily pay a free kick at every single contest! To have that potential clearly means that the AFL is over umpiring the game!!!

Back to the game… Finally something to smile about – the tigers have found some form of late, with the greatest losing margin in the last 5 rounds being no more than 21 points which was against Fremantle last round. Excluding that, 9 points is the next best (or worst) depending on how you look at it, against Adelaide in Adelaide.

The young tiger cubs are really starting to take the next step and become exceptional footballers. With the likes of Deledio, Foley, King, Jackson, Pattison & Polak who just turned 23 last week.

Nathan Foley was outstanding again, he just gets so much of the ball and his skills have improved dramatically over last year. He just hits a target consistently, a real highlight of the year watching him thrive. With 12 kicks and 11 handballs, he was instrumental in driving the tigers forward at the stoppages. In addition to Foley, Brett Deledio has also been outstanding this season. Although he has been quite in a few rounds, his good games have been outstanding. Friday night was no exception, taking contested marks, out running opponents with the ball and hitting targets with each of his 23 disposals, he has really shown that he was the number one draft pick in 2004. Finally Richmond used their priority pick with diligence!
Will Thursfield was outstanding as well finally getting back the form he had built up prior to doing his knee against St Kilda last season. He just smothered Robertson and clearly came out the winner in that contest. Although he didn’t have many possessions, he kept Russell Robertson to a measly 11 disposals.

Jake King, playing only his 9th career game is a rookie who has just taken to the game without a problem. Although he started the season slowly, struggling to keep up with the pace of the AFL, he has quickly slid into the groove and on Friday night, repaid the faith that Terry Wallace and the match committee has shown in him with an outstanding game. He is not afraid to take them on with plenty of run and finishing the game with 16 kicks and 5 handballs, he was everywhere the ball was.

Other notable mentions go to Graham Polak who was simply awesome with his 28 disposals and 11 marks, quelling many forward thrusts by Melbourne and stabilising a once fragile backline. Daniel Jackson is maturing, Greg Tivendale showed experience, Shane Tuck worked as hard as ever, Chris Hyde is very polished with his skills and Chris Newman just continues to show composure when under fire.

Adam Pattison still has a long way to go however, continues to show promise.

The true heroes of the night were the dynamic duo Matthew Richardson and Nathan Brown. Browny just showed he has still got it after nearly two years out of the game. His polished skills just shone through with precision marking and kicking. He rarely fumbles or miss-kicks and he frees up Pettifer to roam and kick his required 2-3 goals. Richo was outstanding with his 16 marks and 23 disposals – He was everywhere. Unfortunately his poor kicking for goal let him and the team down with a below par 3.6. This does not include the 3 other opportunities that were rushed through and the 3 that he gave off as assists to team-mates. If he had capitalised on his opportunities, he could have easily kicked 12 goals and the margin would have been far greater. If this guy could kick for goal, I truly believe that Richo would be pushing the all-time goal kicking record that Lockett holds of 1357…

On a not so positive note, Andrew Raines was disappointing. He has so much promise and can be so exciting however, his decision making and disposal just continually lets him, and the team down. A few times on Friday night he blindly turned into trouble or just didn’t even look at his options before disposing and he continually disposes to players who themselves are under immense pressure. There is still a lot of room for improvement in this kid and hopefully we can persist with him and help him hone these important skills.

Next week we face a depleted St Kilda after the long trek across the nullabor. Hopefully we can continue the winning run and turn one win into 2 and hopefully Nathan Brown can just continue to get better as the year draws to an end.

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Richmond vs Essendon – The wrap up!

What an absolute nightmare! Never have I seen a game that made me so lost, angry, upset… I’m struggling to find the words to describe it… Andrew Demetriou, Kevin Bartlett and their respective departments within the AFL have ruined our once loved game! If you haven’t read my letter to the AFL in a previous post, please do, it is the pre-cursor to this outburst I am about to unleash…

Where do I start? The game as a spectacle wasn’t something to behold, skill errors all night and neither team really put a mark on the game. Richmond had control for most of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters but once again, they just couldn’t hold on in the end being run over in the last 5-10 minutes of the game.

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Now to the point – What a disgrace of a game from an umpiring perspective – Unfortunately the umpires cop the brunt of this when realistically it is wholly and solely the AFL (Andrew Demetriou) and the rules committee’s (Kevin Bartlett) fault! They have sent their employees to work without the correct tools to complete their job – like lambs to a slaughter, these guys have got no hope with the current Hierachy.

This could be considered bias in some areas however, I am a Richmond supporter and I’m sure that these types of decisions have been paid against your team on numerous occasions…

First Quarter

Incident 1 – Matthew Lloyds first kick of the night – A free kick, in the back… From where I sat, there was no push whatsoever – I question if his hand even touched his back – disgrace – Is the rule “push

in the back” or “hand on the back region”??? Let’s get it right!

Incident 2 – Angus Monfries – takes a mark and clearly plays on. Not just one step, he took 2-3 steps on the run – The richmond player, Kane Johnson, Grabs him, doesn’t throw him, down, just retatrds him and the goose of an umpire – No.4 pays fifty metres!!! Can’t blame the AFL for that one – that umpire is clearly just a incapable of making a pressure decision in the big leagues!

Second Quarter

Incident 3 – Polak attempts to mark and gets a hand in the back no free kick – in the grand scheme of things, this is probably ok because it is a rubbish rule, but when you pay the same thing 20 minutes earlier to Lloyd, and this one was much more obvious, just give us some consistency… I think the problem here is that the other umpire (not No.4) paid the right decision in the context of the game however his less than capable collegue (No.4) built the rod for his back with the earlier, disgraceful decision.

Incident 4 – Daniel Jackson – courageously runs back with the flight, eyes on the ball the entire time, tries to mark the ball and a free kick is paid against him for interferring with the essendon player coming towards the ball. GIVE ME A BREAK!!! Reward the player showing courage – We need to be encouraging that type of play, not penalising it!!! Again it was umpire No.4 – clearly showing his ineptitude and inexperience paying an uneducated and ridiculous free kick!

Third Quarter

Incident 5 – Shane Edwards – Gets tackled and slung and handballs the ball off but is penalised for holding the ball.. HOW??? HE DISPOSED OF IT!!! Umpire No.4 again – say no more!

Last Quarter

Incident 6 – Richo’s mark, goal and consequential 50m penaly against! Where do I start? I was completely dumbfounded! How could anyone – AFL, umpires, supporters want to see that type of play removed from our game??? How could the AFL design a rule that tries to remove that? It was inspirational from a supporter perspective – I am completely baffled – He didn’t even push him in the back!!! All he did was hold him at bay and stopped him from backing into him!!! Idiot umpire, buy cialis uk ridculous AFL!!! What are Andrew Demetriou & Kevin Bartlett trying to do? i cannot see any legitimate need for this rule at all in our game? Instead of making it stricter, remove it completely!!! Another one they got wrong (one of many)

Incident 7 – Matthew Lloyd – free kick after the final siren. He took a mark and played on – the umpire CLEARLY waved his arms signalling play on and then the siren sounded… The umpire then blew full-time and gave him the kick again!!! Just blatant ineptitude from guess who? Umpire No.4. If you call play on, you cannot take it back after the siren!!! Just a simple basic rule that has been in effect for over 100 years!!!!!!!!!
Finally, I was astounded that james Hird won the BOG award!!! Hird is a champion and played a good, serviceable game but to be awarded the best on ground!!! I was clearly watching a different game! I would have had 5-6 players above him on the night. Richo, Deledio, Lloyd, Lucas all played far better than Hird – that to me was the biggest insult of the night – Do they think we are idiots??? Just another sign that the AFL is not in touch with what is happening…
And the commentators and media – Are these guys actually watching these games – they show no emotion whatsoever which just frustrates me even more. Do they not see this rubbich happening? Are they on an AFL contract and must refrain from commenting against umpiring or rules??? Stand up and be counted!!!

As for Umpire No.4 – I feel more sorry for the other two umpires because he made some horrendous decisions on the night yet they are now tarred with the same brush because of their collegaues ineptitude!

The AFL need to do something quick smart – our game is crap and getting worse! If I didn’t love Richmond so much I would refuse to go to another game but the AFL have got me by the balls – I’m not going to boycott AFL and affect Richmond! We need to take a stand – stay tuned.

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