Jun
25
2007

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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