It was a battle at times, but the class, and the blue collar work of the reigning premiers was enough to overcome the Saints at the MCG.
The Saints hit the front in the third quarter, and looked threatening, but the Richmond resolve held firm, and they rebounded to win by 28 points.
Here’s The Mongrel’s good, bad and ugly.
Caddy and Gresham
We’re used to the big forwards kicking bags of goals (and six is considered a bag these days) but the smaller guys had their way today, with both Jade Gresham and Josh Caddy piling on the goals for their respective clubs.
Caddy kicked the first goal of the game for the third time in his career, whilst Gresham made something out of nothing on several occasions.
Caddy's sixth- a booming drop punt from outside 50 put an exclamation point on the Tigers' win. What a pick up he's been for them.
When the Saints made their move in the third quarter, it was their captain who stood up. He was prolific early in the quarter and really gave the Saints a lot of drive out of the backline.
Here at The Mongrel, we’re not all that impressed with big numbers – three other Saints had better numbers than Geary, but he got his touches when the Saints needed him to. His 12 touches in the third quarter were integral to St Kilda’s challenge.
Trent Cotchin taking the challenge seriously
And speaking of challenges, it was Trent Cotchin moving into the middle and getting first hands on several clearances that kicked Richmond back into gear when the Saints threw down the gauntlet.
Despite early criticism of his leadership, Cotchin has made a habit out of throwing himself into the contest when his team requires.
Cotchin’s pick up in the last quarter – so clean and crisp below his knees on the run, was fantastic, and I was hoping he’d thread the goal. He missed, but the crowd still applauded his effort. He led the game in contested touches (17) and clearances. Again, there were players who had more of the footy, but no one was more influential than the Richmond captain.
The Shane Edwards handball
Tiger supporters love Edwards. Not for accumulating 30+ touches, or for his pressure acts, or leadership… they have plenty of players that fill those roles. They love how he hurts teams when he gets his hands on the ball, and that’s what he did today.
His over-the-head handball to Dan Butler in the first quarter was an absolute pearler. He barely had hold of it before he released it, and the ball landed with Butler for a goal.
Nick Vlastuin… the forward
Come on, Tiger fans… did you really think he was going to kick his third goal in the last quarter? I thought he’d miss. Go on, admit it – you did too!
He showed plenty after going forward, providing a real spark and a good marking target for the Tigers. He could’ve ended up with four, but opted to centre the ball to Josh Caddy for his fifth goal of the day. Good to see versatility like that – the Tigers continue to find options.
Jack Riewoldt out early
I guess we’ll find out soon enough what Michael Christian thinks about the spoiling attempt of Jake Carlisle. His forearm clubbed across the side of Riewoldt’s head as he took a mark early in the game. The Richmond forward slumped to the ground, landing right on his backside, and took no further part in the game.
You’ll often hear about how a certain player straightens a team up, and in the first half, it was painfully evident that the Tigers were missing the presence of Riewoldt up forward. Several times you saw players pull up as they ran through the centre, or forced to u-turn and look for options out wide on the wings. These were the situations that Riewoldt would usually provide a marking option.
Incorrect score review
You can correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t there have to be solid evidence in order for the video review to overturn the decision of the goal umpire?
Jack Higgins looked to have slotted a ripping goal from around 45 metres on an acute angle, but a review was called for, and the review showed Tom Hickey touching the ball after it went over the line. How this was called a behind, I just don’t know. It was another score review failure, and on this occasion, we would have been much better off trusting the goal umpire’s decision.
The score line will tell the story that the Tigers were inaccurate and the saints travelled pretty well in front of the big sticks, but there were so many errors that cost the Saints, not only in front of goals, but in general play. Should I list them? Or at least the ones I remember? I think so.
Early in the first, Paddy McCartin beat Alex Rance to the ball. He received good delivery and completely dropped the uncontested mark. Commentators called it implied pressure. It wasn’t that – it was a basic skill error.
Jack Sinclair runs and delivers inside 50, right to two Tigers players who don’t even have to move. No Saints within 10 metres.
Membrey continues his abysmal kicking for goal with a kick that went out on the full from 45 metres out, right in front.
Paddy McCartin again. Took a great contested mark 20 metres out and missed. In my notes I wrote it was a disgusting miss. This guy has been being groomed as their full forward, and we continually hear about what a great kick he is. Enough of that – he doesn’t show it.
This time McCartin was on the receiving end. He got a five metre break on Rance again and the kick to his lead bounced five metres in front of him. Thanks Jack Lonie.
Tom Hickey had a shot from 40 metres out on a 45 degree angle. Not only did he miss, his kick went inboard and landed 20 metres out from goal in the hands of his direct opponent, Toby Nankervis.
OK, I really don’t want to write any more about these. They finally got it together in the third quarter, but the first two quarters were painful to watch.
Who do you give votes to on a day like today? Caddy and Gresham would have to be included, but who else? The Saints had plenty of ball winners, but for mine, Trent Cotchin’s game deserves recognition.
How good was the effort of Kamdyn McIntosh in beating three Saints players on the wing in the first quarter? It was a good lesson in desperation for the Saints, and a lesson that Richmond players teach almost every week they play.
It seems Alastair Clarkson’s complaining about blocking in marking contests has been heard loud and clear. Sadly, it cost Dusty an open goal in the first quarter.
I’m not really sure how Josh Caddy manages to find himself standing alone at stoppages or marking contests. Will someone put a body on him to stop him having a free run at the ball?
Good work by Jack Steele to firstly provide a contest, and secondly recovering to get the ball forward. Lonie marked and gave to Membrey who found it difficult to miss from the goal line. It’ll say that Membrey kicked 2.0 today, but he also had that horrible out on the full.
The Tigers were by no means in good form today. Their turnovers through the centre would be punished by a team that could hit a target going the other way.
I know that it is only Ed Phillips’ second game, but he had the chance to really put a big bump on McIntosh in the second, and instead just rubbed up against him – strictly non-sexually. The Tigers went forward and goaled in that passage of play but there was no real intent to make them earn it. Later in the third quarter, he dropped a mark he should’ve taken 30 metres out from the Tiger goals. Both should've been included in the 'fundamental errors' section.
I don’t like McCartin’s second efforts, or lack thereof. He was too easily taken out of the contest by Rance late in the second quarter, and his recovery was either too slow, or lacked urgency.
Richmond’s defence looked good early in the third, with both Astbury and Rance taking nice intercept marks. The overturned Higgins shot really seemed to change momentum.
The Saints’ best piece of play for the day saw them mark under pressure several times, hit targets and end up with Membrey tapping the ball to Jack Billings, who didn’t have time to overthink the shot as he ran in and slotted it.
Jack Steven ran his backside off in the third. If you get to watch it again, he was all over the park, clearing from the back pocket and then delivering inside 50 within a minute.
Gresham ended with two direct goal assists this afternoon. One of them was to Jack Lonie as the Saints made their charge.
There were a few Tigers missing in the third – chief amongst them as the Saints pushed hard was Shane Edwards.
Can Jack Steven not kick left foot? Just asking as I can’t understand why he’d try a checkside kick on the run out of the centre. The kick was smothered mainly due to him kicking with the foot on the side his opponent was on.
Loved Caddy’s contested marking today. Hunter Clark might be hearing a few words from Alan Richardson about punching in a marking contest.
Seb Ross’ dropped mark early in the first quarter was disheartening. It fell to Dusty. It allowed a goal.
Jack Higgins loves a goal. I’m sure someone will speak to him about the team-first mantra of Richmond after Dusty fed him and he burned a teammate instead of handballing.
A couple of ordinary minutes for Rance in the middle of the last. First he was pinged for deliberate, which was harsh, but he then turned the ball over which saw Membrey get it unattended inside 50 for his second goal. Rance probably thought Membrey would just miss…
Great kick by Caddy for his sixth. Booming drop punt. He has a nice leg on him.
And there we go – another instalment of days of our…. Errr, I mean the Good, Bad and Ugly. If you like what you’re getting from The Mongrel, give us a like on Facebook or a follow on Twitter. We’re pretty good dudes – today I let a homeless dude take my shopping trolley back and score a dollar (I told him it was two dollars hehe)