Richmond v Geelong - The Good, Bad and Ugly

The Tigers were challenged at their fortress, also known as the MCG, but were able to run out 18 point winners against the determined Cats.

Here’s the Mongrel’s good, bad and ugly.

 

THE GOOD

The Little Things

I marvel at Richmond at times. They do the small things so well. The Jack Riewoldt tap that allowed Jason Castagna to run into goal and leave Zach Tuohy sprawled on the turf behind him. The smother from Shane Edwards that sent the ball inside 50 for Castagna to run onto. The decision of Rance to go back to the goal square and inevitably clear the ball once there’s a stoppage in the Tigers’ defensive arc… all these little things add up to big things.

A month or so ago I wrote about Richmond finding the secret to compiling a great team and the way they go about supporting each other to win games. The actions described above are the things the Tigers do that other clubs may pull out of the hat here and there, but don’t do consistently.

Richmond do them every week. Does it pay dividends? You bet it does.

In case you missed it - Have Richmond Unlocked the Secret?

The Rioli Run

Absolutely superb running from Rioli in the last quarter. As the Tigers worked to keep the ball in, when most other teams would’ve been pleased to see it out of bounds, Rioli took off down the wing. Not taking possession, he soccered it and ran his backside off to remain in the contest.

As the ball went inside the Tiger 50, Mitch Duncan grabbed the ball and went to ground (stupidly) where he was collared by Rioli and holding the ball was paid.

What followed was a fundamental 35-40 metre shot on a 45 degree angle. It was a standard shot, and duly converted by Rioli, but I think this should be in contention for goal of the year. Phil Manassa’s goal wasn’t about the kick – it was about the run. So was Michael Long’s, and so was Mick McGuane’s. Rioli’s efforts before the goal were stellar, and involved not just run, but pressure and a defensive component.

I am sure the goal of the year recipient will be worthy, and I’m also sure Daniel Rioli won’t get a nomination, let alone take home the award. But his effort tonight deserves to be recognised, and if he gets it nowhere else, he’ll get it here. Great goal.

Danger v Rance

I feel we were a bit spoilt in this game, and it was such a shame about the crappy weather. We had Ablett and Dusty lining up on each other in the middle, Cotchin and Selwood butting heads, and then up forward, we were treated to Patrick Dangerfield against Alex Rance.

It didn’t happen for the whole game, and really, it only afforded a few true one-on-ones, but what a site to see one of the most dangerous players in the game going forward and isolating on a man that is arguably the best defender in the current game!

What we wanted to see was a series of one-out duels; a modern day Knights v Vander-Haar. What we got was a couple of encounters and the hope of more when the combatants clash again on a Friday night in Round 20. Let’s hope for a perfect night to see this without inclement weather.

Joel F’n Selwood

If I had a favourite player outside my own club, this bloke would have to be right up there.

I know a lot of people deride him for the shrug and the dropping of the knees, but I don’t think I have ever seen him shirk an issue on the field. He was a true leader today, which he needed to be as he was standing across the centre circle from one of the other genuine leaders in the game – Trent Cotchin.

Selwood kicked two big goals to give his side a sniff, and some of his desperate acts were at least on a par with my mate, Joe Ganino as the bar is closing and he’s trying to latch onto whatever he can get.

Seriously though, I admire Joel Selwood. The goal he kicked in the third quarter was the longest I’ve seen him kick from a set shot. It was a captain’s goal. As if you’d expect anything else from Selwood.

In case you missed it - Our article on Joel - The Selwood Way

Nick Vlastuin

This bloke looks like my neighbour, but his name is Greg, so I’m guessing it ain’t him. Anyway, the Richmond player that looks like Greg had a good overall game, but a ripping third quarter today.

He was excellent as the loose intercept player and made it nigh on impossible for the cats to accurately kick into their 50 metre arc. He did whack Selwood high, which did afford him a shot at goal, but he got the square up a few minutes later when Selwood hit him high in the back pocket.

The role Vlastuin played was the one Alex Rance usually takes on, but with Rance occupied with Dangerfield today, Vlastuin had to step up, and step up he did. He finished with 21 touches and 11 marks, but he had 11 intercept possessions – told you had played the Rance role.

The Hand of Garthwaite

This’ll be quick, but I thought it deserved a quick shout out as it is one of the best pure defensive acts of the year.

With James Parsons seemingly in the position to kick the ball off the ground for a goal in the second quarter, he inexplicably decided to pick it up and kick with a traditional Aussie Rules kick. Maybe he was making a stand against the World Cup? Maybe he didn’t have the right angle, or maybe, as the commentators mentioned, he’s not a natural forward.

Still, he should’ve had the time to get the ball on his foot and kick the goal for the Cats.

But he didn’t contend with the lunge from the already-grounded Garthwaite. The first-gamer threw himself at the ball and the boot, and managed to knock it away. The cavalry arrived and the ball was rushed through.

I think we missed a golden opportunity for a Cometti-ism this afternoon, but I guess that’s the way it’s gonna be, little darlin’.

 

THE BAD

Zach Tuohy

Are we sure this is the same bloke who starred for the Cats last season?

He did a couple of things today where I watched and thought ‘what is he doing?’ When the pressure was well and truly on in the last quarter, Tuohy looked more like an Irish bloke who’d never played than the resolute defender we’ve come to know.

He leaped square into Jack Riewoldt’s back and gave away the free kick. Neither he, nor Riewoldt were any chance of getting their hands on that ball. I saw some comment online stating it was an “idiotic” act. I wouldn’t go that far, but it wasn’t great.

The second was more concerning. Locked in a footrace back to the goal square with Jason Castagna, Tuohy was a step behind. As Castagna hit the ball, Tuohy dived and lost his feet. Castagna kept his feet and was able to kick the ball off the ground for a crucial goal.

Tuohy watched it sail through and the game sail out of reach with it.

I’ll give him this – his kick to Hawkins in the first quarter was an absolute ripper. That’s what he’s in the team for.

Sam Menegola

I get the feeling I’m being a little harsh here, but there was just too many times he got his hands on the ball and then either nothing happened, or something bad happened for the Cats.

Whether it was his missed goal from 35 metres out in the first quarter, his terrible effort in the ruck against Grigg (which resulted in a goal), or when he decided not to go hard at the football in the final thirty seconds of the second quarter (which led to a Richmond shot at goal, mind you), I just feel as though he wasn’t anywhere near Geelong’s best, irrespective of how many touches he got.

I thought he double-grabbed a fair bit, which is understandable given the conditions, but he has been clean as a whistle in most games I’ve watched, and whether it was the pressure or the conditions… or a mixture of both, he just wasn’t today.

 

THE UGLY

The game deserved better

46,000 is nothing to sneeze at, but a game of this magnitude deserved better – stupid Melbourne weather. I reckon the rain (and hail earlier) cost them about 25,000 people.

The saving grace is that these two teams will play again in Round 20.

Other than that, perhaps the only really ugly thing about the game was Kolodjashnij pulling down Riewoldt in a marking contest in the second quarter and the umpire calling play on – pretty blatant. Or maybe it was the Geelong defenders spoiling each other on several separate occasions throughout the course of the day.

They weren’t particularly ugly, but they’re like the least attractive girl in a large group… they’re OK, but you’d prefer not to have them as part of your day.

 

OTHER BITS

Daniel Rioli having consecutive wins against Brandon Parfitt is a great example of what he offers Richmond. He got holding the ball on Parfitt in the first quarter, then backed it up seconds later as the ball rebounded, beating him one-on-one.

Just your run-of-the-mill high intensity defensive pressure inside 50 for the Tigers in the first quarter. The Cats really struggled to get it past centre for a decent stretch.

Not often you see Gaz miskick it as poorly as he did in the first quarter when he hit Edwards 40 metres out from goal. Luckily for Ablett, Edwards missed.

The recovery of Dangerfield is so impressive. Many players, if they drop a mark, they’re pout of the contest. Not Danger – he explodes back into the contest, as he did when he found Stanley 30 metres out after spilling a mark. Stanley rewarded him by converting.

Great 20 seconds from Ablett, winning the centre clearance, then making space at half forward to receive and bang a goal from 50. Played wide of Martin all day and probably took the chocolates in a split decision.

A little panic in the Cats’ back line to start the second quarter, with Tom Stewart throwing the ball on his boot to clear the area a couple of times. The first one, he got away with, but the second one landed with Brandon Ellis who bombed it back, and Nankervis shrugged a feeble Ablett tackle to snap a goal. Nank is no easy man to tackle, but that effort from Ablett was anaemic.

I thought the Cats probably tried handballing in close a little too much with the wet ball in the second quarter. This really plays into the Richmond pressure. It only takes one double grab or fumble to bring it all undone.

Little things again – the smother on Joel Selwood by Jack Higgins. This was a repeated effort from Higgins, and his timing to throw himself in Selwood’s path was perfect. This was followed by a hunting exercise for the Tigers as the Cats decided to try to handball through their defence. The Tigers would have none of it, and forced them backwards two or three times before the Cats finally tried to get out the other side.

Could’ve sworn Nankervis didn’t get a disposal when he took it out of the ruck in the second quarter. Ablett tackled him immediately… play on?

Selwood was very unlucky to have 50 metres paid against him after Brandon Ellis marked in the back line. Ellis backed into Selwood and he basically just pushed him back over his mark.

Watching Rance react after Dangerfield backed into him in a marking contest… please stop doing that, Alex. To the letter of the law, it may have been a free kick, but these are the line-ball decisions that won’t go your way if you accentuate contact. One might cost your team a game one day.

Riewoldt’s attack on the ball in the air was first class today. Just kept presenting and bringing it to ground. He may have only taken three marks, but it was his contest that allowed Kane Lambert to rove the spill and goal.

Plenty were calling for a free to Danger against Rance early in the third quarter. Not me. It looked like Rance was really close to giving a free kick away, but he didn’t. That’s where he’s at his best, and that, my friends, is great defence.

The Tigers started to exit their defensive 50 a lot easier than the Cats in the third quarter. A sign that the pressure had dropped off a little from the Cats?

Cats fans – did you think Cory Gregson was up to scratch today? Bit of deer in the headlights action, for mine. Same with Fogarty.

Great… absolutely great tap from Josh Caddy to the running Martin through the middle of the ground in the third quarter. The ball wound up in the goal square as Castagna gave to Butler, but it was the intelligent tap from Caddy to Martin that set off the best passage of attacking footy all day.

Finally a Dusty v Danger contest late in the third quarter. Richmond had the numbers but Dusty gave away a free to Dangerfield. I thought the Tigers were out had Martin even split the contest.

Horrid turnover from Kolodjashnij early in the last quarter. Been good all year, but his shank ended up resulting in a repeat entry inside 50 and a Riewoldt goal. It hurt…

Cotchin looked like he may have frightened Zac Guthrie a bit as he approached him on the wing. Caught him holding the ball, the ball went long to where Blicavs and Stanley spoiled each other, leading to a Dusty goal. Timid by Guthrie on the wing.

Thirteen tackles for Jack graham. What’s the old saying – when you’re not getting a lot of it, concentrate on the defensive side of the game? That’s what Graham did today.

Pivotal free kick in the middle to Jack Higgins (high contact) as the Cats were about to launch into attack again following Selwood’s goal.

 

And that’s that for Round 13, and another big weekend on The Mongrel. Like what you’re getting from us? We’d really appreciate a Like on Facebook or a Follow on Twitter. Don’t make me beg – I’ll do it. Actually, I wouldn’t… if I had no money, I’d offer to walk people’s shopping trolleys back and collect the dollar. Think about it… it would get you more than sitting on the footpath, cap in hand, asking for money, wouldn’t it? I just thought of that… don’t steal my idea.