Friday, 14 July 2006

Friday Night Slops

Having confidently declared the game against Essendon a few weeks ago to be the worst game I have seen in years I come before you tonight to acclaim a new winner. Melbourne vs Richmond - Friday, July 14th, 2006 was the worst game we've been involved with this decade if not longer. This was undoubtedly the result of the Tigers playing the same game they did against Adelaide this year when they sprung a big upset. Sadly for them every other coach in the league has watched the video of that game fifty times and isn't likely to fall for such a scam.

Early signs weren't positive. The Next Big Thing OUT, Godfrey IN. WHY? If I had righteous indignation at Philthy's exclusion in the first place it was apoplectic rage when it turned out that he'd been considered inferior as a replacement to a man who is almost worse than Scott Chisholm.

Then we were held to a goal apiece in the first quarter (though I did have "any other player" in the first goalkicker and have presumably coined in on Dunn) as Richmond shut the game down expertly and we had no comeback. They kicked the first of the second and I started to worry that we were going to be stooged by this bullshit like the Crows were. I don't begrudge them the right to play wanky negative football against infinately better teams if that's what will keep them in the game but they couldn't even get that right tonight. Their skills were absolutely abysmal and continuously handed us the game on a platter. That we couldn't actually put them away was the combination of being lowered to their level, an off-night around the ground, shit kicking and a terrible run with hitting the post. Eventually we started to get on top in the second quarter and opened up a four goal lead.

If I may interrupt the report for a second can I say that I'm completely lost at how to interpret the performance of Daniel Ward. Almost every possesion he gets seems to be without any opposition pressure whatsoever. This means that he's either an absolute gun at getting rid of his man, has no interest in manning up or is the pawn in one of Daniher's great tactical games. Personally I favor the first option but as it hasn't gone really badly wrong since the Collingwood game I'm willing to accept it for the moment. Am I missing the point here? Is it a further indication that I can't analyse a game to save myself? You decide.

Wallace obviously unleashed the dogs a bit in the third quarter and predictably it went all wrong. With only three goals to the last change their forwards were being destroyed by THE JURASSIC PACK (with tonight's guest member Ben Holland) and their own rubbish kicking. The last five minutes of the third quarter, however, they did start to get on top and pressure us out of it a bit. Panic was starting to creep in a bit and the game high lead of 40 was down to four goals pretty quickly and there's was more than enough time for an undeserved and farcical comeback. Didn't happen, of course, but they did challenge throughout the 4th term as we started to pull the pin a bit. It was more comfortable than the scoreboard would indicate but when Richardson kicked two around the 20 minute mark you would have to have an iron constitution not to have shat yourself at least a little bit. After Holland went off with some kind of groin injury (terrible timing now that he's playing good football) he had another shot that he probably would have kicked on previous evidence but attempted to dish off and cocked up. That pretty much iced it. Troy Simmonds goaled after the siren to make it an even three goals but it was to no avail. They're the worst team to go anywhere near the finals this year - but will presumably not make it - but we'll certainly need to improve to go anywhere near a flag.

Dink Watch
In the absence of Philthy, and the relatively unexciting game Pickett had we introduce a new feature where we track the progress of the 2006 Backline Dink Campaign. There was a bit of it tonight, but you'd expect that the way Richmond played. It wasn't over the top and suited the way the game was being played so you'll cop it.
End: Dink Watch

Incidentally have there ever been a bigger pair of football crowd rejects than the two idiots who spent four quarters up the back of the Ponsford yelling out any shit that came to mind and trying to find an elusive funny. Never before has anybody spent so much time screaming out their stream of conciousness ramblings to absolutely no response. One of them even managed to rip out a couple of racial slurs. Charming. And it marks the first time I've heard any of that shit since we played them on a Friday night a couple of years ago. Did anyone notice that it's 2006? Not these tossers. The only thing moderately hillarious heard all night was when one or the other started screaming out "DAVID NEITZ! MOST OVERRATED PLAYER EVER"! Ironic, don't you think, coming from somebody who has watched Matthew Richardson play for the last decade.


5 - Matthew Whelan
4 - James McDonald
3 - Russell Robertson
2 - Jared Rivers
1 - Ben Holland

Apologies to Bartram, Bruce, Davey, Green, Pickett, Sylvia, Ward (!), Wheatley, White and Yze Player of the Year

35 - Cameron Bruce
25 - Brock McLean
20 - James McDonald
18 - David Neitz
16 - Aaron Davey
16 - Byron Pickett
16 - Brad Green
14 - Jared Rivers (Leader: 2006 Marcus Seecamp Medal for defender of the year)
12 - Travis Johnstone
11 - Matthew Whelan
9 - Nathan Carroll
9 - Colin Sylvia
6 - Russell Robertson
4 - Chris Johnson
4 - Ben Holland
2 - Brent Moloney
2 - Adem Yze
2 - Brad Miller
1 - Daniel Ward
1 - Nathan Brown
1 - Jeff White
1 - Matthew Bate (Leader: 2006 Darren Cuthbertson Medal for Rookie Of The Year)

Next week: Fremantle @ Subiaco. We've got a decent record against them there and are playing relatively good football at the moment. I think we can win but you wouldn't have your dollars on any team beating them over there.

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