Round 21 – Richmond v Geelong: Don’t be the loudmouth

Don’t Be The Loudmouth

 

Richmond versus Geelong

 

3:20 pm, Sunday 14 August

 

Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne

 

Ethan Munro

 

“The conditions out here are just first-class,” one of the Triple M commentators said. He was right. Sunny, light breeze. Perfectly ideal conditions for a good game of footy. After weeks of constant worrying whether an upset would strike Geelong again, I had finally found some confidence. I thought we could gain some percentage. I thought we could play like the team of the good “old” days of the magnificent recent era. I thought that we could show that we were a significant threat to our fellow competitors for a top-four spot. Ding dong, Hawthorn, your reign could be over.

 

Dad and I found out as we were walking to Gate 1 that Level 1 seating was open to us members. We decided to sit there. We had walked around to the City End today because we thought (and were hoping) that our cheersquad was there. To our relief, it was.

 

We were surrounded by fellow Geelong supporters while Tiger songs were playing (‘Welcome To The Jungle’ by Guns N’ Roses and the very obvious ‘Eye Of The Tiger’ by Survivor). As the Geelong players ran out celebrating Harry Taylor’s 200th game, there were loud boos behind us. Oh no. Richmond loud-mouth supporters. This wouldn’t be fun to hear, no matter the result. A Richmond loss would see him spreading his negative ‘vibes’ about. A Richmond win would also see him spreading his negative ‘vibes’ about, but to us Geelong supporters, who knew that we were inconsistent with bottom-ten teams.

 

I really don’t want to get into the first three quarters of the game, because we all know that the fourth quarter was the most important. But I must, because those loud-mouths are important to the story.

 

At the first break, we were trailing by two points. I honestly expected this, as we aren’t the best starters. I expected maybe a fight from Richmond in the second quarter, but definitely the demonstration of who was the better team. That was not the case. Richmond was the one who demonstrated superiority, piling on four unanswered goals. With each goal, the loud-mouths’ yells of triumph became louder. And the louder the yells, the more ‘insults’ there were at the Geelong players. Here’s a few to name:

 

  • “PAAAAAATRIIIIIIIIICK!” when Danger tried to have a quick shot at goal but kicked it out on the full.
  • “TOMMY!” due to Tom Hawkins’ 0.3 in the first three quarters.
  • “Too slow!” when Geelong made some a mistake and caused a Richmond surge.

 

At half time, the loud-mouths were pretty happy. Richmond led by 21 points, Dustin Martin was (apparently) winning the ‘Danger v Dusty’ match, and Geelong was just not looking like the team that beat Adelaide and the Western Bulldogs less than a month ago. I was hoping that we would come back in stunning fashion like we had a few times this season.

 

But after the third quarter, I admitted defeat. According to my dad’s theory, if a team was leading by more than five goals at any point, it would be extremely unlikely that the team lagging behind would come back. Since the lead was now 35 points, and there was only one quarter of footy left, it was almost impossible that we were going to win. Time to go home, I said. Time to eat that lasagna that was cooking at home, I said. But Dad doesn’t leave early. And I have to thank him for that. I would’ve missed all the fun.

 

Lachie Henderson and Harry Taylor were up in the forward line to begin the final quarter. Chris Scott must be trying something new, I thought. Twenty seconds in, and Josh Caddy booted a goal. The Geelong cheersquad roared loudly. It was only the fifth time we got to cheer all day. I still thought we weren’t going to come back. Another goal (after two behinds). The roar of the cheersquad louder than before. Still didn’t think we were going to comeback. A third goal (after three more behinds). Maybe we could. It was only two goals now. Our inaccuracy was slowing us down. Three more behinds. Then Motlop kicked one right through the middle to compensate for his four behinds he had kicked before. One more goal and we would hit the lead. Danger was doing a stellar job. He kept clearing the ball out, dashing forward and bombing it down to attempt to assist in a goal. The whole team just suddenly seemed to have woke up. Richmond couldn’t even get the ball, and when they did, they failed to make an impact on anything.

 

A free kick was called for Geelong. Upon watching the replay on the MCG screen, it appeared that a Richmond player had karate-kicked one of our players. I yelled out on top of the Richmond boos, ‘He karate-kicked the Geelong player! Of course it’s a free kick!’ The loudmouth Richmond fan responded, ‘It’s not a free kick! That’s how we do it all the time in Melbourne!’

 

Ladies and gentlemen, the stupidest statement of 2016.

 

Harry Taylor was then awarded a free kick because he was held back and did not disappoint. The roar was deafening. I was high-fiving people I didn’t know, cheering (actually yelling) with them. Somehow, in 22 minutes of footy, a 35-point lead by the Tigers had turned into a 3-point deficit. Now, the heart-wrenching ending was beginning. Could the Cats finish the job? We’d gone too far. To lose now would be disappointing.

 

A Tom Hawkins-trademark soccer goal put us nine points in front. Those loudmouths’ pie-holes were shut now. Dad was laughing because of that. I, however, was losing my voice. I was hoping for the siren to just go. But Ty Vickery put our lead down to a kick again. An old man beside us (Geelong supporter) said, ’21 seconds left!’ Crap. Down to the wire.

 

The ball bounced. 20, 19, 18. Trent Cotchin was given a free kick. 17, 16, 15, 14, 13. He kicked long into the inside 50. 12, 11, 10, 9. Jack Riewoldt went up for a grab. 8, 7, 6. Almost but not quite. Quick sigh of relief. 5, 4, 3. Ball in dispute. 2, 1, 0. All over. Geelong victorious. We threw looks to those loudmouths. See what happens when you make fun of a team? They find a way to get you back. And Geelong responded perfectly to those loudmouths.

 

RICHMOND 2.4 7.4 11.6 12.6 (78)

GEELONG 2.2 3.7 4.13 10.22 (82)

 

GOALS

Richmond: Lloyd 3, Rioli 2, Vickery 2, Edwards, Hampson, Lennon, Riewoldt, Grigg

Geelong: McCarthy 2, Menegola 2, Smith, J.Selwood, Caddy, Motlop, Taylor, Hawkins

 

BEST

Richmond: Rance, Martin, Lloyd, Houli, Grigg, Ellis, T.Hunt

Geelong: J.Selwood, S.Selwood, Dangerfield, Guthrie, Menegola, McCarthy

 

OUR VOTES: J. Selwood (GEEL) 3, Enright (GEEL) 2, Martin (RICH) 1

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