Round 13 – Western Bulldogs v Richmond: No jinxes for the Tigers

“Oi, mate, you reckon I should tip you Tigers this week?”

“‘Course mate, just another regulation win for a top side!”

The two men laugh happily. In the car, I look up in horror and hope like hell that the jinx gods were discreetly listening in on someone else, preferably a Bullies supporter. Dad has already jinxed us enough with the Suns, and that was enough to deal with.

The week rolls by, and the Tigers retain all players from the win against the Crows last week. A win now would see us into sixth, two wins up from the dreaded position of ninth. Our season is looking OK to this point, and the little trickle of hope that accompanies every Richmond win is slowly becoming a river.

So Saturday afternoon arrives, and it’s my Grandad’s birthday. While he and some family are at a fancy restaurant, me and my little brother will be watching the footy at their neighbour’s house, notepad and pen at the ready, hopeful thoughts of another Richmond win in our minds.

All of a sudden it’s 7:30, and I’m watching the Tigers run through a banner that is much more intact than the one last week. Matty White dons the green vest as per usual, and the game is on and the ball thuds into the turf.

Jack gets our first goal due to some brilliant Richmond pressure on the Bullies’ defense. Aaron Edwards and Jakey King are playing defensive forward roles and they are working well. We look well and truly on top so far. I stop celebrating abruptly as Ty has a moment; he evades everybody, wheels around, snaps from 15 out and hits the post. The mids are playing fantastically well, but we are wasteful in front of the sticks. Griffen also continues his fantastic year for the Bullies as he collects 9 possessions for the quarter. Young Lachie Hunter kicks his first in the league, and it’s the Tigers by 11 at quarter time.We are smashing the clearances, but again are low on tackling.

The second term starts with two brilliant marks by Brandon Ellis, then Jack who converts. Griggy bags another after a long run down the wing, then Conc, then Dusty, weaving this way and that before running to 40 and ramming it home. The Tigers are looking dangerous, but young Stringer manages to goal from a sharp angle.Then comes the great spray-athon from just about everybody. A. Edwards, Newy, Hunter, Griggy, Jack, Hunter, Jones, ALL MISS! COME ONNNNNNN!! And that’s not even counting out-on-the-fulls!

Unfortunately, Alex Rance hears me. He abruptly gives Stringer a face full of turf on the wing, 50 metres, goal Bulldogs after the bloody siren, Alex! Kingy (duh) gets upset and starts a fight, mainly a very large group hug. Umpires break it up, and it’s half time.

So along comes the third then, and Griggy welcomes me with a mark and goal. YAY! The game has intensified, and the Bulldogs seem to want it more, however Conca seems the only Tiger that has any composure at all. The skills are getting sloppier too, as a rare Foley turnover has me slightly incredulous. Then Astbury pings a hammy, which seems to wake up the Tigers, Vicks namely, as he takes a great grab running back with the flight, Wayne Carey style. On comes Whitey, as The Conc spins out of a pack, snaps… goal. For the Bullies, Hrovat comes off for Gia, as Bachar goes unselfishly to Vicks for number 2. Whitey nabs from 40 out, and the game looks sealed. Siren goes, and the Tiger Faithful stand and applaud the players off the ground. I do too.

So now comes the relax quarter, but Jakey King decides to start punching people. Jacko, the man who can’t kick drop punts that well, manages to squeeze one from the “impossible” angle. He goes completely off, along with every other Richmond fan. Cotchy isn’t as dominant today, but reminds us how good he can be with a great left foot snap against Boyd. Siren sounds to the happy, energizing roar from the Punt Road end. Late injuries to Chappy and Vlastuin put a bit of a damper to a ten goal win, but hey, a wins a win.

We are in the eight!!

FOR GOOD!(I hope)

WESTERN BULLDOGS      3.3    5.9    5.11    8.13 (61)     

RICHMOND    4.8   8.13  13.16  17.19 (121)   
Richmond: Riewoldt 3, Grigg, Conca, Vickery 2, A. Edwards, Foley, Houli, Martin, White, Jackson, Vlastuin, Cotchin
Western Bulldogs: Stringer 2, Cooney, Jones, Hunter, Giansiracusa, Murphy, Boyd
Richmond: Houli, Martin, Grigg, Ellis, Jackson, Foley, Riewoldt, A. Edwards
Western Bulldogs: Griffen, Boyd, Stringer, Macrae, Minson, Smith
UMPIRES: Stewart, Kamolins, Margetts
OUR VOTES: 3 Houli (Rich), 2 Martin (Rich) 1 Griffen (WB)




About John Harms

John Harms is a writer, broadcaster, publisher, historian, speaker and teacher. He loves stories.

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