It could be argued that Richmond picked up where they left off in the final term against Geelong last week, particularly in the first half against the Saints. The opportunities were there – for St. Kilda in the first half and for Richmond in the third term – but inexplicably, neither team appeared able to capitalise and instead, delivered four quarters of clanger-infested, low-scoring footy. The poor first half from the Tigers saw 11 players fail to lay a tackle and as a team, they went inside-50 just 12 times for 2.15.17 to the main break. It is fair to say the intensity and effort obvious in the first three quarters against the Cats was off by some way.
The ball movement from both teams resembled circle work, a more common sight on the training track. The lack of clean skills from either team made it an ugly game to watch and it felt like the team who was a little less erroneous than the other would be the victor. The Richmond players looked like they were already in holiday mode at stages, with Club great Kevin Bartlett referring to the match between the two teams, on SEN, as resembling a suburban football game. The fact the finals are off the table for both sides was no excuse for the performance either – sure it was a Round 22 game that meant next to nothing, but the glaring problem with the Tigers was their lackadaisical attitude to the contest in the first half, but really the second half was only marginally better.
Prior to the Saturday afternoon meeting between Richmond and St. Kilda, the Tigers had won the last six encounters but it had been a long while since they had notched up seven straight. The Saints win thus marked their first win over the Tigers since 2010 – when they were in the prime and contending for premierships. In this latest instalment, the Tigers lost the inside-50 count 51-40 – a statistic they have only won three times this season, the least of any team. They also continually kicked the ball to ‘people’ instead of the best option on the ground – a comment made on the SEN broadcast – essentially saying that players will look to kick the ball to a Trent Cotchin or Dustin Martin – believing that they will know what to do with the ball because of their pedigree, more times than not though these same players are under pressure from the opposition. If the ball was kicked to the ‘best option’ however, this would work better for the Tigers. The positives for Richmond could again be found in their youth and players that have been starved of opportunity at senior level, namely Daniel Rioli and Todd Elton, who provided rare highlights on a forgetful day of football. The Tigers will finish off a disappointing season by travelling to Sydney to take on the Swans next Saturday afternoon. Many of the Tiger faithful will remember Sam Lloyd’s after-the-siren heroics earlier this season, but recent performances suggest a repeat performance is unlikely.
Final Score: STK 7.13.55 to RICH 6.10.46.
TOP 3 TIGERS:
1. DANIEL RIOLI: One of the best games from the youngster to date. He finished with 16 disposals (nine contested), four intercepts, four marks, four tackles, 20 pressure acts, four score involvements and two goals.
2. SHANE EDWARDS: The midfielder had something of a return to some of his better form. He finished with 18 disposals (11 contested), four clearances, four marks, 16 pressure acts and four score involvements.
3. ANDREW MOORE: The former Power player had one of his best games for Richmond. He finished with 18 disposals (nine contested), four intercepts, three clearances, six tackles and 14 pressure acts.
What were your thoughts on the game?