Monday, May 18, 2015

Richmond V Collingwood 17/05/2015 - MCG

The badge above sums up Collingwood's relationship with not only the supporters of the Richmond Football Club, but with supporters of every other club in the AFL. You either barrack for Collingwood or you totally hate them. That's just how it is. Jack Dyer once stated that he hated Collingwood so much that he wouldn't even watch black and white TV. I've been brought up to hate them. I tried to support them once. They'd made the Grand Final and were playing Brisbane. I was viewing it at a friend's house. He's Richmond, too, but the rest of his family are Collingwood, and I'll never totally forgive Brisbane for their part in the murder of the Fitzroy Football Club, so I thought I'd barrack for Collingwood. I lasted for a quarter, and then like everyone else at the MCG and around the country watching TV sets, I wanted Collingwood to lose again. It's ingrained.

A lot of that is probably why it galls me so much that we hadn't beaten them forever. Well, at least the last 7 matches, which is forever in AFL terms. Of the team that took the field against the Pies on Sunday, only one player had played in a winning Richmond side against Collingwood, and that was Brett Deledio. I believe he kicked 5 goals in that win. Great night. Richo took one of the marks of the year and Graham Polak helped Lids, with 5 goals of his own.

I went to the game without a lot of hope. There were probably two reasons I even turned up. One was that I have a membership, I paid for it, and I'm determined to try and get my money's worth out of it. The other was that Richmond had decided to debut young forward Liam McBean, as well as give Todd Elton and Corey Ellis the second games of their careers. The whisper was also that Shane Edwards would be a late withdrawal, and 2014 draftee Connor Menadue would also make his debut. (This did happen and Menadue played the last quarter as the sub. He replaced McBean on the field).

The fellow supporters who sits in front of me mirrored my mood. He's one of a bunch of people that turn up, week in, week out. This day it was just he and his daughter. The others had better things to do. Despite that general feeling among the supporters, the game still drew a shade under 60,000. It was an odd time (3:20), but very nice weather.

I haven't gotten this pumped at many games recently. The first quarter was more of the same old, same old, but then in the 2nd quarter it looked like a different Richmond. One we'd seen far too little of in recent times. They kicked 8 goals for the quarter, and turned a quarter time deficit of 4 goals into a half time lead of 2. A litany of turnovers in the 3rd quarter saw the Pies regain the slimmest of leads (1 point) into the last quarter. That was a seesawing event, with the lead changing multiple times. The Pies held sway by 2 points with 7 minutes on the clock, and our leaders (especially captain Trent Cotchin, and vice captain Brett Deledio) stood up. A Trent Cotchin inspired run got the ball to Ty Vickery, playing at centre half forward, and the much maligned big man kicked truly to give the Tigers back the lead. A couple of minutes later Jack Riewoldt kicked his 4th for the game and it was over. The Woods got a late goal to cut the margin to 5, but then the siren went and we'd won a famous victory.

There are still plenty of problems, but this week is a sweet one. It always is when Richmond beat Collingwood.

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