Richmond announced to the football world in no uncertain terms that they were far from a finished force in season 2008 with a devasting 77 point victory over a dispirited West Coast Eagles at Subiaco Oval. Both sides had something to play for with the West Coast bouyed by the announcement of the Voss signing and Richmond were keen to put on a big effort for injured big man Graham Polak who was cleaned up by a tram after the loss to Carlton last round.
West Coast started in a positive fashion but remained guilty of overpossessing the football but in the first term they earnt themselves an eleven point lead in a match that looked destined to be a clash you would wish to send your mother in-law to, especially if she had poor eyesight. The multitude of yellow, white and navy and black made for confusing viewing, at least in the early stages.
In the second quarter the Tigers unleashed a withering eleven goal term that blew the match apart as a contest. Richmond have displayed a lack of effiecency by hand and foot this season but they showed that when no defensive pressure is applied that they can use the ball as well as anyone. The Tigers won the clearances by a staggering eleven to nothing during the second quarter and the Eagles never recovered.
Players to lift for the Tigers in the second term included best on ground Nathan Foley, Nathan Brown, Jack Riewoldt, Trent Cotchin and Kane Johnson but in reality nearly every Tiger played well on the day. For West Coast the winners where a little harder to pick. Dean Cox, Quinten Lynch and Ben McKinley started well and it appeared early on that Richmond would struggle to counteract the Eagles height advantage. However as the game went on the Eagles where shown up to be top heavy as wave after wave of Tiger attacks were generated from the back half with McMahon, Tambling, Bowden and Newman all prominent. A lift from Simmonds in the ruck and one of Pattison’s best ever games and it was all systems go for the Tiges.
In the second half the Eagles did enough to at least keep off the bottom of the ladder and David Wirrpunda and to a lesser extent Ashley Hansen put their hands up to stop the rot. Meanwhile Tiger forwards Nathan Brown, Jack Riewoldt, Morton and Deledio were gorging on the opportunities offered.
The sad decline of the West Coast Eagles is personfied by Daniel Kerr who showed his frustration with a clumsy swipe at a Tiger opponent during the third. Later on in that quarter he worked hard to set up a goal but sprayed a tired shot well wide of the target. The West Coast put in a strong nomination for the worst team in the comp award with this lamentable performance and the 34 thousand fans who attended this match deserved better and full credit to the WA fans for not filing out until 7.54 to go in the last quarter. As for the Tigers, they live on to fight another day against another side in the same area of the ladder, Essendon.
Vossy you have some work to do. Sure you don’t want to reconsider that Gold Coast offer?
Richmond 1.3 12.4 18.6 – 24.8.152
West Coast 3.2 4.4 7.9 – 11.9.75
Richmond: Foley, Johnson, Brown, Cotchin, Simmonds, McMahon, Riewoldt, Tuck
West Coast: Wirrpunda, Cox, Houlahan
Richmond: Riewoldt 5, Brown 4, Morton 3, Deledio, Cotchin 2, White, Johnson, Schulz, Tuck, Foley, Edwards, Hughes, Tambling
West Coast: Wirrpunda, McKinley 3, Hansen, Armstrong, Embley, Lynch, LeCras
Richmond: King replaced in selected side by Edwards
West Coast: Nil
Umpires: Head, Jeffery, Mollison
Crowd: 37,085 at Subiaco Oval