Richmond’s stunning run of form at the MCG continued on Sunday, with a 36-point win over Hawthorn – although it may take some time before the Tigers can put to bed the two games when they were not quite on their game.
Richmond has won 25 of its last 27 matches against Victorian teams at the grand old ground, with the only two defeats being at the hands of Collingwood.
Earlier this year the Tigers lost to the Pies by a shock 44 points, having also experienced a disastrous 39-point upset in last season’s preliminary final.
After a horror run with injuries the Pies are finally starting to find some form, with Dustin Martin talking up his teammates on Channel Seven post-match n Sunday.
“That is what we are about. Bringing team effort, we have been building over the last couple of weeks,” Martin said. “Look at all the young guys, Baker, Stack, Tom Lynch.”
Lynch – who has suffered injury and been under some pressure after his free agency transfer from the Gold Coast – also had a good game with four goals, the last welcomed with an effusive display by Martin.
“It was good. We managed to hang in there and grind away in the end,” Lynch said. “Feeling good. It’s good to be playing footy on the G. I’m building up. Knee feels really good.”
‘Yawn,’ says Flying Ryan
West Coast’s Liam Ryan’s big leap in Perth on Saturday night is being hailed by many commentators as a Mark of the Year Contender, but the man himself seems less than impressed.
“Nah, I’d say the one in round 23 in the WAFL on Schoey (Will Schofield) was better,” Ryan said of his goal square climb on Demon Max Gawn.
And while the mark was something special, Eagles coach Adam Simpson was less than impressed with Nathan Vardy for the attention he paid to Gawn after being poleaxed.
As Gawn lay on the ground, Willie Rioli appeared to taunt him and then Vardy joined in with a shove.
Simpson revealed on Saturday he had a word with Vardy about the incident.
“Gawn had 50 hit-outs to advantage,” Simpson told SEN. “Vardy took the opportunity to try and at least return a bit of lip. (It was) not a great look for us. We don’t really like that type of thing.”
“I think when he saw him on the ground, he took an opportunity to give him some feedback which I think Vards was getting most of the night,” Simpson said.
“I’ve spoken to Vards and I said: ‘Mate, you don’t need to do that.’ No harm, no foul really, but it’s just not a great look.”
Port’s future comes into focus
Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley believes the 38-point win over Gold Coast on Sunday showed how well the Power’s young blokes are tracking.
Port’s acting captain was Dougal Howard, in just his 37th AFL game , having been given the leadership role in the absence of injured co-captains Ollie Wines and Tom Jonas.
Billy Frampton, in his second game, and Kane Farrell, in his seventh, kicked three goals apiece, while first-year forward Connor Rozee booted two.
Fellow new draftees Xavier Duursma (19 disposals) and Zak Butters (15 touches, one goal) were influential, while in defence Joel Garner looked assured in his AFL debut and Joe Atley (four games) and Jarrod Lienert (11) were solid.
“We believe we have got some significant depth on our list this year,” Hinkley said. “But I think the method that we try and play is ingrained in our players whether they are young or old.
“I have thought this for a while, that our list is really, really developing well. Now, it’s not always going to provide wins. But I’m really confident we have got a list that is actually going in the right direction – and the direction of being a good side, not just being an okay side.”
Kicking on – not.
The low-scoring matches that have visited the AFL after the six-six-sic rule’s introduction appears to have struck again on the weekend. Geelong, Collingwood and GWS were the only teams to crack the 100-point mark, while Essendon’s 8.12 (60) to 7.11 (53) slog over Fremantle hardly inspired confidence that the competition is heading towards a bright new attacking future.