Preview 2021 Rd 5 - Richmond vs St Kilda at Docklands Thursday 15/4 7.20pm AEST - Conspiracies, Comparisons and the Moorabbin Rasputitsa

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Norm Smith Medallist
May 8, 2007
AFL Club
Morning all,

Are you happy now? It’s all your fault. How have we have reached this situation, whereby football is now merely an elaborately produced extravaganza designed to distract and enchant the masses, like sardines to a coloured flickering light?

Let’s be honest, the AFL exists to sell rubbish to dopey football fans. Either:
  • A car that is slightly shinier than the one you bought 2 years ago, but apparently comes with a fawning supermodel in the passenger seat (Fawning Supermodel Not Guaranteed).
  • Gambling propositions for people whose mathematical competency extends to believing that Champion Data’s statistical analysis is ‘pretty much spot on’.
  • Food that comes in a bucket.
So, having a product that attracts viewers is pretty much the be-all and end-all for the Commission. Gil and I were discussing this back in early 2016 after the disastrous Hawthorn experiment. (‘Oh, everyone loves a family club!’. Well, no they bloody didn’t - some supporters even went and watched the A-League). We needed a bright, exciting fairy tale to re-awaken fan interest, and thought the Bulldog story would be a nice plot twist. Unfortunately, while everyone liked the Doggies winning, no one cared (and least no one with enough disposable income to buy a new car or a family-sized arteriosclerosis-in-a-box meal). After workshopping this at a vertically leveraged groupthink session, the Commission decided that we needed a premier who everyone liked initially but would then rapidly turn into a despised and loathed super-villain. Gil and I looked at each other and spoke at the same moment - ‘It’s Tiger Time’. And here we are today. I hope you are enjoying it.

Still, the pretence of a fair, apparently non-scripted competition must be maintained, and this week Our Mighty Tigers (Trademark) face St Kilda. I like St Kilda. They have a long history, they’ve only moved their home ground twice three times, and while they have always had a solid core of support, their lack of success has left them rudely stigmatised and derided by opposition fans. Their list of past players reads like a veritable ‘Who’s That?’ of football legends. They could have been the Romantic, Wistful, Heroic Underdogs – but that role was taken and will always remain with Fitzroy. And so Poor Old St Kilda (Trademark) will forever be The Clowns.

There are two types of saints. One is the kind who inspires devotion by way of performing miraculous deeds, conquering overbearing tyrants and monsters, and eventually triumphing in glorious victory, leading their followers to a sunlit utopia. The other type experience lives of squalor, poverty and deprivation before dying in wretched isolation. (No one is actually sure who St Kilda was, but here’s a photo of today’s upbeat beachside suburb).

Still, the Saints have managed to win a few games along the way – they even won the premiership back when cigarettes weren’t bad for you, and they used to have one of the coolest jumpers in the competition – complete with floppy collar (who doesn’t love a floppy collar?). Unfortunately, since their glory days day of the previous millennium they have struggled somewhat, and most of their victories have come from adopting the Russian tactic of waiting for the winter downpours to negate any opposition attack.

It was tough to get out of the defensive 50 at Moorabbin in the 70s

So on to this week’s game! And what a cracker blockbuster extravaganza game it promises to be. Saints fans can barely contain their excitement as their team follows up on last year’s surprising surge up the ladder with more dramatic heart-stopping performances as they race through this season of drama, intrigue, and sensation. By contrast, Richmond fans are still in hibernation mode, making the green tomato chutney, putting in the snow peas and waiting for August (OK, maybe mid-July). The main topic of concern re the football team is which player gets a rest this week.

St Kilda are flying at the moment (as every good, young exciting team should be), while Richmond are barely going (as every old, grizzled, experienced reigning premier should be). The Tigers are definitely not 100% switched to ‘Max Boost’ and a few brain fades have proved costly (such as last Friday in not following Robbie Gray when he went to the carpark to retrieve the football). Both sides are missing a few players through injury and St Kilda undoubtedly have youth on their side – particularly playing on the concrete Speedway that is Docklands. If any side jumps up and surprises us (at non-finals time) it tends to be the Saints. But Damien Hardwick is probably overdue to bring out another tortured analogy about ‘Journeys, Ambitions and Goals’ which should be enough to sustain us until we need to put on our ‘Big Boy Pants’ again (August. OK – maybe mid-July).

The game will be played at every Richmond fan’s favourite ground and on every Richmond fan’s favourite night. Richmond should win, but if I was going to put a wager on, I’ll probably still be living in my mum’s caravan for a very long time. We all had this game circled in our calendar months ago – as in ‘good night to stay home, order a Family Bucket of Lard, and re-organise our tax expenses after half time’ – because whichever way it goes, it should be clear by then.

Tigers by 27.

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Brownlow Medallist
Sep 11, 2018
AFL Club
Other Teams
no im still not happy should be 3-1 and the weather in melbourne has turned into dog sh*t, like that port bogan debutants face. so fu** everything

wont be happy til we win 2021 flag with dusty getting his 4th norm and calling out deboy for being a nerd inbred cheat
that's an impressive melt

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Premiership Player
Oct 13, 2010
AFL Club
At what point do we unleash both Riolis?

I get the feeling Daniel would've got a rocket and will get some form back this week, and playing both together may just produce some amazing synergy, they'll energise each other.

OUT: Aarts, Mansell, Martyn
IN: Rioli, Rioli, CCJ

Grimes, Astbury, Broad
Houli, Balta, Short
Pickett, Cotchin, Lambert
Edwards, Riewoldt, Castagna
Rioli, Lynch, Rioli
Nankervis, Martin, Ross

Graham, Bolton, Baker, CCJ

I know Dimma alluded to playing Ralphsmith, but who makes way? No way we can drop Ross, need to keep playing him, I personally think he has huge potential to be a solid player for us and we can't afford to lose the midfield depth/rotations. It's likely only one Rioli comes in (Daniel) anyway and that Ralphsmith debuts.

Solid side though I think, provided MRJ is up to the level. Solid defence though we miss Vlastuin. Plenty of speed and pressure in the forward line. Deep midfield provided Dusty doesn't go forward too much. And very keen to get a look at two rucks again, CCJ big potential especially resting forward.
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