“Glory days well they’ll pass you by. Glory days in the wink of a young girl’s eye. Glory days, glory days.”
Am I being a little presumptuous that the Richmond Tigers’ dynasty will end abruptly this season? It’s been an incredible four years for the Yellow and Black Army with three premierships in 2017, 2019 and 2020. Only a surprising preliminary final loss to Collingwood Magpies in 2018 stopped four consecutive flags. Much like the great Hawthorn, Geelong and Brisbane dynasties before this latest installment, there comes a moment where the invincibility starts to diminish and eventually the dynasty is over. Will the ever-growing casualty list down at Punt Road be the straw that eventually breaks the camel’s back? Dustin Martin’s absence for the remainder of the season surely is the last nail in the coffin. Is it too early to say that the Richmond Tigers’ dynasty is now finished?
The Richmond Tigers’ loss against the Fremantle Dockers in Round 19 was their eleventh loss for the 2021 season. To put this in perspective, The Tigers lost 25 of their past 100 odd games since the beginning of the 2017 season. The Tigers are in danger of failing to make the Top 8 let alone push for four flags in five seasons. Not only do they need to win their three remaining matches, but they now must also rely on other teams to lose to secure the 8th spot. Luckily for the Tigers, GWS and Essendon lost on the weekend. With Freo’s win, they sit at 8th spot momentarily but worryingly for coach Just Longmuir, their poor for and against percentage may be the difference between a top 8 spot and an off season full of what ifs over the summer.
So where did it go wrong for the Richmond Tigers this season? Is the season ending injury to Dusty Martin the most significant injury of the modern era? The three-time Premiership Winner and Norm Smith Medalist is irreplaceable. Even with Dusty, the Tigers still suffered 9 losses this season. Does this mean that without him, they can’t win the required games left in the season to force their way back into the Top 8? The predicaments for the Tigers this season are how much difficulty they’ve had this year kicking winning scores and the fact that Tom Lynch is, in essence a 199 centimetre 98 kilogram seagull who is having zero impact in many of the games this year. Lynch seems to have plateaued the past two seasons. He drops easy marks on the lead, his forward pressure is abysmal, and his set shot for goal seems to be getting worse. This man is getting paid close to $1 million a year to play like a busted arse! This was the man brought in to eventually replace Jack Riewoldt yet he’s constantly being outplayed by his older teammate. When your two spearheads only kick two goals between them, you’ll lose more games than you win.
Buddy Watch: 985 goals down, 15 goals still to go! The AFL Tribunal were rather kind to young Lance downgrading his original one match suspension to a fine. Surprisingly, he only kicked two goals in an old fashioned slug fest of yesteryear. If you told me that the Paddington Bloods kicked 17 goals and Buddy only kicked two goals, I would’ve assumed in the first quarter let alone the entire game. I fear that time is running out for Buddy to kick the goals required by season’s end. Fingers crossed he gets there for all footy fans.
Well, I’ve waffled on for long enough. Until next time, may your elbows to your opponent’s head be downgraded to careless contact, low impact and high contact. If that’s the case, you’re free to continue!
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Most Improved (Coaches Award) 2009 for the Nor-West Jets AFC