Mildura Weekly : Friday June 6 Vol 8 No 31
www.milduraweekly.com.au 8 Mildura Weekly – 06/06/14 DREAMTIME at ‘The G,’ 2014...the much-anticipat- ed 10-year anniversary clash between traditional rivals Essendon and Richmond - started badly for the Ti- gers...and got worse as the night progressed. The pundits predicted a sell-out crowd of between 80,000 and 90,000 fans for what was an Essendon home game. Fewer than 75,000 turned up, but the atmosphere was still elec- tric. As a lifelong Tigers fan (but all teams AFL in gener- al), the result was doubling disappointing. We were expecting a tough, no-holds-barred, tough encounter, maybe not the result of the previ- ous week, when Richmond gave Greater Western Syd- ney a football lesson to the tune of 100-plus points, but certainly not what they de- livered for ‘Dreamtime.’ And speaking of the Dreamtime round, I wasn’t aware, until set straight by one an- nouncer, that our indigenous people were not only custodians, but owners, of this hal- lowed piece of sporting turf. No wonder they make a big fuss of it. All that aside, the game should have been a lot clos- er, considering Richmond’s record of three wins and seven losses, and the Dons not far away with a 5-5 win/ loss radio, but if Saturday night was the best the Tigers can do, they’ve got a long, hard road ahead. Just in case you came in late, Essendon belted the Ti- gers by 50 points in a game marred by basic mistakes of scrappy play and poor kick- ing (mostly by the Tigers), and glaring umpiring errors, to the equal detriment of both teams. The game also rein- forced the fact that we’re in a new era of Aussie Rules footy, with rule changes in recent years taking much of the spectacle away. Very few soaring marks, the good old-fashioned hip and shoulder bump is almost non-existent, query an um- pire’s decision at your own peril, and be careful what you say to an opposition player, especially if they’re of indigenous or ethnic background. It’s a far quicker game these days. It’s handball... handball...handball - and as Richmond found out on Saturday night, more often than not it can land you in trouble. It was hard to be- lieve that elite-level players can make elementary mis- takes...time and again. One of the first lessons footballers are supposed to be taught is the ability to handball from either side, and kick with both feet. It’s surprising how many of today’s footballers are not ambidextrous - the goal ‘handed’ to Essendon in the Tigers backline was a typical example. And I was amazed at the flooding. Time and again, whenever one team was in attack, there wasn’t a single player in the defensive zone. Saturday night’s game, like many others, was sim- ply a game of ‘keepies-off.’ One passage of play, and I use the term loosely, saw Es- sendon attempt to come out of the backline, but it took nine kicks and three hand- balls before it even crossed the 50-metre line! It’s little wonder that average foot- ballers can pick up 30-40 possessions a game! And a point of order here, umpires...if some of those kicks were 15 me- tres, I’ll eat my hat! Kicking across goal, kicking back- wards, kicking 10 metres... grrrrrr! • Continued Page 13 The predicted showers held off, the wind died down...it was the ideal night for an AFL action showpiece – Dreamtime at the G...but as the Mildura Weekly’s ALAN ERSKINE reports, it was a far from perfect night, really more a case of... certainly not what they de- livered for ‘Dreamtime.’ And speaking of the Dreamtime round, I wasn’t aware, until set straight of this hal- lowed piece of sporting turf. No wonder they make a big fuss of it. All that aside, the game • ESSENDON-MAD; Most of the Saturday night Dreamtime crowd were obvious Essendon fans (it was their home game), and boy, didn’t they let the Tigers know it, especially on the few occasions that Richmond spearhead Jack Riewoldt got hold of the ball. Things have changed a lot in football, and footy coverage, as this picture (LEFT) of the roving cameraman shows. That’s the final scoreboard, TOP, while Essendon coach Bomber Thompson sprints off the ground after a pep talk to his team. Dreamtime for the Bombers.Wake-up call for Tigers!
Friday May 30 2014 Vol 8 No 30
Friday June 13 Vol 8 No 32