Q2: 4 mins remaining: Richmond 2.1 (13) v 5.5 (35) Geelong – Another clearance win for Geelong followed by manic hassling from both sides ending with a ball-up around Geelong’s half-forward line. Ablett flicks it out of traffic to Selwood, who finds Hawkins lace out, who smashes a trademark left-to-ride fade from 50m to send the Cats clear. Five in a row for Geelong!
Q2: 6 mins remaining: Richmond 2.1 (13) v 4.5 (29) Geelong – The Cats have time at half-forward but can’t pick a target. Eventually they turn it over but win it back in an instant when Houli is left outnumbered. This is an extraordinary contest of hurried turnover after hurried turnover. From the latest there is a target to hit – Menegola – and he goes back and slots the set shot from 45m. Four in a row for Geelong!
Q2: 7 mins remaining: Richmond 2.1 (13) v 3.5 (23) Geelong – Geelong’s pressure is superb – equalling Richmond’s. It has meant the Tigers have only once threatened this quarter so far. The Cats are also ahead in midfield where their ability to clear out from the stoppage is allowing them to turn contested ball in congestion into attack.
Q2: 8 mins remaining: Richmond 2.1 (13) v 3.4 (22) Geelong – Now Tuohy adds a point from long-range.
Q2: 8 mins remaining: Richmond 2.1 (13) v 3.3 (21) Geelong – Brilliant from Stewart, hitting the contest hard, winning the ball and belting it back over the pack and scuttling towards goal. The Tigers are hurried in the clearance because Dangerfield is so committed and the ball is soon back in Geelong’s hands – but Miers snaps wide when he should have done better.
Q2: 9 mins remaining: Richmond 2.1 (13) v 3.2 (20) Geelong – The pressure is wild. “How good is this!?” Asks Bruce on TV. Well, I guess it depends what you want to watch. For pressure-ball it is a clinic. For footy, it’s turnover after turnover in midfield followed by a hacked kick forward.
Finally there’s eom breathing room courtesy of the excellent Duncan. He picks out Miers who delivers a teasing ball to the tip of the arc where Dangerfield is lurking. Instead of shooting he goes to the top of the square and the ball is forced out for a ball-in.
Richmond with just six marks all game.
Q2: 11 mins remaining: Richmond 2.1 (13) v 3.2 (20) Geelong – The Cats win the clearance and work it nicely outside until the ball is on to find Hawkins leading on an angle to the 50m arc. But Dahlhaus gets in his way! Miscommunication from Geelong. The Cats continue to press and the ball is soon back inside 50, the first entry is dealt with quickly, then the second is held for an age by Nankervis who doesn’t realise it’s not a mark, but a touched kick. The umpire goes easy on the big man and there’s a stoppage. Richmond win it and hurl forward at rapid pace, surging like we know they do so well, and in the blink of an eye a long spell of defence is suddenly a dangerous attack. Geelong do just enough to survive and clear to left centre wing.
Q2: 14 mins remaining: Richmond 2.1 (13) v 3.2 (20) Geelong – Richmond clear and mark on their right wing around halfway but the ball inside 50 is dealt with by Geelong. They then clear back to halfway where there’s chaos with the ball in dispute until Rohan wins a free-kick for scragging Prestia. His kick intelligently goes to the 1-1 between Dangerfield and Cotchin inside 50 – and the outcome is a free to the Cat. From a tight angle about 35m out the #35 executes a beautiful pendulous swing of his right boot and Geelong have three in a row!
Q2: 15 mins remaining: Richmond 2.1 (13) v 2.2 (14) Geelong – Martin hacks the centre clearance forward to set up good field position for Richmond. From the stoppage Stewart does well to clear out of defence and Ablett creates a stoppage for the Cats on their left wing.
The sprint! It happened in the ad break!
Jordan Clark wins it for Geelong, just pipping Brad Hill on the line.
The team stats are pretty even. The major discrepancy is marks with Geelong’s precision kick-mark approach standing up so far despite the wet footy and Richmond’s pressure.
I could do with a breathy Cher cover to calm down after that.
Quarter-time: Richmond 2.1 (13) v 2.2 (14) Geelong
34.5 minutes after the opening bounce, we can all take a breather. That was absolute chaos.
Q1: 0.30 min remaining: Richmond 2.1 (13) v 2.2 (14) Geelong – Stanley takes a superb momentum-shifting intercept mark in the centre circle. He picks out Menegola on his outside who delivers inside 50 to the leading Duncan. From the right forward pocket one of the Cats of the season threads the needle and Geelong lead!
Superb finish from Duncan, but that was a 12-point play from Stanley.
Q1: 1 min remaining: Richmond 2.1 (13) v 1.2 (8) Geelong – The ball is in dispute on centre wing but soon it’s in Richmond’s hands courtesy of some silk from Houli. After switching from right to left the ball goes inside 50 but Geelong have numbers and clear – but only as far as Astbury and the Tigers mount another attack. But Astbury is wasteful and picks out Stewart inside 50.
Q1: 3 mins remaining: Richmond 2.1 (13) v 1.2 (8) Geelong – Is that another one!? Nope, just a security guard running across the Geelong 50m arc back to his station. Deary me. This has been bonkers.
Q1: 3 mins remaining: Richmond 2.1 (13) v 1.2 (8) Geelong – Richmond attack at pace and rattle Geelong’s defence – but what on earth? There are two pitch invaders! This is nuts.
Q1: 3 mins remaining: Richmond 2.1 (13) v 1.2 (8) Geelong – Guthrie with the centre clearance towards Ablett, who looked unconvincing with the ball coming towards him, but he laid a tackle afterwards. Geelong keep the ball in Richmond’s territory on the left wing with Hawkins dominating the ruck. They can’t find any space though with Richmond’s pressure extraordinary around the stoppage. Eventually Duncan has a shooting window but Martin executes a brilliant smother. Then the same Cat kicks out on the full and Richmond clear.
Broad is back on.
Q1: 5 mins remaining: Richmond 2.1 (13) v 1.2 (8) Geelong – Ablett is back on! That’ll be a huge story tomorrow, presumably he has been given all sorts of painkillers.
Meanwhile Martin forces a behind after imposing himself in the right forward pocket. Then Geelong finally string a long sequence of passes together with some intelligent movement, setting up Guthrie for a set shot at the limit of his range – and he nails it! The hardest set shot of the three so far for the Cats, and the All Australian delivers!
And another player is off the field looking ropey – Broad it is now. I think that’s another HIA. Wowzers.
Q1: 6 mins remaining: Richmond 2.0 (12) v 0.2 (2) Geelong – Martin wins the centre clearance, then the ball comes back his way after Geelong repel the first wave of attack. This time Martin picks out Baker with a superb pass. He feeds McIntosh and the wingman snaps a beautiful struck goal on the run from 50m. Richmond flying!
Q1: 7 mins remaining: Richmond 1.0 (6) v 0.2 (2) Geelong – First goal of the night goes to Dion Prestia! Richmond’s forward pressure forces Geelong to kick hurriedly from halfback and the interception follows. The bomb inside 50 is brought to ground and Edwards and Graham do well to keep it alive before Prestia snaps truly from 35m straight in front.
The last six grand finals have been lost by the team that kicked the first goal. Hmmm.
The pressure so far is extraordinary.
Q1: 8 mins remaining: Richmond 0.0 (0) v 0.2 (2) Geelong – Richmond fail to clear and the Cats apply serious pressure to force a stoppage in the left forward pocket. From the ball-in Hawkins dominates the ruck and sets up Dangerfield to sweep around for a shot, but he offloads to Tuohy instead as is cleaned up after the play for a free-kick. And now he misses a gettable set-shot from 45 out straight in front.
Ablett is back out on the boundary! Roars from the crowd.
Meanwhile, Parfitt looks to have a dislocated finger put back in.
Q1: 9 mins remaining: Richmond 0.0 (0) v 0.1 (1) Geelong – Geelong work their way out of heavy traffic in defence, superb series of tight handballs. Menegola was involved and he ends the phase with a beautiful kick to Guthrie who then feeds Hawkins on the lead. Huge moment coming up. From 40m on a 45 degree angle, Hawkins…. just shaves the left-hand upright.
Vlaustin has his boots off. Unsurprisingly he is done for the day.
Q1: 10 mins remaining: Richmond 0.0 (0) v 0.0 (0) Geelong – Richmond win the turnover quickly and gain good territory but Geelong’s backline holds up in the chaos. Then there’s some more harum-scarum stiff in midfield with bodies flying everywhere like shrapnel. I hope this settles down at some point.
Q1: 11 mins remaining: Richmond 0.0 (0) v 0.0 (0) Geelong – Martin imposes himself in traffic to unsettle Geelong in attacking territory. Short profits, runs and bounces, then slams a wild kick out of bounds on the full.
Q1: 12 mins remaining: Richmond 0.0 (0) v 0.0 (0) Geelong – After that long break so early into the contest the match restarts. How much will it affect the psychology of these teams?
Blicavs hammers Geelong deep inside 50 for the first time but every Cat is manned up and Geelong smuggle the ball to the boundary.
Q1: 13 mins remaining: Richmond 0.0 (0) v 0.0 (0) Geelong – Vlaustin is now off the ground strapped to a stretcher. Let’s hope he’s ok. The latest on Ablett suggests a dislocated shoulder.
Q1: 13 mins remaining: Richmond 0.0 (0) v 0.0 (0) Geelong – There’s a stoppage while the stretcher comes on to attend to Vlaustin. Replays show Dangerfield punches the loose ball and shortly afterwards in his follow through Vlaustin’s head smashed into his elbow. The Richmond defender is surely out for the remainder of the game. Dangerfield was bracing for contact but the way the collision occurred that brace turned into an elbow to Vlaustin’s head.
Ablett hasn’t been seen for an age after going down to the rooms. He was skewered into the turf on his left arm and he left with his arm in that cradling position familiar with breaks or dislocations. I hope he returns. That would be a tragic way for his career to end.
Q1: 13 mins remaining: Richmond 0.0 (0) v 0.0 (0) Geelong – Guthrie bangs the ball forward but Balta outmuscles Hawkins 1-1, which is a big early win for the youngster. Turnovers from both sides between the arcs. The pressure is wild!
Vlaustin looks to be knocked out! Dangerfield followed through with his fist in a collision that took ball and man.
And Ablett leaves clutching his left arm! That does not look good at all. His left wrist has left him in agony and he leaves the ground.
Q1: 14 mins remaining: Richmond 0.0 (0) v 0.0 (0) Geelong – Boundary throw turns into a ball-up but then Selwood wins another clearance only to belt it out on the full on the run on left centre wing. Then there’s some manic pressure-ball from Richmond, keeping play frantic just in Geelong’s half of the ground. Another clearance to Selwood, but it leads to another ball-up. This is not going to be one for the purists. Kolodjashnij is playing up the ground on Martin.
Q1: 15 mins remaining: Richmond 0.0 (0) v 0.0 (0) Geelong – Selwood wins the opening clearance but his kick is smothered, a pack forms and there’s a ball-up. Get used to that ladies and gents.
Siren, toss, Cotchin calls correctly, makes no difference, teams huddle. It’s on!
Anthem time, and it’s a classic-era Hollywood edition. The latest questionable choice on an odd night for musical curation.
You’ll be pleased to know that, for the time being, it’s dry and still.
Simon Black arrives with the premiership cup, handing it over to Ash Barty and Ian Nankervis.
I’m a massive Ash Barty fan so I’m delighted the Richmond-supporting Queenslander has been invited to present the premiership trophy to Trent Cotchin should the Tigers win. This could have been her year to cash in on the WTA Tour but unfortunately her schedule was wrecked by the pandemic.
Nankervis, of course, is one of the most decorated Cats in the club’s history.