Incredibly, Tom Lynch is in hot water yet again after appearing to strike Michael Hurley in the final quarter. This incident comes just a week after he was fined for striking both Sam Collins and Jarrod Witts of the Gold Coast Suns. You would think a suspension is now headed his way.
Essendon coach John Worsfold spoke to the media after the game. Here’s a sample from his press conference…
Q: There were some good things that came out of the game, obviously 10 goals and one point was very good. But I want to talk about those two boys from the island [Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti] and from Halls Creek [Irving Mosquito].
A: Yeah, obviously Mosquito on debut we were really pleased with. He delivered what we know he is capable of. So in his first taste of it, he was pretty nervous. But he will get a lot of belief out of that, what he knows he can do, he can do at AFL level. So that’s a really big thing for him. And Anthony’s just a very good footballer. We know that. And continues to work hard and perform well for us.
Q: But that decision when McDonald-Tipungwuti ran into the open goal and it got overturned, just the impact of that?
A: Massive impact. Yeah. That point, that potentially was going to give us a couple-of-goal lead and obviously it was something pretty drastic to overturn a kick like that. Unfortunately that’s the way the umpires called it and we have to cop that. But it was a pretty critical part of the game.
Q: Because you just worked your way back into it after I guess the opening term…
A: We weren’t playing particularly well but the players were starting to get some confidence that when we did get forward, we were looking dangerous and that was another opportunity to kick an uncontested goal which we did kick. So unfortunately it was taken off us.
Q: [The 50-metre penalty] as well against [Tom] Bellchambers [on Nick Vlastuin], what did you make of that?
A: Hard to say that one. I assume if there was late contact, that is always a 50m penalty. So you got to judge if there was late contact.
Q: Forty-two fewer inside 50s, that is overwhelming, what is going wrong to have that sort of impact?
A: That’s a base of our game played in their front half. So possessions are pretty even for the game. But we couldn’t get through them enough. They won too many front-half intercepts off us and re-entered. To the credit of everyone they defended with their lives. And made it tough for them to score. But that’s what we had to do all night. So we’ve got to look at Richmond are very, very good at setting up behind the ball. So some good stuff that we can have a look at to improve the way we want to move the ball against teams like that but that’s an area we have got to get better. I still think we missed a lot of opportunities when we – and they were unpressured opportunities to go through them. So we’ve got to improve in that area through hard work.
Richmond coach Damien Hardwick spoke to the media after the game. Here’s a sample from the press conference…
Q: Was that a frustrating game for you Damien?
A: Oh, there was some bits at the ends that were frustrating but I thought we looked at it and Essendon played us a challenging way at various times but I thought there was a lot of things we did right, we couldn’t get the scoreboard ticking over as nice as we would like. But fact of the matter is I thought we played a pretty good brand of footy, couldn’t get the polish on the end, left a lot of goals on the table an opened the door late and they took advantage of that. Had some good ball movement from the back half, they kicked five goals from there and challenged us at various stages. We really enjoyed coming up here. We loved it. It was a great occasion and happy to walk away with the four points.
Q: Is tonight the icing on the cake in some ways for Shai Bolton’s breakout season?
A: It was terrific. He’s been working incredibly hard over a long period of time with his coaches to work his way through the middle of the ground. We’re starting to reap the benefits of that. He’s only going to get better and better. I think you can see the way he plays the game, he is incredible to watch, his ability to move in and out of traffic. There is no coincidence he is wearing the family jumper and celebrating Indigenous round is incredibly proud. He put in a fantastic performance tonight.
Q: Did you identify those burst of goals just before half-time and just after half-time, that made a difference?
A: For us? Yeah. Geez, I can’t even remember. Yeah, I think we did have a couple. I can’t quite remember to be perfectly honest. But look, I thought that the dominance we sort of opened up that lead to the back end of the game but they left the door open a bit and they came back. They are damaging when they do move the ball through the middle of the ground and we probably didn’t close that down well enough. So to their credit, they rolled the dice and kicked some really good goals. They have got some exciting forwards up there. [Irving] Mosquito is going to be a hell of a player. He’s really exciting to watch. I found myself watching him half the time which was frustrating.
Q: Did you draw on the Indigenous guys, obviously the importance of them, but did you use that as pre-game extra motivation?
A: Yeah, we did. They are such an important fabric of our football club. Our club’s had a long history of Indigenous players walk through the door. We’ve got the KGI [Korin Gamadji Institute] upstairs [at Punt Road Oval]. They add to us. It’s a great celebration. We’re incredibly proud and grateful to play in this great game. It’s one of the best games on the calendar. Our players love it. What we loved also is coming up here, and to put on the performance we did today, we are incredibly proud to do. We’ve got one of our greatest Indigenous players Shane Edwards at home, that we spoke in the last quarter. Let’s finish the game off for Shane. He’s really important to who we are. His grandmother passed away during the week so there was extra motivation as well. So the Indigenous boys just add so much to us. We are very fortunate to have a quality group of those players. I love watching them play.
Q: Just on that, you guys wore some shirts before the game, when was that planned?
A: I think our leaders wanted to signify how important Shane is. Like this is a game that he was desperate to play. But obviously with the birth of his child, he couldn’t be here. So players wanted to know that we miss him, we love him and this game is all about Shane and what he brings. He’s an incredible talent, Shane. Every year we’ve seen him grow, I reckon as a person. The players wanted to put a touching aspect to the Black Lives Matter T-shirt which is really important as well.
Q: You said earlier in the season that the team that wins the flag this year, it will be very unique.
A: Yeah, I think it is going to be one of the hardest flag to win. We’re seeing now it’s been a challenge. I sit there and spoke to the players about it probably three or four weeks ago, you will sit there and tell your grandkids you played a whole season out of your state. There’s been some challenges. There is no doubt. But we are very grateful that we get the opportunity to play. The Queensland government and NT government have been outstanding to us. They have got my votes for giving us the allowance to play the game. It is so important for the people back home, we have got people sitting there doing it really tough in Victoria, to give them three hours of joy is incredibly important. I thank the AFL and all the NT and Queensland government for giving us the opportunity to give that.
Best on ground Shai Bolton joined Channel Seven after the game…
Q: This must mean a lot to you tonight. Dreamtime up in Darwin. You designed the jumper with your mother and your two grandmothers. That’s a special night for you.
A: Yeah. Like I said, my mum and that, they’re not here at the moment. So I just wanted to play a good game, especially in this jersey that me and my family made back home. So yeah. I just wanted to play today for them and make them proud.
Q: Great celebration of Indigenous football, of course, and what the influence has been. But not only yourself tonight, but Daniel Rioli and then on the other side, we saw the young man Irving Mosquito, [Anthony] McDonald-Tipungwuti, it is just a wonderful celebration.
A: Yeah, that is what I was saying, you know, in this game, we just want to compete, especially in Dreamtime because you know, where we all celebrate together, play this game together. It’s just a great game for all of us Indigenous boys just to come out here and play our best.
Q: We are just watching your highlights there. There were plenty tonight. Tell us about your move into the midfield, you are playing big minutes in there now after the injuries earlier in the season, [Dion] Prestia and [Shane] Edwards and a couple of others. It’s just taken your game to another level.
A: Yeah, like I’ve been saying, finally getting an opportunity in the midfield, you know, all the boys come out due to injury, I kind of took my opportunity. But yeah, bit of last year I played maybe three games there and now I feel a bit more comfortable in there. I’m just learning every day off Kane Lambert, Dusty [Dustin Martin], Cotch [Trent Cotchin], just learning off them every day and getting better. So yeah.
Q: One of the things we love and observed is the great friendship between all the Indigenous players. Did you get a chance tonight to wander past and have a handshake with Irving Mosquito, his debut tonight?
A: Yeah, yeah, I did. We’re living at the same hotel at the moment, so I say congratulations on his debut but he’s so quick. I don’t know how quick he is but yeah, he played an amazing game and a debut and especially Dreamtime for him which will be really special. Good on him.
Q: Bit of Showtime from big [Mabior] Chol tonight, he had the hair cut for the occasion.
A: You pretty much could say that Mabior Chol is Indigenous because he always hangs around with us, but he has the most respect for us boys an he would do anything to make us happy. So he’s one of my best mates and most of all the boys’ best mates. So yeah, he’s a legend.
Richmond sing the song loud after their hard-fought 12-point win over Essendon
Here’s some of the social media reaction to Richmond’s victory over Essendon…
Fremantle ended up winning the disposals 325-305, contested possessions 132-116, free kicks 13-12 and scoring shots 15-9.
Despite being restricted to just two goals, and being held to their lowest score in 49 years, the Swans actually finished up leading the tackles 51-45, marks 79-71, inside 50s 43-34 and hitouts 32-28.
Fremantle 1.1, 4.4, 5.7, 7.8 (50)
Sydney 1.2, 1.4, 1.4, 2.7 (19)
Fremantle: Taberner 2, Cerra, Frederick, Lobb, Mundy, Schultz
Sydney: McCartin, Wicks
Fremantle: Brayshaw 27, Ryan 26, Fyfe 22, Mundy 22
Sydney: Lloyd 28, Cunningham 21
Dustin Martin was one of Richmond’s best players yet again, and he spoke to Channel Seven after the game…
Q: It’s a Dreamtime like we’ve never seen before. How did you enjoy it?
A: It was amazing. Probably my favourite game of the year. Really special and grateful to be a part of it.
Q: Shai Bolton just takes out the BOG medal. How has he come since being at the footy club?
A: He’s a fantastic player. He’s had another great season. He’s just awesome to watch.
Q: Took you guys a little while to get going with your inside 50s in the first half. You couldn’t dominate the scoreboard until the second half, you got over the line.
A: We stick to the process and keep trying to get around the defence and it worked well.
Q: How did you find the conditions? We saw you in your rotations in the fridge. It’s a bit hot out here, isn’t it?
A: It’s really hot. It was an awesome night.
Q: Before we let you go and celebrate with your fans, we did see Trent Cotchin give away a 50m penalty, we know that ‘Dimma’ [coach Damien Hardwick] has the penalties of changing his baby’s nappy.
A: It will be the first time he’s done it. So it will be good.
Richmond’s two-time premiership Indigenous star Daniel Rioli spoke to Channel Seven after the game…
Q: You’ve played at dream time at the ‘G in front of 90,000 screaming fans. How does it compare playing here at TIO Stadium in front of your home town?
A: I feel like it’s even better because you get to come home and play in front of your people. So even though Dreamtime at the ‘G is pretty special, but nothing as special as to get back here, in front of my home, my family, my friends. I’m loving it.
Q: You got really emotional on the bus when you drove into TIO Stadium. Just talk us through that moment.
A: Yeah, what I said before it was like I’ve always dreamed about playing on the MCG and then for it to be at home was just like if you ask me this last year, the game is going to be played at TIO Stadium, you would be kidding. So for it to happen and me walking in today was just all sinking in and my heart sunk, but it’s pretty emotional just to get back here and yeah, I’m going to treasure this for the rest of my life.
Q: We were lucky enough to speak to Shannon Rioli at three-quarter time, what was your ticket allocation like because there are a few Riolis.
A: Friends and family all requested tickets but yeah, it’s been all worth it. Yeah. I don’t know what to say. I’m pretty speechless. But to have family that could attend this game, yeah, it’s pretty special. Something like I said it is going to be for the rest of my life now. I’m going to, yeah, pretty emotional.