Author Topic: Media articles and stats: Tigers fall to Blues  (Read 1714 times)

Offline one-eyed

  • Administrator
  • RFC Hall of Fame
  • *****
  • Posts: 60711
    • One-Eyed Richmond
Media articles and stats: Tigers fall to Blues
« on: March 30, 2012, 12:48:18 AM »
Tigers fall to Blues
By Paul Daffey, with AAP
10:21 PM Thu 29 Mar, 2012


Carlton         3.2     8.7    11.13    18.17 (125)
Richmond     3.4     5.6    10.7      12.9 (81)

GOALS
Carlton: Hampson 3, Betts 2, Armfield 2, Yarran 2, Lucas 2, Waite, Simpson, Garlett, Thornton, Kreuzer, Murphy, Robinson
Richmond: Riewoldt 4, Grigg 2, Martin 2, Cotchin 2, Vickery, Nahas

BEST
Carlton: Murphy, Carrazzo, Simpson, Curnow, Scotland, Judd, Kreuzer
Richmond: Cotchin, Martin, Foley, Houli, Rance

INJURIES
Carlton: Nil
Richmond: Nil

SUBSTITUTES
Carlton: Jordan Russell replaced by Kane Lucas in the final quarter.
Richmond: Shane Tuck replaced by Reece Conca in the third quarter.

Reports: Jarrad Waite (Carlton) for rough conduct on Dylan Grimes (Richmond) in the first quarter.

Umpires: Donlon, Farmer, Meredith

Official crowd: 78,285 at MCG

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

CARLTON used a combination of class and composure to surge clear of Richmond and win their opening-round clash at the MCG by 44 points on Thursday night.

The Blues led by as many as 32 points midway through the third quarter before Richmond stormed back with five straight goals, but Carlton steadied to run out 18.17 (125) to 12.9 (81) winners for their eighth consecutive victory over the Tigers.

The Blues looked to be in trouble when Richmond had the momentum heading into the final quarter, and their indifferent pre-season seemed about to bring them undone.

But they took control in the final term, casting doubt on whether the Tigers have the polish to challenge for the top eight.

Richmondís fight evaporated when Carlton defender Chris Yarran delivered a piece of magic 10 minutes into the term.

Receiving a handball on the left-forward flank, he hugged the boundary line, shrugged off attempted tackles from new Tigers Ivan Maric and Brandon Ellis, and then threaded a running shot at goal to create an 18-point buffer.

Replays suggesting the ball might have crossed the line did not detract from the goal's brilliance.

The Blues overcame the absence of defenders Michael Jamison and Nick Duigan to keep the Tigersí key forwards at bay.

Jack Riewoldt ended up with four goals, but his tally did a disservice to opponent Lachie Henderson, who played a tight, spoiling game.

Riewoldt spent most of the night around centre half-forward, with the Tigers looking most threatening when Trent Cotchin and Dustin Martin alternated out of the goalsquare in the third quarter.

The Blues clearly won the midfield battle, Andrew Carrazzo setting the tone with his attack on the ball.

Marc Murphy started slowly before powering into the game after half-time. His ability to set up a passage of play as well as provide a classy link-up was instrumental in the Blues' win.

The unheralded Ed Curnow was busy, while Kade Simpson was one of the few players on the ground to play well from start to finish.

Ruckman Matthew Kreuzer was among the best on ground, and gave Richmond big man Maric a headache in his first game in the yellow and black.

Richmond debutants Ellis and Steven Morris were quiet in a game that was played at great intensity, featuring contest after contest.

Ultimately, the Blues' greater ability to dispose to advantage under pressure stood them in good stead.

The news wasnít all good for the Blues, with forward Jarrad Waite reported in the opening minutes of the match after contact with Richmondís Dylan Grimes.

http://www.richmondfc.com.au/news/newsarticle/tabid/6301/newsid/131776/default.aspx

Offline rogerd3

  • RFC Hall of Fame
  • *****
  • Posts: 1881
Re: Media articles and stats: Tigers fall to Blues
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2012, 12:55:32 AM »
oh dear :rollin :rollin :rollin

Offline one-eyed

  • Administrator
  • RFC Hall of Fame
  • *****
  • Posts: 60711
    • One-Eyed Richmond
Stats: Tigers vs Blues
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2012, 03:47:40 AM »
Team Stats

Disposals           320    - 375
Kicks                 178    - 219
Handballs           142 - 156   
Con. Possies      136 - 151   
Uncon. Possies   180 - 227
Efficiency%          72 - 75
Marks                  58 - 103
Con. Marks            6 - 13   
Uncon. Marks       52 - 90
Tackles                65 - 64   
Clearances           32 - 39
Clangers              46 - 54   
Frees                   22 - 20    
Hitouts                38 - 26 .... ( I.Maric 25, Vickery 9 // Kreuzer 15, Hampson 10 )
Inside 50s            45 - 63
Marks In50          10 - 18
Rebound 50s       42 - 31
Assists                  6 - 11
1%ers                 46 - 70
Supercoach     1517 - 1780
Dreamteam     1332 - 1636

Individual Stats

PLAYER             D       K      H      CP    DE%   M  CM  T  CL  FF  FA  I50  R50  G   B   GA   SC

T.Cotchin          27    17    10    11    67%    1    0    8    7    1    0    5    2    2    0    0    127
N.Foley             25    14    11    14    56%    3    0    4    4    0    1    4    5    0    0    2      88
B.Deledio          21    11    10      7    67%    5    0    7    1    0    2    4    1    0    0    1    100
A.Rance            21    11    10    13    86%    3    0    1    1    4    0    0    9    0    0    0    108
S.Grigg             20    14      6      5    65%    2    0    0    1    0    1    3    3    2    0    0      81
B.Houli              20      9    11      5    80%    5    0    1    1    1    0    2    2    0    0    0      72
I.Maric              18      8    10      9    72%    5    1    0    5    2    0    2    0    0    0    1      97
D.Jackson         17    11      6      4    82%    4    0    1    4    1    0    4    0    0    0    0      54
D.Martin            16    11      5      8    62%    2    0    4    3    3    1    4    1    2    1    0      89
J.Riewoldt         16    11      5    11    62%    3    2    5    0    1    3    2    0    4    3    0    118
S.Tuck              15      1    14      7    73%    3    0    2    0    2    1    0    1    0    0    0      49
C.Newman        14      9      5      3    86%    3    0    5    1    0    1    2    4    0    0    0      66
S.Edwards         12      6      6      8    75%    0    0    4    4    1    0    4    0    0    1    1      54
A.Maric              12      6      6      5    67%    2    0    2    0    0    0    3    0    0    1    1      45
D.Grimes           11      9      2      5    82%    2    0    2    0    3    1    0    4    0    0    0      54
B.Ellis                  9      6      3      1    89%    2    0    2    0    0    0    0    3    0    0    0      50
B.Miller                9      4      5      4    78%    5    2    3    0    0    2    1    0    0    1    0      58
S.Morris              9      1      8      1    89%    1    0    2    0    0    1    0    1    0    0    0      30
J.Post                 9      5      4      5    67%    3    1    1    0    1    2    1    4    0    0    0      44
R.Conca             8      6      2      4    87%    2    0    3    0    1    2    1    1    0    0    0      35
R.Nahas             8      6      2      3    37%    1    0    5    0    0    1    2    1    1    1    0      47
T.Vickery            3      2      1      3    67%    1    0    3    0    1    1    1    0    1    0    0      51

http://live-footy.heraldsun.com.au/StatsCentre/Index/20120120120140102
http://www.afl.com.au/tabid/16931/Default.aspx#fixtureid=7661&tab=Stats

Offline one-eyed

  • Administrator
  • RFC Hall of Fame
  • *****
  • Posts: 60711
    • One-Eyed Richmond
Familiar story for Tigers of old (Herald-Sun)
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2012, 04:03:44 AM »
Familiar story for Tigers of old

    Warwick Green
    From: Herald Sun
    March 30, 2012


THIS time was supposed to be different.

Since 2008 Richmond fans have gone into the Round 1 match against Carlton with optimism, only to have it crushed by a loss - an average margin of 53 points over the past three years.

This year the optimism was less about hope than it was about a real belief that Richmond was ready to take a big scalp.

There were to be "No excuses". Maybe so, but there were reasons and they all revolved around Carlton's class trumping Richmond's optimism.

The Blues were cleaner, they made fewer mistakes and they knew how to win.

There were to be no excuses for Richmond because their midfield was supposed to be ready to match it with the elite.

Yet Carlton disproved that, and did so without Chris Judd producing one of his dominant games.

Judd was solid, and Marc Murphy worked relentlessly in traffic, but the difference was that Andrew Carrazzo, Kade Simpson and to a lesser extent Ed Curnow stepped up, and showed that Carlton's midfield is elite because it has quality and depth.

There were to be no excuses for Richmond because it had now had a ruckman in Ivan Maric who would not be tossed around like a rag doll.

He wasn't, but he was no match for the brilliance of Matthew Kreuzer, who produced some deft tapwork and was superb around the ground, effectively acting as an extra midfielder at the stoppages.

There were to be no excuses for Richmond because it had several potent forwards who could expose Carlton without its two backline generals, Michael Jamieson and Nick Duigan.

But Lachy Henderson effectively blanketed Jack Riewoldt, even though the Tigers spearhead managed to produce four goals, including a freak snap late in the third term that brought the Tigers to within 10 points and gave them another sniff of optimism and hope.


There were to be no excuses for the Tigers because they had found a couple of small and pacy defenders in Steven Morris and Brandon Ellis capable of minding the crumbers. Yet Jeff Garlett and Eddie Betts still managed to have a major bearing on the game with a handful of possessions.

Even more encouraging for the Blues was the performance of their marking forwards.

Shaun Hampson clunked a few marks and added three goals, while the underdone Jarrad Waite proved his worth, taking marks on the lead as well as a couple of hangers.

Richmond moved the ball into its forward line slowly and with long hopeful kicks. Carlton scored through many avenues to goal. Pack marks, crumbing, and plenty of streaming into open space.

The play of the night came when Chris Yarran, his usual damaging self running off half back, took possession of a Judd handball on the attacking side of the wing and backed himself in dashing along the boundary.

He burned off Ivan Maric and Morris, taking two bounces and kicking a brilliant goal from 30m on the boundary.

For Richmond there were few positives

Trent Cotchin began well with 11 possessions, including five clearances in the first quarter. He went cold in the second term before dragging the Tigers back into the match in the third term and finishing well.

Dustin Martin produced spells of bullish brilliance but was too inconsistent.

But Richmond fumbled, made defensive errors and lacked a plan going forward. It played on in the back half but lacked the skill to hit targets and turned the ball over.

On two occasions the Tigers went goalless while Carlton strung together a streak of five goals.

Worryingly for the Tigers, the Blues not only outplayed their opponents, they worked harder.

Richmond has never beaten Carlton under Damien Hardwick.

And on last night's performance there is little optimism about them doing so this year.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/afl/familiar-story-for-tigers-of-old/story-fnctrk3q-1226313993675?from=live+hq_rss

WARWICK GREEN'S BEST

CARLTON: Kreuzer, Simpson, Carrazzo, Murphy, Gibbs, Yarran, Henderson.
RICHMOND: Cotchin, Martin, Foley, Rance, Jackson.

VOTES: 5 Kreuzer 4 Simpson 3 Cotchin 2 Carrazzo 1 Murphy

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/afl/more-news/blues-too-good-for-brave-tigers/story-e6frf9jf-1226313650591

Offline one-eyed

  • Administrator
  • RFC Hall of Fame
  • *****
  • Posts: 60711
    • One-Eyed Richmond
Four points: Blues v Tigers (Herald-Sun)
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2012, 04:05:36 AM »
Four points: Blues v Tigers

    Bruce Matthews
    From: Herald Sun
    March 29, 2012 10:42PM



1. Big Shaun Hampson answered the Blues' call to stand tall as a marking option up forward. He clunked a contested mark and converted from 45m in the third quarter, and repeated the feat a couple of minutes later, shooting a quick-thinking handpass on his knees to unattended Bret Thornton for an easy goal. Hampson hauled in another towering mark to goal again in the last quarter, one of 11 individual goalkickers in a superb spread for the cleaner ball-handling Blues.

2. Carlton showed how to break free of a defensive press with Zach Tuohy's booming kickout straight down the ground in the opening quarter. The ball spilled from a marking contest to Kade Simpson who sprinted clear through the centre square. He laid off a pass to Dennis Armfield who just kept running to complete the impressive end-to-end goal. It was a tactic adopted several times by the Tigers in the second half too.

3. Richmond's gun midfielder Trent Cotchin emphasised he has far more tricks than simply reefing the ball out of the centre contests. Cotchin took on the role of crumbing forward, booting two of four unanswered goals in the third term as the Tigers hauled themselves back into the match.

4. Chris Yarran will be tough to beat for goal of the year after an amazing effort in the final term that ended any hope of a Richmond victory. Yarran took the ball near the wing and sprinted down the boundary, shrugging off two tackles before slotting the goal from just inside the chalk. On TV replays he appeared to carry the ball over the boundary line but the umpire was out of position, or too mesmerised to notice.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/afl/four-points-blues-v-tigers/story-fnctrk3q-1226313978841

Offline one-eyed

  • Administrator
  • RFC Hall of Fame
  • *****
  • Posts: 60711
    • One-Eyed Richmond
Blues too sharp for Tigers (Age)
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2012, 04:32:03 AM »
Blues too sharp for Tigers
The Age
March 30, 2012


THE mirage of a dramatically improved Richmond has taken just one match to be exposed.

Carlton eclipsed the Tigers in their season-opening clash at the MCG last night and the sound of air rushing out of the Richmond sails might have drowned out the roars of the 78,000 crowd.

Carlton, 0-5 in the pre-season and missing at least two key defenders, showed March form is irrelevant. The Blues were sharper and cleaner when the premiership points went on the line, winning by 44 points.

In all the talk about Richmond improvement, it was forgotten that this was based on defeats of Geelong and Hawthorn in pre-season competition, when the better teams tend to experiment.

The Tigers were not disgraced last night, combative to the end behind the crazy-brave attack on the football of Trent Cotchin in the middle. But they fell short against Carlton yet again, for the eighth time in a row, and it was a reality check of sorts.

The Blues had only one concern, the report of centre half-forward Jarrad Waite for rough play in the opening two minutes.

Waite collided with a hunched-down Dylan Grimes as the Richmond player tried to pick up the football and was immediately free-kicked and booked.

With the match review panel frowning on any head-high contact, he faces a worrying few days before the Blues play Brisbane Lions at the Gabba on Thursday.

Waite has been suspended for rough play as recently as 2010. While he took a couple of big grabs last night, he was beaten by Alex Rance, one of Richmond's best players for the game.

Carlton's defence, supposedly leaky in the absence of Nick Duigan and Michael Jamison, held up nicely and this was one of the significant features of the match. Lachie Henderson (on Jack Riewoldt), Paul Bower (on Brad Miller) and Jeremy Laidler (on Ty Vickery) all performed well, although Riewoldt showed his class by snaring four goals from limited opportunities.

Laidler was heroic in the circumstances, resuming early after dislocating his kneecap in a NAB Cup game.

The Blues had too much skill and panache, with Marc Murphy overcoming a slow start to dominate the second half, Bryce Gibbs mopping up beautifully across half-back and Chris Yarran also sweeping into the open spaces. Yarran's running goal from the boundary in the final quarter not only put the contest beyond doubt, it was an early candidate for goal of the year. Carlton had a dozen goalkickers.

http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/blues-too-sharp-for-tigers-20120329-1w1io.html#ixzz1qWnkqqMW

Offline one-eyed

  • Administrator
  • RFC Hall of Fame
  • *****
  • Posts: 60711
    • One-Eyed Richmond
Blues handle pressure to take steam out of Tigers (Age)
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2012, 04:33:32 AM »
Blues handle pressure to take steam out of Tigers
Peter Hanlon
The Age
March 30, 2012


THERE will be rash judgments made, of course, validating Carlton's premiership credentials and bemoaning Richmond for fooling us all again.

Both may yet be proved bunkum, but there was no denying that the construct known as ''forward pressure'' is in for one hell of a year.

The days when forwards took hangers and kicked goals and let others do the grunt work went out with high-cut boots.

Last night was a frantic, sapping example of what a modern footballer does when he hasn't got possession is increasingly important - no matter where on the ground he stands.

For a quarter-and-a-half, both teams harassed and hassled so assiduously it looked like all had forgotten how to clear their defence. Then the Blues began to marry neatness of hand and foot to hardness of mind, and cleared the margin out beyond five goals.

The seed of doubt seemed to have been planted deep. Intense, unyielding pressure puts doubt in minds, a reality illustrated when a routine cross-goal clearance from Alex Rance to Bachar Houli in the second quarter came spectacularly undone when the former Bomber fumbled, his mind perhaps unable to banish the thought of Eddie Betts or Jeff Garlett appearing like a burglar hiding behind a door. The spillage gift-wrapped Kade Simpson a goal.

When Shaun Hampson marked twice in the opening minutes of the second half the whiff of a game-breaking surge hung in the mild autumn air, but the Tigers found their own inspiration in a string of desperate acts. Perhaps the best of them came from a first-gamer, Steven Morris, who smothered Simpson's kick as he dallied a moment too long in choosing an option.

Hit a target and the Blues would have restored the 32-point lead Matthew Kreuzer's mark had given them, but with five unanswered goals it was back to just seven points.

Jack Riewoldt's third at the start of the last quarter was part opportunism, part that creeping enemy of doubt switching sides and resting on Carlton shoulders.

By now it was at the forefront of fans' minds as well, but they needn't have fretted, as Kreuzer's dominance was cashed in by fellow tree trunk Hampson, a brilliant Marc Murphy, substitute Kane Lucas, and Chris Yarran, who deceived Ivan Maric, Morris and arguably the boundary umpire to kick the goal of the year - or at least of its two games so far.

The ending - seven of the night's last eight goals to Carlton - was emphatic. It was worthy winners, even if the 44-point margin was a little flattering.

Without Michael Jamison and Nick Duigan, the Blues were tipped to be stretched in defence, but Bryce Gibbs took up a post behind the ball and Jeremy Laidler played when nobody expected he would, giving Lachie Henderson invaluable support in his duel with Riewoldt.

Laidler's appearance was something of a coup for Carlton in this blanket coverage age, with nary a word of speculation that he might make it back so soon from a sickening knee dislocation in the NAB Cup. His job on Ty Vickery, sagging off to double-team Riewoldt, was crucial. Riewoldt finished with four goals, yet Henderson (and friends) bettered him on the night. Riewoldt will have another big year if his ordinary days are this good.

All of the industry displayed can have a dour effect if there's nobody to provide the polish, and save for a quiet second quarter, the Tigers had Trent Cotchin to pin their hopes on. His third term, iced with back-to-back goals, kept the contest alive.

Dustin Martin was unable to exert his stoppage-clearing influence, but caused problems when sent deep forward. Nathan Foley battled on and Brett Deledio had bright moments.

Some usual suspects - Murphy, Andrew Carrazzo, Simpson and that bloke Chris Judd - headed the Carlton stats sheet, but the likes of Dennis Armfield, Heath Scotland and Ed Curnow were worth more than raw numbers. When the pressure is on it's how you share the load that counts, and in this the Blues were better.

http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/blues-handle-pressure-to-take-steam-out-of-tigers-20120329-1w1jj.html#ixzz1qWo883VV

Offline one-eyed

  • Administrator
  • RFC Hall of Fame
  • *****
  • Posts: 60711
    • One-Eyed Richmond
Divine intervention by Yarran wins out (Age)
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2012, 04:35:25 AM »
Divine intervention by Yarran wins out
Greg Baum
The Age
March 30, 2012



THIS was a splendidly frenetic opening to the Melbourne football season. Carlton affirmed that it is a contender for this year's premiership, and Richmond - using a little feverish imagination - that it can win one in the life of a theoretical five-year plan. But on the night, the difference might have been as little as a divine moment of Chris Yarran inspiration.

It was 10 minutes into the last quarter. The Tigers, through their own initiative and by exploiting Carlton's profligate goal-shooting, had forced their way back into a game that looked to have slipped away in the third quarter. Kane Lucas had just kicked a goal to steady the Blues, but momentum still was with the Tigers. The MCG was alive with possibility and Richmond-ness.

On the MCC members' wing, the ball looked about to go dead. Yarran ghosted into play, his feet in the boundary line chalk, with only optimism going for him. Other players readied themselves for a stoppage. Big Ivan Maric lunged, but somehow Yarran squeezed by, like a man forcing his way through fast closing doors of a commuter train. Next, first-gamer Steven Morris came at him, surely to bundle him over the line. Again, Yarran slithered past. Now his plan was clear: he did not mean merely to catch this train, but to escape through the further doors, as in a chase scene in a movie. Maric and Morris exchanged a look that asked: ''Where did he go?''

Now for the coup de grace. Yarran allowed his momentum to carry him two further steps, then eased a metre inside the boundary line. Coolly, he sized up the goal and coolly, kicked it. Houdini had gotten clean away.

Carlton's fandom roared in ecstasy, Richmond's despite themselves. Though the match was neither won nor lost yet, Yarran high-fived his way back down the ground, and the acclaim followed him. It was a rare moment in modern football in which the individual momentarily was bigger than the game. Frantically, a runner waved him to the bench. There, another round of applause awaited.

Buoyed, Carlton ran away with the game, kicking seven goals, broken only by one from Jack Riewoldt. At last, the 2012 season had a shape. It had taken a while. Initially, footy came back in such a headlong rush that for a little while, grave fears were held about Carlton and Richmond lasting out the night, let alone the season.

Within a second of the first bounce, Dustin Martin had a kick. Within 10, Brad Miller had taken a pack-busting mark at centre half-forward. Truthfully, this was a misleading portent. The Tigers would struggle for forward physical presence. Carlton would find it unexpectedly in the person of Shaun Hampson. Within two minutes, Jarrad Waite was on report, a familiar place for him.

Two gauntlets had been thrown down. Carlton, a premiership fancy, could not afford to start with a defeat. Richmond, at the start of its sixth five-year plan, could not afford to be meek. The play was frantic, and the ground shook beneath the contest. The I-phoney war of the pre-season was forgotten instantly.

For omen-hunters, there was this. Richmond won the clearance count in the first quarter, redressing a chronic weakness last year. Carlton had more tackles. Sometimes, this says that a team is going in hard. Sometimes, it means that the other team is going in harder. In the early skirmishes, that was true of Richmond.

But when at last the game settled, Carlton's class told. Seven goals to one in the middle of the match generated a 32-point lead. From there, the likeliest result was that Richmond would be overwhelmed; it had happened before. The Tigers needed to up the ante, and did. Cotchin and Martin were silky, but Richmond now was epitomised by Morris, who threw himself across the boot of Kade Simpson as the Blue zeroed in on goal, stalling play. Seconds later, Cotchin goaled at the other end, and that roar erupted.

Carlton was guilty of strings of misses, five in a row at the start of the second quarter, five more before and after around three-quarter time. It is the sort of failing that can make waste paper of best-laid plans. Riewoldt's opportunist goal at the start of the last quarter narrowed the margin to seven points, and Martin missed a chance to make it one. It would take either inspiration or desperation to win now. And then came Yarran.

http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/divine-intervention-by-yarran-wins-out-20120329-1w1jk.html#ixzz1qWoWAZcq

Offline one-eyed

  • Administrator
  • RFC Hall of Fame
  • *****
  • Posts: 60711
    • One-Eyed Richmond
Familiar taste of defeat for Tigers fans (Australian)
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2012, 04:55:58 AM »
Familiar taste of defeat for Tigers fans

    by: Courtney Walsh
    From: The Australian
    March 30, 2012


HOW deflating late March must be for Richmond fans.

To feel the optimism renewed each summer dented immediately by the siren that separates the footloose footy of the pre-season from the rigours of the home-and-away fixture proper.

It happened again at the MCG last night when Carlton saw off a determined third-quarter challenge to post a convincing 44-point victory - 18.17 (125) to 12.9 (81) - in front of 78,285 fans. It was supposed to be a different result last night. Richmond president Gary March had talked finals a day earlier.

There was clear confidence in the direction of the club after the re-signing of coach Damien Hardwick for another two years. Surely that must be true after star Brett Deledio's decision to commit for another five years.

Plus, the Blues had been hopeless all pre-season. Surely this was the night to snap a seven-game losing streak against a bitter rival.

At times last night, Richmond fans must have felt a warm glow of enthusiasm. Brad Miller, after all, had soared high for the type of pack mark that makes the AFL so spectacular in the very first contest of the year.

Later, Trent Cotchin, so brilliant on Chris Judd in the opening term when honours were shared between the two combatants, revived the Tigers' spirits with two excellent goals to reduce a margin that had been 32 points to just 14.

Or when Jack Riewoldt so coolly shrugged a tackle with a wiggle of his hips and snapped as though it was a training drill and then roved another at the beginning of the last term to put the Tigers within seven points.

The stars were firing and for once it seemed they might be aligning for Richmond in a season-opener. With the ball in future champion Dustin Martin's hands within reach of goal, surely it would be Richmond's match.

But, as has been the case for the past eight outings between these teams and for more than 30 years for Richmond fans, it was not to be. In the end, it was a lapse in concentration as much as a moment of magnificence from Chris Yarran that sent Tigers fans trudging home with that most familiar if unpleasant taste of defeat.

There had been plenty of errors through the second term as Carlton seized control of the contest - those frustrating fumbles in attack, those unforgivable skill errors in defence - but for 25 minutes through the third term, as Richmond stormed back into the match, they were eliminated.

Not surprisingly, given the commitment and increased pressure, it was Carlton struggling to find a path to goal. Then came the errors.

Martin's shot slewed to the left of the post. Soon after, Kade Simpson was standing on his own in the centre when Jeff Garlett won possession. He should never be left alone, for he possesses a deadly kick.

Sure enough, with ample time, after a concentration lapse by the Tigers, Simpson found Kane Lucas and his goal extended the lead to 12 points.

Momentum broken, Yarran then broke the Tigers' backs with stunning evasive and finishing skills.

After receiving from Judd at full reach when streaming towards the boundary line, Yarran somehow shrugged the tackle of Richmond ruckman Ivan Maric, somehow weaved past debutant Steven Morris while straddling the boundary line and stabbed through what was effectively the match-winning goal.

It sparked a seven-goal-to-two, final-term rampage as the Blues again proved the folly of reading too much into pre-season performances. By night's end, Marc Murphy had usurped Cotchin as the leading possession winner with 32 touches while Judd, so quiet early, finished only one shy of the Tigers star with 26.

While the Tigers had been within striking distance early, in the end, the weight of numbers going Carlton's way proved telling, with the Blue's notching 35 scoring shots from 63 inside-50s to Richmond's 20 from 45.

Before the game, Hardwick had paid tribute to the fortitude of Richmond fans for turning out time and again to support a team starved of success.

The Tigers, after all, have 45,000 members. But to pay to see the same mistakes that have cost the Tigers through the past three decades must suggest that instead of calling the membership hotline, that money might be better spent seeking out the local shrink.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/afl/familiar-taste-of-defeat-for-tigers-fans/story-fnca0u4y-1226314004061