Geelong: 0.6.13 – 49
Richmond: 1.14.15 – 108
Richmond gave Geelong an NAB Cup master class yesterday as the rampaging Tigers put the feline chain back in order.
The Tigers and their coach Damien Hardwick have been hitting this pre-season hard with the hope of gaining momentum going into the season. To be competitive against the Cats at Simonds Stadium was obviously the aim, but not even the most ambitious of Richmond supporters could have imagined that it would have turned out quite as it did.
The Tigers were all over the Cats from the minute the ball bounced.
Richmond seemed to be channeling the Tigers of old, they were smooth, they were hard and they were putting scores onto the board.
It took Geelong until the 15th minute of the second quarter to register their first goal, but not before Richmond managed to get a whopping 7 by that stage. The Cats continued to trail throughout the whole game, experienced players such as Paul Chapman disappointing as the likes of Dustin Martin ripped a hole through a midfield that appeared to be lacking the size, depth and structure that was employed to rip teams apart in 2011.
Despite the scoring blowing out to 70 points in the final quarter, Geelong managed to peg it back to just fewer than ten goals. Chris Scott was typically frank after the game, refusing to acknowledge the idea that the NAB Cup was insignificant. The Cats coach, who has won thousands of fans over with his honest approach, applauded Richmond and demanded improvement by his side.
“We didn’t come just to get a bit of match practice…We expected to play better than that,” said Scott.
“We were poor and they were good…In the context of the season I don’t think it matters all that much but I would hate for any of our players or our coaching staff to think it just doesn’t matter because we wanted to play well and we played poorly and that is a concern.”
Damien Hardwick was clearly pleased with his side, despite only missing two first-team players compared to Geelong’s nine. He claimed his side were “solid” over four quarters.
Despite it only being pre-season, Chris Scott will certainly retire tonight feeling concerned about his side. Ivan Maric dominated in the ruck, with Orren Stephenson struggling early to adapt to the grade. Perhaps the Cats should have made a bigger push for Maric themselves, because the likes of Joel Selwood may be in for a season of clearance struggles if Stephenson isn’t at the required standard and Trent West doesn’t push to make the grade.
Overall, the Tigers certainly proved their finals claims, while the Cats will be left scratching their heads over an unexpected defeat at home.