Tigers lost because of form, not venue
Tigers, Demons, and the Dogs enjoy their traditional Easter misery - but will the Cats sink to Hawthorn today? (Slattery Images)
For the second year in a row, the Richmond Football club lost their ‘home’ match in Cairns to the Gold Coast in a heartbreaking finish. For the second year in a row, the major excuse for their loss to the Suns – the venue – has remained.
When a team loses, questions generally focus on the on field performances.
Did Hardwick make the wrong move? Which midfielder didn’t put in a hard enough effort? Could Jumping Jack have kicked more? Did Richmond in hauling the margin back expel too much energy and lose?
However, this all seemed to be bypassed in favour of an easy off-field option.
Richmond’s decision to sell a game to Cazaly’s Stadium up in Cairns for a reported $500,000 has been blamed for their loss to the Gold Coast Suns.
The argument which has been rehashed from last year is based on flimsy, circumstantial evidence.
While the MCG is the Tigers’ proper home ground, you cannot tell me that it’s 100% certain that the Tigers would have prevailed at the ‘G’.
The way that Richmond turned up and played against the Suns would have not saved them at the MCG.
It seemed Richmond felt all they had to do to beat the Suns was arrive at Cazaly’s Stadium and run out onto the ground.
Full credit should go to the Gold Coast who played out of their skin to deliver their first win to suffering fans since the middle of last year.
People may say it was a fluke but the signs were there when they gave Geelong a huge scare on the Gold Coast last week.
It seems that the only person who accepts that the Tigers loss was down to an insipid performance is the person most likely to use the Cairns venue as an excuse: Damian Hardwick.
The media, who are supposed to run a critical eye over why teams lose, seemed to “go soft” on Richmond.
Take the Herald Sun’s Mark Robinson.
I don’t like taking pot shots at media people as I understand that to get readers, controversy is needed, but his Monday website column The Tackle is billed as “The Hardest Hitting Footy Column”.
Well yesterday’s column must have taken a week off due to being sick as it was all fluff.
Robinson’s lead was to emphatically declare that the Tigers would have won at the MCG as he consulted the alternate reality through the Herald Sun Stargate.
If Richmond and the media want to use Cairns as an exercise in self-denial, they have that choice.
But the question and answer for the loss is simple, how did a good side give up a 10 point lead with 30 seconds to go against a team that hasn’t won a game all year?
Simple: they weren’t good enough on the day. And that should be the sole reason given for why they returned to Melbourne with 0 points.
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