Ivan Maric

Two Veterans Call Time
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Tigers Hit Bombers For Six
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Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

A little over a month and a half ago, the Richmond Football Club was languishing near the bottom of the AFL table, an abysmal 3-10 record reflecting a lost season after a promising return to Finals in 2013. Fast forward to their Round 20 game against arch-rivals Essendon with the Tigers a chance to take their record to 9-10 and retain a sniff of the possibility of Finals footy. Essendon itself has been in good shape to appear in the Finals after a horror 2013 when they finished eighth, only to have their points stripped due to the ASADA drug saga, vaulting Carlton from ninth position into the top eight. A win against Richmond would set the Bombers up nicely to play in the major round, despite missing their Captain Jobe Watson since Round 12.

Blue Day for Tigers
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Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

This is what footy is all about. An Elimination Final between traditional rivals Carlton and Richmond on a beautiful sunny day in front of over 95,000 rabid footy fans. For the Tigers, it was about being back where they so desperately wanted to be after 12 years in the football wilderness. For Carlton, it was a chance - due to an unprecedented slice of luck when Essendon were stripped of their premiership points to vacate a spot in the Finals for the Blues - to restore lost faith under a new regime.

Tigers Surprise Dockers
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Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

Fremantle flew in to Melbourne determined to continue the excellent form that had seen them win ten of their last 11 contests. Richmond was looking to beat a team above them on the Ladder for the first time this season. When the same two teams met on Fremantle’s turf earlier in the season, only one point separated them as the Dockers snatched victory in the dying seconds. The battle of fifth versus sixth certainly shaped up to be a defining game in the context of the remainder of the home and away season. A Dockers' win would have them knocking on the door of a Top Four finish and the prospect of an all important home Final. A Tigers' win would cement them well and truly in the Top Eight with only a tough run home standing between them and their first Finals appearance since 2001.

Tigers Solve Suns In Cairns
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Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

Richmond headed north to Cairns in preparation for their third - and surely final - attempt to defeat the Gold Coast Suns at Cazaly Stadium. The ill-fated deal by Richmond CEO Brendan Gale to sell three home games to play in Cairns had backfired on the club which had lost both previous encounters in the tropical climes and incurred the wrath of the supporter group in the process. The stakes were even higher for the Round 16 clash with an improved Suns lining up against a chastened Richmond group, coming off a big loss to the Kangaroos the previous round. A win would not only get “Benny” Gale off the hook for his unpopular decision to pad the club coffers, it would also solidify the Tigers’ position in the Top Eight. For the Gold Coast, a win would give them a realistic chance of challenging for their first Finals appearance in just their third season in the AFL competition. Gold Coast received a boost in the lead up to the game with the magnificent Gary Ablett Jr. being declared fit after missing a week with a calf injury. Richmond was also boosted by the return of number one ruckman Ivan Maric who had missed time due to a nagging groin complaint.

Tiger Rampage Stuns Crows
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Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

Richmond headed to the MCG looking to climb back into the Top Eight after their Round 11 bye. The Adelaide Crows, fresh off a 77 point belting at the hands of a rampaging Sydney Swans, were keen to make amends and show the fans they were still in the hunt for a Finals berth. In the past Adelaide has had the wood over the Tigers winning six of their past eight encounters. However the return of young guns Brandon Ellis and Reece Conca had the bookmakers installing Richmond as the favorites to win over a determined Adelaide outfit.

Tigers Earn Stripes
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Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

Taking a leaf right out of the NFL playbook, the AFL decided to run its own version of Monday Night Football in Western Australia for the Round 10 clash between the West Coast Eagles and Richmond. While Hank Williams Jr. was nowhere to be seen, plenty of spectators had taken up the offer of footy on a public holiday as Patersons Stadium was packed to the rafters for this all-important clash. The Eagles' season had been gaining momentum after four wins on the trot coinciding with the return of excitement machine Nic Naitanui, while Richmond headed west looking for credibility after being trounced by a rampaging Essendon in Round 9.

Classy Cats Undefeated
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Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

Richmond faced the undefeated Geelong in Round Six action with both teams having plenty to play for. If the Cats could get through with a win, they would carry a sensational 6-0 record into a week seven match up with a potentially 6-0 Essendon. For the Tigers, a solid 3-0 start had quickly turned sour with defeat at the hands of Collingwood then Fremantle by the barest of margins. Geelong has owned Richmond in recent years, the Tigers not having tasted victory over the Cats since Round 9 in 2006.

Round 2 Milestones
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Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Most club games: Lenny Hayes (StK) played his 265th game in Round Two, putting him equal with Gary Colling in fifth place on the all-time club games list. Ahead of them are Robert Harvey (383 games, 1988-2008), Nathan Burke (323 games, 1987-2003), Stewart Loewe (321 games, 1986-2002), Barry Breen (300 games, 1965-82). Following them are Stephen Milne (260 games, 2001-through Round Two, 2013), Kevin Neale (256 games, 1965-77), Justin Peckett (252

Tigers Add To Bombers Woes
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Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia

Round 22's “Clash of the Sash” was also shaping up as Essendon’s last chance to take a stand and show the football world they were worthy of playing Finals footy. For Richmond, it was once again about rebuilding a franchise and taking it back to the glory days of the 70s, when the Tigers and playing Finals were synonymous.

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