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Bomber Dreamtime Tiger Nightmare

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

“Dreamtime at the G" between Essendon and Richmond once again drew a big crowd of around 75,000 fans, with most expecting a close contest between two teams fighting to stay in contention for Finals' action. Unfortunately for Tiger fans, only one team appeared hungry and it wasn’t the boys donning the yellow sash. Essendon players appeared refreshed after their Round Ten bye and they bounced out of the blocks with the first goal to back man Dustin Fletcher within three minutes of the opening siren. Ben Howlett added a second before ex-Geelong goal sneak Paul Chapman tripled the Bombers' pleasure, giving Essendon a 19 point lead at the ten minute mark with the Tigers yet to score. Essendon’s pressure was first class, forcing Richmond into numerous turnovers. The Tigers bombed the ball forward - seemingly without system - playing into the hands of the hard running Bombers. Howlett kicked his second goal as the Bombers did what they pleased. It wasn’t until the twenty-one minute mark that Richmond finally registered a score - and it was a rushed behind. At quarter time the Bombers held a commanding 27 point lead that should have been even greater on the balance
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Demons Exorcize Tigers

Brook "Boris" Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

It was supposed to be a celebration of the life of Tommy Hafey, Richmond’s iconic four time Premiership coach who sadly passed away during the week. Instead, for Richmond, it was a disaster of far-reaching proportions. Coming into the contest with a precarious 2-5 record, the Tigers simply had to win. Not just to keep their Finals hopes alive, not just to honor the memory of Hafey, but to give their fans some hope that their 15 win season in 2013 wasn’t a fluke. The answer to the latter is one that Tiger supporters will not want to accept and will certainly struggle to understand. Melbourne mounted a spirited effort to grind out a hard-fought win – the Demons' second in a row and third for the season. The Demon players were simply better when it counted, their masterful new coach Paul Roos earning every cent of his high-priced contract.
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Tigers Take Down Lions

Brook "Boris" Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

Richmond traveled north to Brisbane to take on the Lions in a massive game for both sides, each struggling for different reasons. Brisbane has had a horror start to the season, failing to register a win and carrying a long list of injuries into the clash with the Tigers. For Richmond, a 1-3 record - including unexpected losses to Gold Coast and the Western Bulldogs - had the Tigers in danger of losing touch with the Top Eight, with the specter of upcoming games against pacesetters Hawthorn and Geelong. This was simply a must-win game for Richmond. Brisbane had plenty to play for despite their ugly start with Lion legend Jonathon Brown playing his 250th game for the club.

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Tigers Beat Blue Hoodoo

Brook Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia

Richmond and Carlton met in a Thursday night clash of considerable significance despite the AFL season being just one round old. Last year the Tigers narrowly defeated the Blues in Round One, only to give up a big lead in the Elimination Final against the Blues in a crushing defeat for Richmond and its army of loyal fans. With both Carlton and Richmond suffering first round defeats, the Round Two meeting was a “must win” for both clubs with Finals aspirations taking a big hit for the loser.
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Hot Suns Burn Tigers

Brook "Boris" Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

Richmond headed north to take on the Gold Coast Suns at a steamy Metricon Stadium in a tough game to predict. The Tigers had enjoyed a solid campaign in 2013 making the Top Eight, while the Suns are a team on the march, full of excellent young talent and led by the competition’s best player in Gary Ablett junior. The Tigers were without their usual Ablett “minder” in Daniel Jackson who remains out of action with a hamstring complaint, while young gun Harley Bennell sat out for the Suns. With a 2-1 edge in wins over Richmond to date, the Suns were confident of getting the season off to a solid start on their home turf.
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Tigers Surprise Dockers

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.

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Tigers Earn Stripes

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.

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Dreamtime Nightmare For Tigers

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

Off field distractions haunted both teams in the lead-up to “Dreamtime at the G”, with Essendon players continuing to be interviewed by ASADA and Tiger Alex Rance in court to face his one time acquaintance turned stalker. There were further problems on the injury front for Richmond, with young Tiger Brandon Ellis pulling out with a hamstring injury incurred at training prior to the big match.

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Tigers Shut Down Power

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting from AAMI Stadium in Adelaide

Coming off three losses in a row, Richmond was desperate to arrest the slide with a win on the road against the surprisingly 5-1 Port Adelaide Power. Despite losing for the first time this season in Round 6, the Power had gained plenty of admirers after a narrow loss in Tasmania to a dogged North Melbourne outfit. If the Tigers were to cause an upset, it would be without 2012 Brownlow Medal runner-up and Captain Trent Cotchin who succumbed to knee soreness and was declared unfit for the game. Ty Vickery and Ricky Petterd were also added to an increasing Tiger injury list, while Dom Cassisi was a late out for the Power. The bookies had Port backed into firm favorites early in the week, no doubt on the back of the withdrawal of Cotchin.

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Tigers Add To Bombers Woes

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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