Main content

Talking points: Richmond v Melbourne

Highlights: Richmond v Melbourne The Tigers and Demons clash in round 9
Former Tigers player Graeme Bond (left) presents debutant Ben Lennon with his jumper during the 2014 AFL Round 09 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Melbourne Demons at the MCG, Melbourne on May 17, 2014. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Debutant Ben Lennon was presented with his jumper by ex-Tiger Graeme Bond before the game
1. Terrific Tyson
"Dommy Tyson reminds me of a mix of Luke Hodge and Simon Black. Gonna be a (sic) absolute gun." That was the assessment from former Demons teammate Mitch Clark, who tweeted that response during the game. And it's hard to argue with Clark after the performance Tyson turned in on Saturday. The 20-year-old was an outstanding contributor in the Demons' third win of the season, collecting 23 disposals, four clearances and two goals. But in what was an error-riddled game, his composure and the way he used the ball was a clear standout. Nathan Jones' final term was inspirational (13 touches) but it was Tyson's performance early on that set the game up for the Demons.

 
2. Melbourne's unlikely heroes
Melbourne's win was built on the performances of some unlikely heroes. There were none greater than Cam Pedersen, who provided a tremendous option up forward for the Demons. The other was the returning Max Gawn, whose height helped stretch a suspect Richmond defence. Pedersen and Chris Dawes combined for 16 tackles – an incredible effort for two big key forwards. It impacted on Richmond's disposal coming out of defence and it was crucial in the result.
  
3. The past and the present
As Richmond president Peggy O'Neal put it in her pre-match address, it was fitting to have a debutant on the day the Tigers said farewell to club legend Tom Hafey. Lennon started as the substitute, but was injected into the play early in the third quarter. In his first minute, Lennon kicked his first goal with his first kick. The Tigers' first overall selection (No.12) in last year's NAB AFL Draft gave the Tigers some life when they desperately needed it. He finished with two goals, adding one in the final term, to show the Tiger faithful they have some talent to work with.
 
4. Astbury's knee blow
The Tigers' defensive unit is set to be further impacted, following the left knee injury to David Astbury. The much-improved backman went down clutching his left knee, after being side-stepped by Jack Viney late in the third quarter. The movement instantly sparked fears of a possible ACL tear, but those fears were somewhat allayed. Initial indications were that Astbury had instead dislocated his knee cap, an injury he has sustained in the past. 
 
5. Dawes' nervous wait
Melbourne has seen some significant benefits of having Chris Dawes, as its tall target, back in the team. But a high hit late in the first quarter on Tiger Alex Rance may see him in trouble with the Match Review Panel. Dawes attempted to prevent Rance from firing a handball over the top, but as he came through appeared to collect the Tiger with an errant forearm to the head. It was a sloppy attempt and will not be looked upon favourably by the MRP. It would be a bitter blow for the Demons who were just starting to find their groove up forward.
 

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs