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History of the Richmond reserves

Richmond Tigers team celebrates after winning the 1997 AFL Reserves Grand Final between the Richmond Tigers and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Richmond Tigers team celebrates after winning the 1997 AFL Reserves Grand Final between the Richmond Tigers and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

With Richmond entering a standalone side in the VFL’s 2014 competition, Tony Greenberg reflects on the rich history of the Tiger reserves.

The inaugural season for the Richmond reserves was in 1919.
- They won their first premiership in 1929.
- All-up, the Richmond reserves have won nine premierships (1929, 1946, 1954, 1955, 1966, 1971, 1973, 1977 and 1997).

Coaches of those nine premiership sides
1929:  P. Scanlon
1946:  Alby Pannam
1954:  Col Austen
1955:  Col Austen
1966:  John Nix
1971:  Verdun Howell
1973:  Col Saddington
1977:  Tony Jewell
1997:  Jeff Gieschen

Captains of the nine premiership sides
1929:  P. Scanlon
1946:  Alby Pannam
1954:  Col Austen
1955:  Col Austen
1966:  Neil Busse
1971:  Mike Bowden
1973:  Roger Dean and Bill Nalder
1977:  Bob Heard
1997:  John Howat and Jason Baldwin

Some other notable coaches of the Richmond reserves over the years
Kevin Morris
Peter Schwab
Emmett Dunne
Peter ‘Woosha’ Welsh
Royce Hart
Michael Green
Paddy Guinane
Barry Richardson
Dick Harris
Frank ‘Checker’ Hughes
Kevin O’Neill
Martin Bolger
Allan Geddes
Tom O’Halloran
Jack Baggott

Details of the Richmond reserves’ premiership wins

Richmond 12.8 (80) defeated Geelong 7.15 (57)
Goals – Richmond:  D. Lynch 5, S. Harris 3, J. McGraw 2, E. Zscech, P. Scanlan.
Best – Richmond:  M. Bolger, R. Wilson, J. Doran, L. Oprey, S. Harris, F. O’Brien.

Richmond 7.15 (57) defeated Fitzroy 7.14 (56)
Goals – R. Hay 3, D. Rowe, R. Evans, B. James, A. Pannam.
Best – Richmond:  W. Cook, B. James, B. Randall, W. Russell, K. Barnewall, K. Curran.

Richmond 10.20 (80) defeated Melbourne 4.9 (33)
Goals – Richmond:  B. Dummett 3, J. Jenkins, J. Claxton, D. Hart, C. Eade, H. Sawatasky, J. Robson, B. Boland.
Best – Richmond:  F. Ryan, G. Cox, F. Slater, T. Hafey, K. McGown, S. Morcom.

Richmond 13.18 (96) defeated Footscray 9.12 (66)
Goals – Richmond:  B. Dummett 5, T. Langridge 4, H. Sawatsky 4.
Best – Richmond:  C. Austen, H. Sawatsky, J. Claxton, S. Morcom, B. Dummett, K. Ward.

Richmond 14.11 (95) defeated Collingwood 13.12 (90)
Goals – Richmond:  B. Richardson 3, B. Teague 3, R. Hart 2, R. Orchard 2, J. Perry, M. Erwin, J. Sheahan, B. Campbell.
Best – Richmond:  B. Campbell, R. Orchard, B. Teague, R. Hart, K. Shinners, J. Perry.

Richmond 14.14 (98) defeated Essendon 8.18 (66)
Goals – Richmond:  D. Gurney 3, K. Gehling 2, M. Green 2, B. Tschirpig 2, G. Gaunt, D. Cumming, D. Davenport, M. Bowden, W. Beckwith.
Best – Richmond:  B. Nalder, D. Peardon, D. Cumming, K. Morris, M. Perry, L. Fowler.

Richmond 17.18 (120) defeated Geelong 8.12 (60)
Goals – Richmond:  W. Barrot 4, G. Teasdale 4, S. Taubert 3, R. Lamb 2, M. Thompson, G. Allford, R. Lawry, B. Nettlefold.
Best – Richmond:  G. Betts, R. Dean, R. Lawry, B. Nettlefold, B.  Nalder, M. Thompson.

Richmond 19.18 (132) defeated Footscray 10.15 (75)
Goals – Richmond:  J. Hummel 6, S. Roach 3, E. Dunne 2, I. Borchard 2, P. Laughlin 2, A. Lynch 2, W. Walsh, M. Roach.
Best – Richmond:  W. Walsh, J. Hummel, B. Heard, E. Dunne, I. Borchard, M. Roach.

Richmond 17.12 (114) defeated Hawthorn 10.10 (70)
Goals – Richmond:  S. Jurica 5, T. Nichols 3, J. Plapp 2, C. Naish, B. Evans, B. Moore, J. Howat, J. Baldwin, N. Jewell, Griffin.
Best – Richmond:  T. Nichols, B. Moore, A. Kellaway, B. Evans, S. Jurica, C. Naish, J. Torney.

Other Richmond reserves’ facts

  • The highest score registered by the Richmond reserves was 34.22 (226) against South Melbourne in 1973.
  • Some notable winners of the leading goalkicker award with the Richmond reserves have been:
  • Barry Richardson, 45 goals in 1966.
  • Graham Teasdale 83 goals in 1973.
  • Mark Jackson 131 goals in 1980 (a record by a Richmond player in any grade).
  • Brian Taylor 119 goals in 1981.
  • Paul Sarah 50 goals in 1982.
  • Ross Brewer 72 goals in 1983.
  • Jim Jess 38 goals in 1988.
  • Terry Keays 61 goals in 1992.
  • Todd Breman 55 goals in 1993.

The most goals kicked by a Richmond player in a reserve-grade match is 15, which Brian Taylor scored against North Melbourne at Waverley Park on Easter Saturday 1981.  That tally is a record for the most goals in a match by a Richmond player in any grade.

Other notable goalkicking feats

  • Jack Titus, 12 goals while filling in for the reserves, when they were short of players during the 1947 season.  Titus was 39 years of age at the time.
  • Barry Richardson and Barry Teague both kicked nine goals in the Round 1, 1967 reserves match against Essendon at the MCG.

Further interesting Tiger ‘twos’ tidbits . . .

The 1966 Richmond reserves went through the entire season undefeated, culminating in a five-point victory over Collingwood in the grand final, courtesy of a booming Royce Hart set-shot goal after the final siren.

All-up, the Richmond reserves recorded 27 consecutive wins, from Round 15, 1965 to Round 3, 1967.

That amazing winning streak started with Dick Harris as coach.  He coached the first four wins and then John Nix, who was appointed coach in 1966, guided them to the next 23 victories.

The triumphant Tigers twos team of ’66 contained five players who went on to play in Richmond’s senior drought-breaking 1967 premiership the following season – Hart, Michael Green, Graham Burgin, John Perry and Barry Richardson.  Two other players in that ’66 side also became members of senior Tiger premiership sides – Eric Moore (1969) and Wayne Walsh (1973 and 1974).

Four-time Richmond premiership coach and Club ‘Immortal’ Tommy Hafey was back pocket in the Tiger reserves’ 1954 premiership team.

The 1971 Richmond reserves’ premiership line-up had four players who subsequently tasted senior flag success with the Tigers – Kevin Morris (1973, 1974), Laurie Fowler (1973), Merv Keane (1973, 1974, 1980)  and Darryl Cumming (1974) – and five others who had experienced the game’s ultimate success at the Club – Colin Beard (1969), Mike Perry (1967), Mike Bowden (1969), Ian Owen (1969) and Michael Green (1967, and later 1973-74).

Richmond’s equal-leading goalkickers in the 1973 reserves’ grand final victory over Geelong were Tigers’ Team of the Century centreman Bill Barrot’s younger brother Wes, and eventual South Melbourne 1977 Brownlow Medallist, Graham Teasdale.  Both players kicked four goals that day.

Tiger great Roger Dean played his last game for the Club in that ’73 reserves’ grand final, having been a member of the seniors’ 1967 premiership team and captain of the 1969 flag side.

Glynn Hewitt, the father of Australian tennis star, Lleyton, was the centreman in that ’73 Tiger twos’ triumph, while on a wing was Murray Thompson, the son of former Victorian Premier Lindsay (and a long-time politician himself).

And, on a half-back flank for Richmond in the 1973 reserves’ grand final win, was the Club’s current Recruiting Manager, Francis Jackson.

Four years later, Michael Roach, Mark Lee, Emmett Dunne, Mick Malthouse and Daryl Freame played in Richmond’s 1977 reserve-grade premiership team, before going on to be part of the Club’s senior 1980 flag success.

The last Richmond reserves’ premiership side, in 1997, included a player who, three years later (2000), won the Club’s prestigious Jack Dyer Medal – Andrew Kellaway.