To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Tigers’ 1980 premiership, Richmond Media is transporting Yellow and Black barrackers back in time throughout 2020 to follow the Punt Road path to that fantastic flag triumph. Today we take a look at ‘The Age’ newspaper’s review of Richmond’s Round 9 match of the ’80 season against Melbourne at the MCG, which took place on Saturday, May 24 before a huge crowd of 27,217. 

“If luck is defined as that point where opportunity and preparedness meet, then Richmond was the luckiest team on earth against Melbourne on Saturday.

Opportunities came thick and fast and the classy Tigers grabbed them quickly and kicked eight goals in each of the first three quarters and five in the last.

Throughout the day Melbourne looked uncomfortable with the ball, so the Tigers did what they could to relieve them of their discomfort and steamrolled the hapless Demons by 93 points.

What confidence Melbourne might have had oozed down the big MCG drains in the first quarter when Richmond captain Bruce Monteath exploded over hapless Wayne Gordon with four goals from a forward pocket.

Monteath finished with eight and made up for the normally prolific Michael Roach who only kicked three after being mauled by Melbourne’s full-backs.

“They did everything but tie his hands to his side,” said Tiger coach Tony Jewell afterwards, in a tribute to the liberal approach taken by the umpires to the performance.

But that was about all he could complain about.

If one were making a list of the 18 players with the most influence on the outcome of the game, one would be hard pressed to include any Melbourne names, although several did keep plugging away for the entire game.

When the ball hit ground Melbourne would do an Alphonse and Gaston routine (“After you”. “No, no, after you”.).

The Richmond players in contrast bustled to the front of the pack like old ladies muscleing their ways to the front of the hot bread kitchen queues on a Sunday morning and got on with the massacre.

Once again, Richmond’s game was a near-perfect blend of tall and smaller men, feeding each other’s strengths.

Mark Lee, though goalless, probably was the best player on the ground because of his almost shameful domination of the centre. Of the first 20 centre bounces, Lee won 16 and his teammates more often than not translated these opportunities into scores of one sort or another.

Barry Rowlings again proved that whoever decided to trade him from Hawthorn was a highly qualified judge of hockey players. He had about 30 kicks, was ubiquitous, and kicked three goals.

The other smaller men like Robert Wiley, Dale Weightman and Geoff Raines also made a feast of the ball.

In fact Tony Jewell’s big problem this week is to judge whether Richmond has any weaknesses and, if so, how to fix them. Because if he doesn’t, North Melbourne will.

For Melbourne, sadly, the game was summed up when in the third quarter Michael Seddon had his shorts torn off going for the ball. By that time the rest of his team had lost their shirts as well, but it was the indignity of it all that hurts the most.

A few of the Demons played well under the circumstances. Seddon, Robert Flower, Henry Coles and Tony Moir refused to lie down and contributed to what might have been a respectable score in other circumstances.

But Big Carl Ditterich has a job on his hands. He has to teach Melbourne confidence, and teach them the habit of winning. He will play again this week and can hope to teach by example. But he admits that this pre-supposes that he is playing well.

There are no strategies to prevent what happened on Saturday. The only thing he could have done was put 17 guys in defence and play for the draw.”

Match details

Richmond         8.6       16.8     24.15    29.21 (195)
Melbourne       2.3       5.6       10.10    15.12 (102)

Goals – Richmond: Monteath 8, Cloke 5, Bartlett 4, Roach 3, Rowlings 3, Tempany 3, Smith, Wiley, Weightman.
Best – Richmond: Lee, Wiley, Weightman, Raines, Monteath, Rowlings, Bartlett.

Goals – Melbourne: Moir 3, Coles 2, Byrne 2, Seddon 2, Barnes 2, Flower, Crosswell, Martin, Smith.
Best – Melbourne: Flower, Coles, Seddon, Moir, Elliott, Clayton.