It is 10 years ago today that a then talented Tiger teenager, Dustin Martin, captured the imagination of the AFL football world with a breath-taking, breakout performance of his fledgling career at the game’s highest level.
Martin was the catalyst for Richmond’s runaway Round 13, 2011 victory over Brisbane on Saturday night, June 18 at the Gabba.
Just eight days away from turning 20, and playing only his 33rd AFL game, young Dusty finished with 22 disposals, 10 contested possessions, five inside-50s, five clearances and a then career-high five goals.
He subsequently received the three Brownlow Medal votes for that dominant display against the Lions.
The two goals that Martin kicked in the last quarter were from on the run outside the 50-metre arc, with the ball slamming into the fence behind the big sticks on the full in each instance.
“I practise a couple of them at training, so it was good to see it paid off,” Martin told ‘Roar Vision’ in a post-match interview.
And it was a typically modest Martin who deflected attention away from his own impressive goalkicking exploits that night.
“I won’t take credit for it, though. It was all the other boys’ hard work up the field and I was just lucky to get on the end of them . . . It’s good to kick straight, I guess.”
Here is a review of the match from AFL.com.au reporter Michael Whiting . . .
“Richmond is only percentage outside the top eight after running away from the Brisbane Lions in the final quarter to win by 31 points at the Gabba on Saturday night.
The Tigers finished full of running to kick six of the final eight goals after the Lions had drawn to within four points early in the last quarter.
They won 18.17 (125) to 14.10 (94).
While the final margin flattered the Tigers after a close contest for most of the night, it extended their unbeaten run at the Gabba to seven seasons.
Dustin Martin kicked four of his five goals in the second half in a performance full of class.
When the match was on the line, he put a space between the teams with two running goals from outside 50m in the final term.
After a quiet night through three quarters, Robin Nahas produced a match turning play midway through the final quarter, when his run-down tackle on Simon Black in the middle of the ground won a free kick.
The play was quickly transferred to Tyrone Vickery, who coolly slotted his fourth goal and gave the visitors a 10-point lead they would never look back from.
Brett Deledio added a 50m goal, while Nathan Foley and Nahas added others to put the nail in the Lions' coffin.
For the home team it was their third loss in succession but they did not go down without a fight.
While Richmond just shaded them in total possessions (330-315) and clearances (32-30), the Lions were in the hunt right until the end.
The jumped out of the blocks quickly to lead by 23 points in the first quarter, but not surprisingly Richmond made their move in the second.
The Lions have won just two second quarters this season - equal lowest in the league – and Richmond ensured that trend would continue, kicking five goals to three to take the half-time lead.”
Hard, desperate football was the hallmark of the opening term and it was the Brisbane Lions that started better at the Gabba. The home side had the first four goals, to Rohan Bewick, Mitch Clark, James Polkinghorne and Jack Redden, as the Tigers, who lead the league in set shot accuracy, kicked three points from set shots. Shaun Griggs kicked the Tigers’ first goal late in the quarter and Tyrone Vickery followed up with another one soon after to cut the Brisbane Lions’ lead to nine.
Brisbane Lions 4.2 (26) Richmond Tigers 2.5 (17)
The Tigers kicked the first two goals of the quarter to take the lead for the first time but it was quickly snatched back by the Lions, courtesy of Mitch Clark’s second goal. Goals to Jack Riewoldt and Brad Miller started to turn the momentum the Tigers’ way, and an ankle injury to Clark and an interchange blunder that gifted Brad Miller a goal threatened to crush the Lions’ spirits. However, a captain’s goal to Jonathan Brown and another goal to Redden kept the Lions in the game at half-time.
Richmond Tigers 7.9 (51) Brisbane Lions 7.6 (48)
The Lions started the second half as they did in the first, with two goals from Todd Banfield and substitute and debutant Patrick Karnezis, who came on for the injured Clark. Karnezis’ goal was from his first AFL touch and he celebrated emphatically. However, the celebrations soon stopped for the Lions as Richmond kicked the next four goals, including two to Dustin Martin. Karnezis continued a promising debut, marking and kicking his second AFL goal from as many touches close to the break to keep the Lions in touch.
Richmond Tigers 12.13 (85) Brisbane Lions 10.9 (69)
Brisbane Lions opened the quarter with two goals to move within four points of the Tigers, but their challenge ended there. Richmond piled on the next five goals, courtesy of Vickery, Martin, Foley, Deledio and Nahas. Pearce Hanley and Ryan Harwood kicked consolation goals for the Lions late in the quarter, and Martin kicked his fifth goal, from 50m out, to cap off a dominant quarter for the Tigers, who turned a close game into a comfortable win.
Richmond 2.5 7.9 12.13 18.17 (125)
Brisbane Lions 4.2 7.6 10.9 14.10 (94)
Richmond: Martin 5, Vickery 4, Miller 2, Riewoldt 2, Grigg, Cotchin, Foley, Deledio, Nahas
Brisbane Lions: Redden 2, Karnezis 2, Brown 2, Clark 2, Banfield 2, Harwood, Bewick, Polkinghorne, Hanley
Richmond: Martin, Cotchin, Vickery, Houli, Rance, Foley
Brisbane Lions: Leuenberger, Redden, Rockliff, Hanley, Banfield