To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Tigers’ 1973 premiership, Richmond Media is transporting Yellow and Black barrackers back in time throughout 2023 to follow the Punt Road path to that fabulous flag triumph. Today we take a look at champion Richmond centreman Ian Stewart’s special insider review in the Age newspaper of the Tigers’ Round 12, 1973 clash with Essendon.
Saturday’s win over Essendon at the MCG was the best thing that happened to Richmond for quite a few weeks.
We finished 16 points up and in view of our form recently it was quite an achievement.
Previously we were thrashed by Collingwood and played only fairly against South Melbourne and Footscray.
We knew Essendon was a good side and expected a tough battle. We got it.
I always thought we could win – but they were so tenacious we could never seem to get a break on them.
In the end, it was our persistence and team-work which got us home first.
I thought our handball was more constructive than theirs and this made a difference.
On a day which was windy and wet, we had everybody in the side giving something to the team effort while Essendon had a few players down a bit.
That’s what is needed for a top side – everybody contributing.
There were no outstanding four-quarter efforts from either side, but there rarely are in conditions like that.
I’ve got a lot of respect for Essendon and Des Tuddenham, that’s why I’ve placed so much importance on our win.
And isn’t Tuddy a tough nut to play on? He has got so many handicaps it is unbelievable, yet he still manages to play well.
Personally, I think his biggest handicap on the field is coaching.
It is hard enough concentrating on your own game let alone the rest of the team around you, yet Tuddy still seems to manage.
I was happy enough with my own game because I felt I was able to contribute like the rest of the Richmond side.
But I thought our best players were Wayne Walsh on a wing, Kevin Sheedy on the half-forward flank and ruck-roving, Robert Lamb on the other flank, and Mervyn Keane on the half-back line.
And a word about our full-forward Graham Teasdale. He was well beaten by an experienced hand in Geoff Pryor.
It had to happen of course. Graham had good games against Footscray and South but it wasn’t until Saturday that he learnt what pressure is all about.
Mark my words, he is going to be a really good player.
I thought the Essendon big men did a good job on our fellows. Graham Moss in particular was outstanding.
We were also beaten in key positions up forward, but we still managed to help each other get over the low spots.
That is the key to a good side and I think we’ll go on with the business now.
Richmond 3.6 8.11 12.19 15.21 (111)
Essendon 3.4 8.9 10.10 13.17 (95)
Goals – Richmond: Bartlett 4, Sproule 3, Lamb 2, Clay, Green, Nalder, Sheedy, Stewart, Wood.
Leading disposal-winners – Richmond: Bartlett 29, Sheedy 28, Stewart 24, Sproule 20, Bourke 19, Walsh 19.
Best – Richmond: Stewart (best on ground), Sheedy, Walsh, Lamb, Sproule, Keane, Bartlett.
Goals – Essendon: Noonan 4, Close 3, Headlam 3, Cassin, Parkes, Roberts.
Leading disposal-winners – Essendon: Moss 36, Wilson 24, Fletcher 22, Delahunty 21, Cassin 20, Williams 20.
Best – Essendon: Moss, Pryor, Roberts, Close, Noonan, Williams.