Updated 30 August 2014: The Richmond Tigers did make the final eight after a tense win against the Sydney Swans to make it 9 wins in a row! Back in June the Tigers had a 3-10 record and the finals were a pipedream, but their 10.8 (68) to 9.11 (65) victory over the premiership favourites means their place in September is secure. Watch the final 2 minutes here. This is indeed a Richmond Tigers fairytale.
I suspect most of you may be unfamiliar with the mighty Richmond Tigers of the Australian Football League in Melbourne. Australian Football, or more commonly own in Australia as ‘Aussie Rules’ is a unique high contact sport, not to be confused with World Soccer, Rugby league or Rugby Union. There is a similar style of football game in Ireland called Gaelic football, which also attracts a passionate following. The home of Australian Football is Melbourne, Australia. It attracts an almost religious like following, an atmosphere unlike any other sport I have witnessed. It is hard to describe this sport and its fervent following unless one has experienced watching AFL at the famous sports landmark, the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) amongst a 100,000 packed audience. What I respect most of all about this sport is how family -friendly oriented it is. It can be enjoyed without the persistent threat of thuggery and craziness experienced in other sports. ‘Aussie rules’ is a sport for of all ages young and old. The passion shared among its supporters and the respect shown between teams and its fans alike, makes watching the event an almost sophisticated rivalry. Its refreshing.
The Tigers climbed into the top eight for the first time in 2014 with their 26-point over St Kilda at the MCG on Sunday. Their 8th consecutive win! But there is still one more win required next week in the final round of the season if Richmond want to seek a place in the top 8 teams of AFL. The Richmond Finals campaign starts next Sunday in Sydney according to coach Damien Hardwick. “There’s no better way to try and earn your spot by trying to beat the best,” Hardwick said as Richmond go head to head against the number one AFL team so far this year – Sydney Swans. Finals football to put it simply are final rounds of football between the best eight teams. Playing finals football has alluded Richmond an extraordinary amount since they won the Holy Grail also known as the Premiership in 1980. I can’t wait to watch this game live here in Colombia, to see if my beloved Richmond can pull off a miracle.
This is a great clip below from the documentary 100 years of Australian football which first inspired me to take interest in this game. This is legendary ex Tigers coach Tom Hafey charging the Tigers to win back to back premierships in the 1970s.
Tom Hafey put it best:
‘Nothing more tiger-ish than a bloody Tiger’.