Nice Statistic #5 Richmond’s Tassie Gold

As North Melbourne are set to embark on their Tasmanian experiment this weekend with their first home match at the picturesque Bellerive Oval, my mind wandered down to the Apple Isle and it’s impact on Australian Football. The names Nash, Hudson, Balldock and Stewart are uttered with great reverence, such is their standing in our game.

Though recent years have seen Hawthorn, St.Kilda and now North call Tasmania it’s second home, it is my club, Richmond, who appears to have a special connection with Tassie, especially when it comes to the glamour forward.

 Now this is a little strange. From 1967 through to the present day, there have been just three years in which Richmond’s attack has not been spearheaded by a Tasmanian.

 -Royce Hart 1967-1977

-Michael Roach 1977-1989

 -Matthew Richardson 1993-2009

-Jack Riewoldt 2007-?

 Sure, that’s really something. But consider the patterned symmetry of their guernsey numbers-

That’s right… there’s certainly something in the waters down at Punt Road. Yet even more eerily, consider their names…

Royce, Roach, Richo, Riewoldt! The four Richmond R’s! What’s going on here? Is it the ghost of the extinct Tasmanian Tiger leading all these key forwards to Tigerland? Who can be sure?

 

 I have mentioned the symmetry of jumper number, name and position, however there is clearly one piece of the puzzle still missing. Will Richmond recruit a Tasmanian key forward in ten years time, whose name begins with ‘R’ and will he be given the number 4 guernsey? Time will tell.

Now Brendan Gale (proud Tasmanian and Richmondite), there’s a task for you! A tradition worth preserving.

PS. Not only have these players contributed to the Richmond cause, the three players whose careers have been completed were bestowed the honour of making the Tasmanian Team of the Cenruty. Can you spot Royce, Roach and Richo?

PPS. Off the very top of my bonse…I’ve also thought of Benny Gale and Justin Plapp as other Tassie forwards to grace Richmond’s forward line. Who have I missed and who are your favourites?

This post was proudly brought to you by the letter R and the numbers 4, 8 & 12!

With a little help from my friends…
All the stats –http://stats.rleague.com/afl/afl_index.html
Royce pic-http://www.richmondfc.com.au/Portals/0/images_richmond/100%20Moments/Brave%20acts/BAOTC_Hart.jpg
Roach pic- http://www.oztradingcards.com/USERIMAGES/roach78.jpg
Richo pic-http://images.theage.com.au/ftage/ffximage/2009/05/10/richo_highfive_narrowweb__300x375,0.jpg
Riewoldt pic- http://resources1.news.com.au/images/2010/12/14/1225971/137581-jack-riewoldt.jpg
Tassie Team of Century pic- http://www.jcap.com.au/images/jc/TAS-TOTC-med.jpg
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Nice Statistic #4 Andrew Underwood

Having already explored the intrinsic link between David Cloke’s career and the number 3, I thought it time to look at the numbers of another dual club player, Andrew Underwood.

Underwood played with SANFL club Sturt from 1985-1988 before being drafted by then VFL club Essendon. After two seasons at Windy Hill, he transferred to Richmond for a season, before returning to Sturt after not being required by incoming Richmond coach Allan Jeans.

Andrew Underwood at Sturt post AFL career and importantly post mullet! Pic from http://www.sturtpics.com.au

So where does the number 12 fit in? Underwood was the last player to don the number before a young Matthew Richardson commandeered it in 1993, taking the number 12 guernsey in his only season with the Tigers in 1991. He played 12 games with Essendon, and 12 games with Richmond. His career of 24 games saw him play in 12 wins and 12 losses, while in his first season at Essendon, he played no games after round 12.

His first season saw him accumulate 112 kicks, while in his career he received 12 frees for in home matches and conceded 12 frees against in away matches.

While his career at Tigerland was brief, I will forever remember him for his part in Richmond’s shock win over his former club Essendon at Windy Hill in 1991, a lovely way for Richmond to sign off from that suburban ground. Underwood played an integral part in the win, yet the part I remember most was the picture of him in the paper following the match…hulking arms raised in defiance to his former home crowd as he left the field a winner, the last time he would do so as a league player.

I have been unable to locate this picture, though I was able to find the old match report from the Herald-Sun. “Obviously I wanted to play well against my old club, I had a point to prove. They let me go at the start of the season…I wanted to prove them wrong.” The report went on to say that Underwood gathered 23 possessions off half-back, going through four opponents; Ian McMullin, Michael Long, Tim Watson and flatmate Brad Fox! “Not a word was passed between us.” 

Andrew Underwood signed my book at the 1991 Richmond Family Day/Best & Fairest Count. He was soon to be let go.

With a Little Help from my friends…

@andreamaryb for informing me of the Underwood #12 files

http://stats.rleague.com/afl/stats/players/A/Andrew_Underwood.html

http://www.sturtpics.com.au

Tigers of Old, by Paul Hogan

(Interestingly, though Andrew Underwood was the last player to wear the number 12 before Matthew Richardson, Andrew finishing in 1991 and Mattew starting in 1993, a 1992 record I have lists Reserves coach Peter Schwabb as number 12 for the reserves. The book ‘Tigers of Old’ shows no record of him playing a game for the Richmond seconds, though this happened from time to time due to player shortages.)