It was patches of quiet football from the Dolphin’s that allowed Richmond to run away 74-point victors against Frankston at Skybus Stadium.
The Dolphins lost the first term by 10 points and drew the third, but it was the second and fourth that ultimately lead to the 7.8 (50) – 19.10 (124) defeat.
Frankston started the game brilliantly with super marks to both Lachie Williams and Riley D’Arcy that lead to the game’s opener. The Dolphin’s back six were steady, holding the Tigers scoreless until the eight-minute mark of the opening term.
Blake Mullane was sublime in and around the contest, asserting his physical presence on the match, whilst Will Fordham was damaging with run and carry.
The Tiger’s kicked a couple of late majors to gain the lead through accurate goal kicking but the Dolphins were certainly in the game at quarter-time.
Danny Ryan’s message at the huddle was to be mindful and smart around the contest, but Richmond proved why they are undefeated in 2019, slamming on six second term goals.
Jimmy Miller was given the defensive role on Richmond’s Mabior Chol and was remarkable, keeping Chol to a limited impact as the Richmond forward became frustrated by the close attention.
Heading into half-time trailing by 48-points, the game threatened to be a blow out, but the Dolphin’s effort and hunger lifted in the third quarter, demonstrating they can compete with the competitions best.
Corey Rich was given an unfamiliar task to take on the AFL listed Maverick Weller who had 16 disposals in the opening half and was the source of Richmond’s lead.
Rich relished in the opportunity to add another string to the already extensive bow by keeping Weller to two disposals for the quarter and winning two free kicks from the agitated Tiger.
Kody Wilson kicked a wonderful running goal from the paint of 50, Shem Tatupu brought down some strong contested marks, but it was Dolphin’s skipper Josh Newman who brought his own footy in the third, collecting eight kicks and a goal.
The contested brand of football the Dolphins brought in the third term prevented the 2018 minor premiers from increasing their half-time margin.
The last quarter saw the Tigers move the contest to the outside which played into their hands, kicking six goals to two and ultimately running away with a win that didn’t reflect the contest.
Senior coach Danny Ryan was disappointed with the loss but impressed with the improvement his side has shown, admitting there’s work to do.
“I think today we were poor in the second quarter, we had a good ten-minute start to the last quarter, then let them off and the rest we competed.
“I thought Sandy was a four-quarter effort (last week), there was a quarter where they scored against us and then we couldn’t get over them but we definitely competed the whole game.
“Today the score won’t reflect, we just couldn’t capitalise on 40 entries for seven goals, so the issue is really forward of the ball because we matched them in clearances, we matched them in the contest, we lost contested possession but it was our best contested possession and tackle numbers for the year” Ryan said.
Ryan was proud of the individual efforts of Jimmy Miller, Gus Styles and Corey Rich who all went to dangerous players and played their roles.
“Mav Weller was having an impactful game through the midfield, we sent Corey to him because we didn’t think Corey was having a lot of impact forward of the ball for us so Corey went to him and did a great job on him for us
“The other one that did a job was Gus Styles, we dropped him for a little while and we maybe shouldn’t have but we went back to it and Naish, the horse had already bolted I suppose in that way.
“And Jimmy Miller did the job all day on Chol. He was outstanding,” he said.
Taylor Grace’s strong performance was soured when he left the field holding his shoulder in the early stages of the final term, joining him was Corey Rich with a sore quad.
“Corey’s got a cork, just a corky, as the game went on he got more and more restricted but he will be fine. He will just work through that and he will be good to go next week.
“Taylor has dislocated his shoulder, he will be off for a scan and we will find out where he’s at, but it’s more significant for Taylor,” Ryan said.
The Dolphin’s will swiftly move on from the loss to Richmond as Frankston face their first six-day break before taking on the Northern Blues at Ikon Park next Saturday.
FRANKSTON 3.2 3.3 5.5 7.8 50 DEF BY RICHMOND 5.0 11.3 13.5 19.10 124
Bailey 1, D’Arcy 1, Newman 1, Rich 1, Tatupu 1, Wilson 1, Zijai 1
Fordham 26, Newman 25, Ferreira 20, Lok 19, Wilson 18, Mullane 16
Miller, Tatupu, Bailey, M. Williams, Grace, Styles.
Dolphins Digital Media Team