MATTHEW RICHARDSON’S TOP 10: Noah Answerth’s cry baby antics OK, Lions can win flag & let’s stop goal reviews

Matthew Richardson
The Nightly
3 Min Read
Dump tackles, crying and goal umpires all feature in Matthew Richardson's top 10.
Dump tackles, crying and goal umpires all feature in Matthew Richardson's top 10. Credit: Getty Images;Channel 7

1 The weather is turning in Melbourne and I love it. There’s something great about starting to layer. It means we are getting right into the full swing of the AFL season. It also means going to the local pub with mates, having a few beers, a feed and then heading to the footy. If you live in Melbourne or are travelling to watch a game, I suggest a little pub crawl around Fitzroy and Collingwood. Stop in at the Napier Hotel, Standard Hotel, Union Club Hotel and Builders Arms. They’re all walking distance from each other. The Napier has some fantastic old Fitzroy Lions memorabilia that I saw first-hand on the weekend.

2. On the Lions, they looked to have put their early-season trouble behind them. They were impressive against the Dees last week in Lachie Neale’s 250th. Led by Josh Dunkley; it was a telling win. I picked them for the flag this year. Maybe that’s still possible after all.

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3. There was a lot of conjecture about Brisbane’s Noah Answerth mocking his Melbourne opponent Harrison Petty with his pretend tears. A lot of people didn’t like it and think it crossed the line. It probably did but I hope we don’t take the banter out of the AFL entirely.

Charlie Cameron beat a one-game suspension for his dump tackle on Melbourne defender Jake Lever.
Charlie Cameron beat a one-game suspension for his dump tackle on Melbourne defender Jake Lever. Credit: Channel 7

4. And on banter and characters, it was great to see former West Coast, Brisbane and Fitzroy wild man Mark Zanotti recently on The Front Bar. He has massive energy and is a great storyteller. We still need these characters in our game. It’s part of what has made it so good for so long.

5. And how good was it to see Ben Cousins so happy, fit and healthy on this week’s The Front Bar? Having played with Ben for a year at Richmond I know how charismatic he is. That was on full display with Andy, Mick and Pangy. He’s my tip to win Dancing with the Stars.

Ben Cousins on the Front Bar.
Ben Cousins on the Front Bar. Credit: Channel 7

6. Can our goal umpires please start backing themselves more? Just review each decision silently before the ball is bounced in the middle again. Reviews are sucking the energy out of crowds.

7. If Port Adelaide’s three-headed monster midfield is not the best midfield trio in the competition, then they are not far off. The winning play last Saturday night was something we will see a lot more of moving forward. Zac Butters out of the middle to Connor Rozee to Jason Horne-Francis, who kicked the match-winner.

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 13: Zak Butters of the Power celebrates a goal during the 2024 AFL Round 05 match between the Port Adelaide Power and the Fremantle Dockers at Adelaide Oval on April 13, 2024 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Sarah Reed/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
Zak Butters celebrates during the close win over the Dockers. Credit: Sarah Reed/AFL Photos/AFL Photos via Getty Images

8. Richmond are having a challenging year with a tough run of injuries. Last year’s best and fairest Tim Taranto, and fellow midfielder Jack Ross are out for extended time. The season will get a lot tougher if they can’t sign Liam Baker as soon as possible to a new deal, he’s a heart and soul player. Surely the Eagles are circling the popular West Australian.

9. Has the AFL set a precedent with the good behaviour clause getting Brisbane’s Charlie Cameron off at the tribunal? Watch this space closely.

10. Lastly, gee I’m glad school holidays are over. Why do kids have to do a different activity every day? In two weeks my girls went to the zoo, had ballet, swimming lessons, gymnastics, a movie night, sleepovers, went to the playground, went to Bounce, a play centre and two museums. I managed to do half of this in my entire childhood.

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