Round 18, 2002
Melbourne vs Richmond
Sunday 4 August
Richmond win by 5 points
Goalkickers: Russell Robertson 5, David Neitz 4, Adem Yze 2, Travis Johnstone 1, Andrew Leoncelli 1, Peter Vardy 1
2 - Adem Yze
Two out of form sides clashed at the MCG, with Melbourne having lost two in a row and the Tigers not having won for two months. Brad Green was a late withdrawal with a groin injury, and was replaced by Anthony McDonald.
Melbourne's backline had been decimated by injury and suspension. With Alistair Nicholson out for the year with a knee injury, and Craig Ellis suspended the backline consisted of youngsters like Chris Lamb, Troy Broadbridge and Brad Miller - while ruckman Darren Jolly was named at full-back. Between them they had 32 games of experience.
A tight game in the first half started to turn in the Tigers favour in the third. Ottens, Richardson and Stafford were proving too tall up forward and by the ten minute mark of the last quarter they had opened up a 46 point margin. The Demons had played well in the third quarter but managed just one goal while conceding six.
Melbourne supporters were already walking out the door, but all of a sudden their side sparked and booted seven goals in the next 20 minutes to get within five points.
Had they managed to sneak over the line, Melbourne would have engineered the greatest last quarter comeback since Essendon's 47 point revival against them in Round 6, 1992.
It was the second time the Demons had charged home from a big deficit in two months. They had nearly overturned a 44 point loss against Essendon in round 13, and were at it again.
Just when all the momentum seemed to be with Melbourne, young defender Troy Broadbridge went down with a serious knee injury. The break allowed Richmond to regroup and hold on to their lead. The loss dropped the Dees out of the top eight.
Daniher said "The boys fought it out, but at the end of the day we just got ourselves too far behind."
Best for Melbourne were Yze, Jolly and Bruce.
Age - 02/08/2002
afl.com.au - 04/08/2002
Age - 05/08/2002