I was fortunate to be there on Sunday and witness an AFL full forward kick ten goals in a game for the first time in several years. As the game has changed, becoming faster and possession focussed, with far fewer big kicks to a contest, it is refreshing to see the emergence of a young power full forward who can do all the traditional stuff so well. Even more refreshing that he’s a Tiger!
Jack Riewoldt has been a revelation this season. He already showed glimpses of being a strong overhead mark of the ball in previous years, but in comments earlier in the year from Damien Hardwick, the coach seemed to indicate that Riewoldt wasn’t big enough, and the likes of Griffiths or other developing young players were needed to assist him in building a strong forward line. It looks like he has been proven wrong.
In addition to overhead contested marking, Riewoldt has a fantastic eye for the flight of the ball. He knows where it’s going to end up, and now has the body strength to hold his ground and be there, often taking contested marks on his chest after out-muscling defenders. Together with his excellent mobility, his talents have the potential to put him in the class of Hall, Brown, and Dunstall.
Probably the last time that the competition leading goal kicker came from the team on the bottom of the ladder was Fevola at Carlton a few years ago. In any event, this development does show there are good signs for the future at Richmond.