It is a quirk of history that during Richmond’s previous great era of success, three of the four Tom Hafey premiership sides were beaten by St Kilda in the following season.
In 1968, 1970 and 1975 St Kilda beat Tiger sides who were reigning premiers at the time.
St Kilda, with ruckman Carl Ditterich dominant, defeated Richmond – the 1967 premier – by 24 points at Moorabbin in Round 4 1968 .
Richmond ruckman Mike Patterson summed it up perfectly after the game when he said:
That was a fair summary of Ditterich’s athleticism in a power-laden display that showed a League game could be won single-handedly. The statistics of 28 kicks and 16 marks alone showed the big blond’s dominance, but they didn’t tell the full story of the way in which his crucial grabs held together the Saint defence when it looked like cracking against the Tigers.
Respected footy sage Percy Beames hailed the transformation of Ditterich from the often wilder approach of the past.
“This is no longer the case. His behaviour on the field is near perfect: he reads the game so well that there is no waste of energy, his use of weight and vigor are intelligently applied and on Saturday nobody could fault his judgment of when to go for a mark or go for the punch.”
St Kilda grabbed the early initiative and the Tigers were dealt a savage blow at the start of the second quarter when ruckman/forward and acting captain Paddy Guinane was forced off with a hand injury.
Although the Tigers won a tactical battle in playing Geoff Strang at centre half-back to subdue Saint skipper Darrel Baldock, St Kilda had far too many winners and had the game in its keeping when it led by 29 points at the final change.
Elusive St Kilda centreman Ian Stewart returned to the form which had won him two Brownlow Medals.
And in a masterstroke by coach Allan Jeans after defender Jim O’Dea went off with an injury, young Stuart Trott, who had never played in defence, was given a half-back role on the ever-dangerous John Northey and countered the will-o-the-wisp Tiger.
After Guinane was injured, Richmond shifted wingman Dick Clay to centre half-forward, but he was shut down by St Kilda centre half-back Barry Breen. Anything that got past Breen was thwarted by full-back Bob Murray.
ST KILDA 3.1 6.6 10.11 12.12 (84)
RICHMOND 1.4 2.7 5.12 7.18 (60)
Neale 3, Barry Pascoe 3, Bonney 2, Baldock, Davis, Ditterich, Smith
Ditterich (best on ground), Stewart, B. Pascoe, Smith, Murray, Breen
|B||John Lilley||Bob Murray||Bob Pascoe|
|HB||Jim O'Dea||Barry Breen||Gary Colling|
|C||Stuart Trott||Ian Stewart||Jeff Moran|
|HF||Barry Pascoe||Darrel Baldock||John O'Donnell|
|F||Kevin Neale||Allan Davis||John Bonney|
|R||Carl Ditterich||Des Kennedy|
|INT||Brian Mynott||Kevin Billing|