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Working class mullet


Michael Gleeson

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The Mullet's magic revives Richmond

Our footy experts review Richmond's win over Port Adelaide and assess the form of the undefeated West Coast Eagles.

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THE Mullet didn't need to touch the ball. He didn't need to take a mark or knock someone over. All the Mullet needed to do to be taken to the bosom of the braying voices of the Punt Road end was to run out onto the ground and shake his lustrous half-mane.

The Mullet is a cult hero. More than that, he is a Richmond cult hero. There might be no bigger thing in football. To date he has been a silent action hero. Talking is for others.

Fortunately, there are plenty of others happy to do the talking. The Mullet's mullet has its own Facebook page, ''Ivan Maric's Mullet''. There are web talkfests on it ''The Ivan Maric Mullet Appreciation Thread'' - just Google, and you'll find it - and the poser: ''Does Ivan Maric have the best mullet in Australian sport?'' (at the moment, yes). He and it have drawn favourable comment from rival players: Ricky Petterd tweeted his respect; ''loving Ivan Maric's mullet''. Doubtless Lynden Dunn's moustache would also approve.

The Mullet: Ivan Maric and his hairstyle are loved by crowds, coaches and players alike.

The Mullet: Ivan Maric and his hairstyle are loved by crowds, coaches and players alike. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

Maric opened the door to cult-hero status at Richmond for these reasons, but it was the fact he could get his hand to the ball, knock people over and take a mark that brought him such rapid affection in the stands and the coach's box.

The Mullet had never been a star at Adelaide and is unlikely to be at Richmond, but he is an honest competitor. Which was what Richmond wanted. They knew he was shorter than most modern rucks and would lose many hitouts but they also knew he would knock in and create a contest, that he was big- bodied and aggressive in his approach.

''I love playing aggressive,'' Maric told Inside Football when he left Adelaide last year. ''They want me to be physical and block for the smaller guys, and I love doing that.''

Tiger fans love him and his hair - why spoil it all by saying anything? Richmond recruit Ivan Maric. Click for more photos

Footy mavericks

Footballers who went their own way. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

They love him doing it, too. Damien Hardwick's blueprint is to bring in good people and competitors. They got what they sought in Maric. It was apparent as early as a pre-season game when there was a boundary throw-in on the wing and a ruck push-and-shove. Maric not only kept his feet but pushed the other ruck backwards, then sat a midfielder on his backside. The coaches above in the stand looked at one another with a ''so that is what it is like having a ruckman'' sort of smile. Having laboured with raw young rucks for several years the Tigers had almost forgotten what it was to have a player physically take it to the opposition.

Last week, against the AFL's two best rucks, Dean Cox and Nicholas Naitanui, Maric was good. Naitanui had two superb moments when he force-fed midfielders at the centre bounce in the second quarter and they scored, but Maric does not stand condemned for that, for he is not alone in being jumped over by Naitanui. But Richmond is not being monstered in the ruck now.

Interestingly, Richmond insiders say, the cause and effect of Maric's arrival is that Angus Graham and Andrew Browne have significantly improved. Graham, maybe because a place in the senior team is harder to come by, is now said to be dominating VFL games in a way he had never done before.

''Ivan coming in had the potential to be a bad thing for Angus, but he is playing much better footy this year than he ever has, but he obviously isn't able to get in the senior team yet. That is a good thing. They keep pushing each other,'' a coach said.

Ruck coach Brendon Lade said: ''We think Angus Graham and Andrew Browne have potential but while they are a bit young and developing Ivan is a good, aggressive ruckman.

''At Adelaide he had a good relationship with Scott Thompson and he has not yet got that single relationship or understanding with one of our midfielders but he is getting there. We have gone from last in hitouts last year to top eight this year.

''He has been solid at helping out the backs and marking the ball around the ground. We would probably like him to go forward more and kick a few more goals now.''

Ivan Maric is a quiet man and his own man. Players knew, or were warned, even before he arrived that he pronounced his name EEE-varn not EYE-van. A few new teammates tried him out calling him EYE-van. He didn't speak, just fixed them - only half in jest - with the cool stare. They stopped.

His quiet self-confidence - as evidenced by his choice of hairstyle - generates respect reflected in the fact he was in Adelaide's leadership group and will likely soon be in Richmond's, for when he speaks others listen.

He arrived at Richmond and quietly went about his business then, in a pre-season training session, suddenly let loose.

A teammate had cut the cones in a running session, an offence for which the player had previously been singled out by the coaching staff, so when the player did it again it was not the coaches tackling him but big Ivan.

Short cuts - perhaps save for those on the side of the head - were not to be tolerated and he let the players know it. The coaches swooned.

''The boys love him. He doesn't say a lot, but when he does they listen,'' Lade said.

Maybe it's the allure of the mullet.


PAUL BULLUSS Tiger fans loved him. Understood to have once turned to a teammate after Francis Bourke (not then coach) came into the rooms for a word at half-time. Bourke left and Bulluss turned to a teammate and asked “who was that old ----?"

STUART DEW Ex-Port premiership player who came back after a solid donut diet and won a premiership with Hawthorn.

BRUCE DOULL The Blues' flying doormat. Headband but balding. Huge talent, understated. Barely uttered a word.

PETER "SPIDER" EVERITT Former St Kilda and Hawthorn favourite, it was surely the dreadlocks and the spider legs.

MARK "JACKO" JACKSON Melbourne, Geelong and St Kilda's showman forward. He did handstands on the ground, he pranced like a peacock, he hit people. He had a face like Dunlop volleys left out in the sun. He did an Energiser ad and recorded a song. Then did a TV series.

ALLAN JAKOVICH Crazily talented, enigmatic. Had a thick 1980s mullet. Didn't get along with a number of teammates for reasons best left unsaid.

PETER "CRACKERS" KEENAN The name said it really. Brought his peculiar brand of madness to Melbourne, North Melbourne and Essendon.

JAMES MANSON Wild-eyed Collingwood and Fitzroy player with an unorthodox but effective style. Played in a rock band.

AUSTIN McCRABB Geelong coach Malcolm Blight stood him away from the huddle at Waverley one day in frustration. He used to just take off on his pushbike in the off-season, sleeping rough and turning up in all manner of places.

MICK NOLAN North Melbourne's "galloping gasomoter". Had the physique of a wood chopper.

LUKE (RHINO) O'SULLIVAN Took 10 years to play 50 games, and finally did so wearing the duck-egg blue m&m jumper. A social convenor at Carlton who turned up at the airport for a footy trip dressed as Batman.

VAL PEROVIC The original woofa; there was a plaque erected in The Whale's Flinder's Street pub for his exploits.

MATTHEW RICHARDSON Emotional, spectacular. Son of the Bull. Everything emotionally recklessly endearing about Richmond. Famed for doing the outrageous and missing the easy.

DANNY SOUTHERN Western Bulldog who kept snakes. Had a mullet. Partially furnished mouth. An atypical player.

JOSH THURGOOD Short lived but loved at Hawthorn. Like Everitt, had the Sideshow Bob hair and stick-insect limbs.

DARREN "DOC" WHIELDON Kicked seven in his third game. Seven tribunal appearances for Fitzroy in three years, including one for post-shaking. Famously Kevin Sheedy's worst draft gamble.

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AFL 2016

Round 1
Thu, 24 MarTimes shown AEDT
RIC vs CAR 19:20MCG
Sat, 26 MarTimes shown AEDT
MEL vs GWS 13:40MCG
GCF vs ESS 16:35MS
NTH vs ADE 19:25ES
SYD vs COL 19:25ANZ
Sun, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
WBU vs FRE 13:10ES
PTA vs STK 15:20Adelaide Oval
WCE vs BRI 19:40Domain Stadium
Mon, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
GEE vs HAW 15:20MCG
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 01 AprTimes shown AEDT
COL vs RIC 19:50MCG
Sat, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs PTA 13:45Adelaide Oval
ESS vs MEL 14:10MCG
BRI vs NTH 16:35G
STK vs WBU 19:25ES
FRE vs GCF 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 03 AprTimes shown AEST
GWS vs GEE 13:10SO
HAW vs WCE 15:20MCG
CAR vs SYD 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 08 AprTimes shown AEST
PTA vs ESS 19:50Adelaide Oval
Sat, 09 AprTimes shown AEST
STK vs COL 13:45MCG
RIC vs ADE 14:10ES
SYD vs GWS 16:35SCG
GCF vs CAR 19:25MS
WCE vs FRE 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
NTH vs MEL 13:10BA
WBU vs HAW 15:20ES
GEE vs BRI 16:40SS
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 15 AprTimes shown AEST
WCE vs RIC 20:10Domain Stadium
Sat, 16 AprTimes shown AEST
ESS vs GEE 13:45MCG
HAW vs STK 14:10AS
BRI vs GCF 16:35G
CAR vs WBU 19:25ES
ADE vs SYD 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
GWS vs PTA 13:10SO
COL vs MEL 15:20MCG
NTH vs FRE 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 22 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW vs ADE 19:50MCG
Sat, 23 AprTimes shown AEST
SYD vs WCE 13:40SCG
GCF vs NTH 16:35MS
WBU vs BRI 19:25ES
PTA vs GEE 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
STK vs GWS 13:10ES
FRE vs CAR 16:10Domain Stadium
MEL vs RIC 19:10MCG
Mon, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
COL vs ESS 15:20MCG
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 29 AprTimes shown AEST
NTH vs WBU 19:50ES
Sat, 30 AprTimes shown AEST
MEL vs STK 13:45ES
ADE vs FRE 14:10Adelaide Oval
GWS vs HAW 16:35Spotless Stadium
RIC vs PTA 19:25MCG
GEE vs GCF 19:25SS
Sun, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI vs SYD 13:10G
CAR vs ESS 15:20MCG
WCE vs COL 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Fri, 06 MayTimes shown AEST
RIC vs HAW 19:50MCG
Sat, 07 MayTimes shown AEST
COL vs CAR 13:45MCG
GEE vs WCE 14:10SS
SYD vs ESS 16:35ANZ
GCF vs MEL 17:10MS
WBU vs ADE 19:40ES
FRE vs GWS 20:10Domain Stadium
Sun, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
STK vs NTH 15:20ES
PTA vs BRI 16:40Adelaide Oval
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 13 MayTimes shown AEST
ADE vs GEE 19:50Adelaide Oval
Sat, 14 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS vs NTH 13:45ES
HAW vs FRE 14:10AS
GWS vs GCF 16:35Spotless Stadium
BRI vs COL 19:25G
RIC vs SYD 19:25MCG
Sun, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR vs PTA 13:10ES
MEL vs WBU 15:20MCG
WCE vs STK 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Fri, 20 MayTimes shown AEST
HAW vs SYD 19:50MCG
Sat, 21 MayTimes shown AEST
COL vs GEE 13:45MCG
GCF vs ADE 14:10MS
PTA vs WCE 16:35Adelaide Oval
NTH vs CAR 19:25ES
FRE vs RIC 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
MEL vs BRI 13:10MCG
GWS vs WBU 15:20Spotless Stadium
STK vs ESS 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Fri, 27 MayTimes shown AEST
SYD vs NTH 19:50SCG
Sat, 28 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI vs HAW 13:45G
MEL vs PTA 14:10TIO Traeger Park
STK vs FRE 16:35ES
ESS vs RIC 19:25MCG
ADE vs GWS 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR vs GEE 13:10ES
COL vs WBU 15:20MCG
WCE vs GCF 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Fri, 03 JunTimes shown AEST
NTH vs RIC 19:50BA
Sat, 04 JunTimes shown AEST
HAW vs MEL 13:45MCG
CAR vs BRI 14:10ES
GEE vs GWS 16:35SS
GCF vs SYD 19:25MS
FRE vs ESS 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
COL vs PTA 13:10MCG
WBU vs WCE 15:20ES
ADE vs STK 16:40Adelaide Oval
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Fri, 10 JunTimes shown AEST
ESS vs HAW 19:50ES
Sat, 11 JunTimes shown AEST
PTA vs WBU 13:40Adelaide Oval
BRI vs FRE 16:35G
GEE vs NTH 19:25ES
WCE vs ADE 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
STK vs CAR 13:10ES
RIC vs GCF 15:20MCG
GWS vs SYD 16:40Spotless Stadium
Mon, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
MEL vs COL 15:20MCG
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Fri, 17 JunTimes shown AEST
NTH vs HAW 19:50ES
Sat, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI vs WCE 13:40G
FRE vs PTA 16:35Domain Stadium
WBU vs GEE 19:25ES
Sun, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs MEL 13:10SCG
ESS vs GWS 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Thu, 23 JunTimes shown AEST
ADE vs NTH 19:50Adelaide Oval
Fri, 24 JunTimes shown AEST
COL vs FRE 19:50MCG
Sat, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
RIC vs BRI 13:40MCG
GWS vs CAR 16:35Spotless Stadium
STK vs GEE 19:25ES
Sun, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
HAW vs GCF 15:20AS
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Thu, 30 JunTimes shown AEST
WCE vs ESS 20:10Domain Stadium
Fri, 01 JulTimes shown AEST
PTA vs RIC 19:50Adelaide Oval
Sat, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
GCF vs STK 13:40MS
SYD vs WBU 16:35SCG
CAR vs COL 19:25MCG
Sun, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
MEL vs ADE 15:20MCG
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Thu, 07 JulTimes shown AEST
PTA vs HAW 19:50Adelaide Oval
Fri, 08 JulTimes shown AEST
GEE vs SYD 19:50SS
Sat, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS vs COL 13:40Spotless Stadium
GCF vs BRI 16:35MS
WBU vs RIC 19:25ES
MEL vs FRE 19:40TIO
Sun, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
CAR vs ADE 13:10MCG
WCE vs NTH 15:20Domain Stadium
ESS vs STK 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Thu, 14 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs HAW 19:20SCG
Fri, 15 JulTimes shown AEST
FRE vs GEE 20:10Domain Stadium
Sat, 16 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC vs ESS 13:40MCG
NTH vs PTA 16:35ES
WBU vs GCF 19:25CAZ
ADE vs COL 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
CAR vs WCE 13:10MCG
STK vs MEL 15:20ES
BRI vs GWS 16:40G
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 22 JulTimes shown AEST
COL vs NTH 19:50ES
Sat, 23 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs CAR 13:45ANZ
GCF vs FRE 14:10MS
WCE vs MEL 16:35Domain Stadium
WBU vs STK 19:25ES
GEE vs ADE 19:25SS
Sun, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
ESS vs BRI 13:10ES
HAW vs RIC 15:20MCG
PTA vs GWS 16:40Adelaide Oval
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 29 JulTimes shown AEST
GEE vs WBU 19:50SS
Sat, 30 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS vs RIC 13:45SO
HAW vs CAR 14:10AS
COL vs WCE 16:35MCG
BRI vs PTA 19:25G
NTH vs STK 19:25ES
Sun, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
MEL vs GCF 13:10MCG
FRE vs SYD 15:20Domain Stadium
ADE vs ESS 16:40Adelaide Oval
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 05 AugTimes shown AEST
RIC vs COL 19:50MCG
Sat, 06 AugTimes shown AEST
SYD vs PTA 13:45SCG
MEL vs HAW 14:10MCG
GCF vs GWS 16:35MS
WBU vs NTH 19:25ES
ADE vs BRI 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
CAR vs STK 13:10MCG
GEE vs ESS 15:20ES
FRE vs WCE 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Fri, 12 AugTimes shown AEST
WBU vs COL 19:50ES
Sat, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI vs CAR 13:45G
HAW vs NTH 14:10MCG
GWS vs WCE 16:35Spotless Stadium
STK vs SYD 19:25ES
PTA vs MEL 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
ESS vs GCF 13:10ES
RIC vs GEE 15:20MCG
FRE vs ADE 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Fri, 19 AugTimes shown AEST
WCE vs HAW 20:10Domain Stadium
Sat, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
NTH vs SYD 13:45BA
RIC vs STK 14:10MCG
GWS vs FRE 16:35Spotless Stadium
COL vs GCF 19:25ES
PTA vs ADE 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
CAR vs MEL 13:10MCG
BRI vs GEE 15:20G
ESS vs WBU 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Sat, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
HAW vs COL 12:00MCG
STK vs BRI 12:00ES
ESS vs CAR 12:00MCG
GCF vs PTA 12:00MS
SYD vs RIC 12:00SCG
NTH vs GWS 12:00ES
GEE vs MEL 12:00SS
ADE vs WCE 12:30Adelaide Oval
FRE vs WBU 14:00Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
AFL 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D % Pts
Adelaide Crows 0 0 0 0 - 0
Brisbane Lions 0 0 0 0 - 0
Carlton 0 0 0 0 - 0
Collingwood 0 0 0 0 - 0
Essendon 0 0 0 0 - 0
Fremantle 0 0 0 0 - 0
Geelong Cats 0 0 0 0 - 0
Gold Coast Suns 0 0 0 0 - 0
View all

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