Tigers debutant Judson Clarke had a stunning start to his AFL career after a brilliant first-quarter brace that put him in rare company.
The Richmond Tigers unearthed another star as 18-year-old wonderkid Judson Clarke scored twice with his first two AFL kicks in the 11.11 (77) 10.5 (65) victory ) against Port Adelaide.
The small left-footed forward was nabbed with Pick 30 of the 2021 AFL Draft and didn’t have to wait long to land his first AFL major.
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The Tigers had dropped two goals early before hitting back, kicking six in a row, including two for Clarke.
With 10 minutes remaining in the first term, Clarke was taken down and had his first set-piece kick from around 40, sending his family into hysteria.
“You can’t help but smile and be excited,” Hamish McLachlan said in a comment.
“I feel really good for him. I got the handball, I was glad he did, then suddenly 15 seconds later his first goal in AFL football. Brilliant stuff.
Clarke reportedly received 30 tickets for her debut and her family was going crazy.
Five minutes later, Dustin Martin delivered a perfectly weighted kick as the youngster set up – and kicked – his second.
Her family rode again, and it looks like her nan may have sprinkled the area with wine as she celebrated the score.
“Red wine is gone everywhere – everyone’s excited,” McLachlan said. “Scored two goals, had Dustin Martin’s arm around him…life is good!”
While it wasn’t Clen Denning, who scored six goals with his first six kicks in 1935, it was a dream debut for the teenager.
He joined a select group of 41 players who scored several goals with their first kicks and the first since Sam Weideman in 2016.
At quarter time, Hawks legend Jason Dunstall
“This young man is two for two now and there’s something about left feet, they just look like really good kicks,” he said. “He had a hand pass and a few kicks for a few goals and there’s every reason to be excited.
Clarke’s father, Jarrod, spoke on the ABC about the nerves as the rookie lines up the shot and said, “It’s a really good kick, so I knew he was going to hit it.”
The fans were happy that the teenager started his career perfectly.
But while the indication was that the Tigers were kicking off the game with a 26-point second-quarter lead, Port fought back.
After a shocking start to the season, Port are 12th and two wins outside the top eight, while Richmond can move back into the top eight with a win.
Three quarters from time, the Tigers were leading 8.5 (53) to 8.4 (52) but kicked in for the 12-point victory.