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Rare scenes as Brisbane premiership hero Mal Michael silences Mick Molloy with Richmond crack


Triple premiere the great Mal Michael did what very few people can do – get the front bar to silence funny man Mick Molloy on air.

Michael was playing in the power station Brisbane Lions an early 2000s team that won three consecutive grand finals between 2001-03 and were unlucky not to take a fourth flag in 2004.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Mal Michael’s digs in Richmond jam Front Bar’s Mick Molloy.

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They were a fearsome and ferocious outfit, blessed with a mix of incredibly talented and some of the most uncompromising players the game has ever seen.

Michael was a key defender in a ruthless back six. There were hard men everywhere and the defense was made up of Chris Johnson (who is now an expert commentator for Channel 7), Chris Scott (Geelong coach), Justin Leppich (assistant at Collinggood), Marcus Ashcroft (who also stayed on as coach and is the father of the current Brisbane star Will) and Daryl White.

Michael said he was surrounded by superstars.

Mal Michael with Justin Leppich and Daniel Bradshaw after the 2003 Grand Final. credit: Getty Images

“I was the least experienced of all the back six…” Michael said.

“Were there days where you went out and said, ‘We’re not going to lose today’, were you that confident? Molloy – a passionate Richmond fan – asked his guest.

But the comedian had no idea what was coming next.

“When we played Richmond, yes,” Michael replied.

The brutal takedown stopped the quick-thinking Molloy and in rare scenes he had no comeback.

Needless to say, Front Bar panelists Andy Maher and Sam Pang were in stitches.

“This is the best response for 2004,” Maher said.

Richmond were an up-and-down team when the Lions were filling cups in the cabinet and rarely playing in finals.

After Molloy collected himself, he said: “You’ve made yourself a powerful enemy too, mate,” echoing a line he had used earlier on his previous guest, AFL football boss Laura Kane.

Molloy had no return to Michael’s digs in Richmond. credit: Seven

Michael was also asked about a famous incident during a game where he and his teammates bumped and crashed the injured Nick Riewoldt.

Riewoldt was a superstar for the Saints, but on this day in 2001, he injured his shoulder during a tag attempt.

Riewald felt uncomfortable and sprawled on the ground.

At that moment, Michael noticed and nudged Riewoldt on the shoulder.

Riewoldt’s teammate, Aaron Hamill, then tries to pick Michael up as Michael has another shot at Riewoldt.

And then Chris Scott joins the action, also taking on Riewoldt before taking on Hamill.

It was a huge incident at the time and necessitated a change to the AFL rules.

The moment Michael cuts into an injured Riewoldt. credit: Getty Images

Molloy said it was “fair to say St Kilda fans are not happy” with Michael.

He then aired a clip of well-known Saints fan Molly Meldrum.

Meldrum was asked by a journalist what he would do if he was there at the match.

Meldrum replied: “I probably would have been fined because I probably would have jumped over the fence and kicked them both.”

Michael admitted he hadn’t seen the Meldrum clip before.

“It played out pretty big after the game and for a few weeks afterward,” Michael told the Front Bar panel.

“It got very hot.

“We received letters to the club and there were death threats.

“It was a bit hairy there for a while until it calmed down.”

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Wisely, the AFL later introduced an “unsportsmanlike conduct” rule on the back of the embarrassing scenes.

Michael noted that his actions were within the law at the time, but after this incident he was suspended.

Front Bar host Sam Pang said Michael was diplomatic and then showed a vision of him speaking after the match.

“I was just testing it for him to see if it was OK,” Michael said at the time.

The sight of Riewoldt crying on the bench after the accident is now part of bench folklore.

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