Last Saturday at the MCG, all the air was let out of the balloon. The Tigers who went in favorites against a Dockers side that was renowned for having difficulties when playing interstate; were overrun in difficult conditions which saw them bumble to an unlikely defeat.
The lack of answers to a more hardened and cleaner Dockers side would clearly be something of a concern to Damien Hardwick, as this is the sort of pressure that is handled by sides who want to feature in September.
The Giants enjoyed their bye after being competitive for a half against the Cats two weeks ago. Another raft of changes to the side and getting some senior players back should see them give another strong effort; which sees them improve week by week.
WHY SHOULD YOU TUNE IN:
Greater Western Sydney: These said efforts; which see them trouble sides is an odd and alluring sight to behold. The list of promising footballers at this club is out the door and around the corner. Toby Greene, Dylan Shiel, Tomas Bugg, Adam Kennedy, Sam Darley, Adam Treloar, Curtly Hampton, Jeremy Cameron; have all presented glimpses of brilliance so far.
However, not only has the talent been there, but they are all doing the genuine team orientated things. One percenters, shepherding, pressuring the ball user and running defensively are hallmarks of doing the right thing and only missing out on results due to being inexperienced
Jonathan Patton. His absence since the draft last season with injury and the associated surgery overseas have done wonders to silence the hype surrounding his debut. At 19 years old; he weighs 96kgs and stands at 197cms. The Number One Draft Pick; alongside Rising Star nominee Jeremy Cameron could cause the Tigers some headaches considering Matthew Pavlich’s bag at the MCG last Saturday afternoon.
Richmond: A slight misstep last week; but still an exciting bunch of footballers. Considering they’re still in red hot contention for the finals and playing a scintillating, fast paced style, what concerned most is the fashion in which the misstep occurred.
The Dockers came well prepared to suffocate Richmond and play a pressure oriented brand of footy that most sides bring to Finals time. Considering the pressure that GWS have placed upon sides so far this year, Richmond cannot afford to take them lightly.
They need practice playing contested footy under pressure. Their wins against the Swans and Hawks were against sides that have been criticized for being ‘one-paced’; suggesting that if their speed and free-flowing is off the table, they struggle.
Prediction: The Tigers should be fine to get over the line. The extended midfield depth should be enough to play the game on their terms.
Richmond by 51.