Richmond’s recent history suggests that when in contention for a finals spot, they always seemed to find a way to drop games they should win. They haven’t made finals since 2001 and games like Saturday’s massive clash with the Demons beckons as a contest that they must start well or face keeping the Dees in with a sniff.
A win would put them equal with North Melbourne on points, tightening up the race for 8. For Melbourne on the other hand, little can be salvaged for the year of 2012. They must continue to establish who deserves to wear the Melbourne jumper next year and who won’t be doing so.
This game has a high stakes outcome for the Tigers; lose and achieving finals becomes harder, win and the dream continues to burn with crucial matches ahead.
Why Should You Tune In:
Richmond: They’ve had one of those weeks the Tigers. Player indiscretions. A revolving door of fringe players and youngsters at the selection table. They must steady for confidence and just win on Saturday afternoon. After having displayed grit and intensity when opposed to the elite teams, Richmond has proved itself vulnerable against notably inferior opposition. The Tigers cannot afford another slip up like the result against an undermanned Fremantle who were away from home. The Tigers must bring a ‘kill’ mentality to the game, to not only vanquish the teams but steady the group after a long week off-field.
The last time these sides met in Round 3, the Tigers piled on a 9 goal to 1 third quarter which sealed the result. The outside class and midfield depth of Grigg, Deledio, Cotchin and Tuck really came to the forefront. These key ball users have continuously given the forward line enough opportunities to kick a winning score this season and really burn Melbourne for speed if they get it wide.
Regardless of the loss of Dylan Grimes, the Tigers will not have Mitch Clarke to deal with and should be able to cover the Melbourne defenders who are being played as swing-men this season due to personnel issues.
Melbourne: The Dees must find a way to break even in the middle, or could be in for a very long afternoon. The absence of Martin will help, but will only hinder the Tigers to a point. Nathan Jones have being a late omission last week finds his way back into the side, whilst the absence of young defender Tom McDonald will see the Dees forced to move Colin Garland or Jared Rivers back into defense. Expect to see a few midfield tags and congestion at stoppages to slow down the Tigers.
The rest of the Dees season looks to be shaping up to amount to who is good enough to play next year. Considering the average games among the current playing group is obscenely low, senior players are on notice and need to put in a worthwhile effort to assure their place next year.
Players like Dunn and Davey maybe be coming to the end of their careers on the output of the last few years as the Dees seek to usher in a new era. Above all, from here on in and starting with Richmond, those who aren’t up to scratch of late need to get a move on.
Prediction: Whichever way Mark Neeld fashions it, his side at this stage of it’s development lacks in too many departments to give the Tigers a run. You’d think the importance of this game in Richmond season should ring true and see them through to their 7th win of the season.
Tigers by 32.
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