WHERE AND WHEN: Cazaly’s Stadium, Saturday, July 14, 4.40pm
LAST TIME: Gold Coast 12.13 (85) d Richmond 9.16 (70), round 17, 2011 at Cazaly’s Stadium
It may seem a little dismissive of some of the positive form displayed from the Suns in recent weeks, but the major story coming out of this contest will all be about how much percentage the Tigers can gather.
With five teams locked at seven wins and only percentage splitting who makes the finals and who doesn’t, an opportunity against the winless Gold Coast Suns is a golden opportunity to stake their claims on a September berth.
The Suns however will have fond memories of this matchup, as they have won the only encounter between the two sides, which was played at the very same venue.
It may add a little more interest to the contest, but the Suns have struggled to produce consistent form in a year has been a disappointment off the back of a surprisingly productive debut year. Several players have stepped up, notably Harley Bennell, but there seems to be a entire side suffering from second year blues.
The Suns will welcome back David Swallow, who will inject some pace into a midfield that badly needs someone other than Gary Ablett and Bennell to consistent produce exceptional form.
Players to Watch
Jack Riewoldt – On a more personal note, with Lance Franklin set to miss a few weeks with a hamstring strain, this may present the perfect opportunity for Riewoldt to peg a few goals back off the reigning Coleman Medallist in the race for the award in 2012. Riewoldt currently trails by 12, but with a game in which the Richmond midfield is expected to be on top for the majority of the contest, Riewoldt may be a lot closer at the final siren.
Gary Ablett – Does this one really need explaining? Ablett has been more amazing than ever this season, producing league high stats on almost weekly basis in a side that has yet to win a game. Whilst Melbourne and GWS may struggle for fanfare currently due to a lack of superstar talent, the Suns have ‘Junior’ creating headaches against all opponents. Hopefully he shakes the tag early and provides some more footage for his ever growing highlight reel.
As much as the Suns desperately need a victory, it is hard to see it happening against a team that badly needs a win in order to compete in finals footy. A loss here would be devastating for the Tigers, and it is just too hard to see it actually happening again after they were shocked with a defeat last season.
Tigers by 45
B: Luke McGuane, Alex Rance, Chris Newman
HB: Bachar Houli, Ben Griffiths, Matt Dea
C: Shaun Grigg, Trent Cotchin, Brandon Ellis
HF: Brett Deledio, Shane Edwards, Robin Nahas
F: Tom Derickx, Jack Riewoldt, Addam Maric
Foll: Ivan Maric, Reece Conca, Shane Tuck
I/C: Kelvin Moore, Jake Batchelor, Steven Morris, Brett O’Hanlon
Emg: Angus Graham, Jeromey Webberley, Brad Miller
In: Kelvin Moore
Out: Matthew White (Suspension)
Gold Coast Suns
B: Matt Shaw, Matthew Warnock, Jarrod Harbrow
HB: Daniel Stanley, Jared Brennan, Trent McKenzie
C: Michael Rischitelli, Karmichael Hunt, Aaron Hall
HF: Harley Bennell, Charlie Dixon, Liam Patrick
F: Campbell Brown, Sam Day, Brandon Matera
Foll: Zac Smith, Josh Caddy, Gary Ablett
I/C: Maverick Weller, Dion Prestia, David Swallow, Josh Hall
Emg: Tom Hickey, Jackson Allen, Kyal Horsley
In: David Swallow, Aaron Hall, Josh Hall
Out: Joel Wilkinson (Ankle), Tom Hickey, Kyal Horsley