Where and When: Simonds Stadium, Saturday March 10, 3.40pm
Richmond will be making the dreaded trip down to Kardinia Park this week to face a Geelong team that is bolstered with the return of multiple premiership players.
Geelong and Richmond sit 5th and 12th on the NAB Cup ladder respectively, with Geelong the only team of the two that can still make the final, and their selection may reflect this.
Steven Johnson, Joel Corey, Corey Enright and Matthew Scarlett are just some of the names returning which means Geelong want a shot at the final or they are gearing up for round 1.
Richmond are coming off a tough game in the west and will be hoping to improve on last week’s effort where Fremantle kicked six last-quarter goals to take a comfortable victory.
The Tigers will see this as a good opportunity to test some of their new recruits against last year’s premiers, especially with the return of some of Geelong’s star players. Richmond will hope that some of their youngsters will rise to the challenge and look to cement a spot in the best 22.
The inclusion of some of Geelong’s best players is certainly a boost, but the Cats have been able to hold their own without them.
Players such as Hunt (22 disposals last week) and Hogan (23 disposals) who have been with Geelong for a couple of years have had excellent pre-seasons so far and if they keep their form up, they may get spots come round one.
Despite the end result Richmond were quite competitive in the first-half of last week’s game. They were lead by young star Dustin Martin who was a standout for the Tigers, gathering 16 possessions, 8 contested in the first-half.
However, his substitution at half-time along with ruckman Ivan Maric meant that Richmond lost their midfield drive.
While the addition of Cotchin this week will help resolve this problem, Coach Damien Hardwick will be looking towards both fringe and younger players to step up in the final round of the pre-season. The more their bottom six players improve, the closer Richmond will be to reaching the finals.
Players to watch:
Shane Tuck: Tuck has had an up and down career but at the end of last year he was able to put together a few good games in a row. This form has followed him through to the pre-season as he tries to cement his spot in the best 22.
Ivan Maric: The former Adelaide ruckman seems to be fitting in well as Richmond’s first choice ruckman and is taking some of the burden off players like Post and Vickery, as well as providing first hands to the midfield.
Taylor Hunt: The Geelong team has been hard to break into over the past few seasons but now there are a few openings and Hunt’s form in the few games so far suggest he might take on. He will look to impress further in this game
Trent West: With the retirement of Ottens, West has become Geelong’s number one ruckman and he will be looking to build on his solid pre-season thus far.
Richmond have everything going against them, they are returning from Perth to play a Geelong team that has 5 of its best players returning at their home ground with two less days of preparation.
Without these factors, Richmond would have struggled, if you add them in, Richmond has no hope. It should be another easy win for Geelong at Kardinia Park.
Geelong by 43
1. Mitchell Brown, 2. Billie Smedts, 9. James Kelly, 11. Joel Corey, 12. Trent West, 13. Tom Lonergan, 15. Jordan Schroder, 17. Shannon Byrnes, 19. Taylor Hunt, 20. Steven Johnson, 22. Mitchell Duncan, 23. Orren Stephenson, 24. Jed Bews, 25. Thomas Gillies, 26. Tom Hawkins, 28. Allen Christensen, 29. Cameron Guthrie, 30. Matthew Scarlett, 31. James Podsiadly, 32. Steven Motlop, 33. George Horlin-Smith, 34. Simon Hogan, 35. Paul Chapman, 41. Jesse Stringer, 42. Josh Walker, 43. George Burbury, 44. Corey Enright, 46. Jonathan Simpkin, 47. Ryan Bathie
2. Dylan Grimes, 4. Dustin Martin, 6. Shaun Grigg, 7. Matt Dea, 8. Jack Riewoldt, 9. Trent Cotchin, 10. Shane Edwards, 11. Jake Batchelor, 13. Brad Miller, 14. Bachar Houli, 17. Chris Newman, 18. Alex Rance, 19. Daniel Connors, 20. Ivan Maric, 21. Shane Tuck, 23. Daniel Jackson, 26. Robin Nahas, 28. Jake King, 29. Tyrone Vickery, 32. Brad Helbig, 35. Matthew White, 37. Jayden Post, 39. Tom Derickx, 41. Nathan Foley, 42. Brandon Ellis, 44. Matthew Arnot, 46. Jeromey Webberley, 47. Addam Maric, 51. Piva Wright