carlton vs richmond AFL round 1 2013

When: Thursday March 28, 7:45PM
Where: MCG
BigFooty Game Day Thread

(Vote Blues on Facebook)

FB: Chris Yarran, Michael Jamison, Lachie Henderson
HB: Zach Tuohy, Nick Duigan, Bryce Gibbs
C: Kade Simpson, Andrew Carrazzo, Mitch Robinson
HF: Chris Judd, Andrew Walker, Jeff Garlett
FF: Eddie Betts, Levi Casboult, Shaun Hampson
R: Matthew Kreuzer, Marc Murphy, Brock McLean
I/C: Dennis Armfield, Josh Bootsma, Aaron Joseph, Kane Lucas
EMG: Tom Bell, Sam Rowe, Jeremy Laidler

(Vote Tigers on Facebook)

FB: Steve Morris, Alex Rance, Troy Chaplin
HB: Jake Batchelor, Chris Newman, Bachar Houli
C: Shaun Grigg, Trent Cotchin, Reece Conca
HF: Brett Deledio, Shane Edwards, Daniel Jackson
FF: Luke McGuane, Jack Riewoldt, Robbie Nahas
R: Ivan Maric, Dustin Martin, Shane Tuck
I/C: Ben Griffiths, Jake King, Tyrone Vickery, Brandon Ellis
EMG: Matthew White, Chris Knights, Nick Vlastuin

Forecast: Rain easing, 22 degrees
TAB: Carlton $1.82, Richmond $2.00

The 2013 AFL Season begins with this game in my eyes. Footy is back at the MCG, two old rivals with plenty at stake, both teams highly-touted going into the new year, and both sides desperately wanting a first-up victory. Carlton will be aiming for their fifth straight Round 1 win over the Tiges, while Richmond will be hoping to beat the Blues for the first time since 2008. Carlton are coming off a NAB Cup Grand Final defeat the hands of the Brisbane Lions, while the Tigers posted close victories against Hawthorn, Western Bulldogs and Essendon to suggest they might be over the last-minute shock defeats that held them back in 2012.

Cast your eyes over both squads and, on paper, each side has an endless amount of gamebreakers; players capable of taking hold of a game and having a big say on it. For the Blues, you can’t go past Chris Yarran running off half-back, and it will be interesting to see if he has a greater role under Mick Malthouse. We saw how Leon Davis flourished in the twilight of his career in defence under the premiership coach, and we could see a similar form-rise from Yarran. Kicked the Goal of the Year in the corresponding match last season.

He has had a tumultous pre-season, and no doubt Dustin Martin has had this date circled on the calender as the day that the off-field troubles take a backseat to his on-field performance. 2013 could be the year that he explodes. Whether that is in a positive manner or negative is yet to be determined, but coach Damien Hardwick and captain Trent Cotchin are backing the young star to force his critics to eat their words. Round 1 in front of 80,000 fans will tell if Martin is serious about doing that or not, and if he is, Richmond are a step closer to winning.

Needing a big year
All pre-season, Carlton fans have been spruiking former first round draft selection Kane Lucas, announcing that, under Malthouse, 2013 will be his coming of age. It definitely has merit, as the Silver Fox has history of being a close mentor to younger players (think Dale Thomas, Alex Fasolo and Jarryd Blair). The silky midfielder was one of Carlton’s best players in the NAB Cup Grand Final against the Lions, and will be wanting to start off his third season in the AFL in a positive manner.

Another former first round draft pick, Tyrone Vickery’s 2012 season was wiped out due to injury, and he managed just nine games. In those games, he struggled playing as a key forward, a role in which he excelled at in 2011, kicking 35 goals. Tall enough to play as a ruckman and agile enough to be a key forward alongside Jack Riewoldt, Vickery has two powerful strings to his bow, and needs to avoid injury and cement his position in the best 22.

He has been one of the most selected player in the past few seasons, but you get the feeling that 2013 will be Bryce Gibbs’ year to shine. With more midfield time forecast for the number one draft pick, he is sure to increase his SuperCoach average to a career-high. His form in the NAB Cup was excellent, averaging 112 points from two full-length matches. With a handy DPP status allowing him to be selected in defence and the midfield, he will be another player that coaches will invest in. $509,800 to be exact.

A former Essendon fringe player, Bachar Houli has transformed himself into a quality player for both Richmond and fantasy coaches. The half-back flanker will cost you $444,800, but his average of 100 from three full-length games in the NAB Cup ensures that you will be spending it wisely. A good point of difference.

As aforementioned, this is the sixth Round 1 blockbuster clash between these two sides, and seventh Round 1 game in a row. Carlton have dominated, winning six out of seven, including the past four. When you include return matches later in the season, Carlton have won nine games in a row, and a win tomorrow night will mean that for the first time since 1917, they will have defeated the Tigers 10 times in succession.

The best attendance between these two sides in Round 1 clashes was in 2009. On the night that Ben Cousins made his high-profile debut for Richmond, 87,043 people attended. That number will be given a fair shake tomorrow night.

Since 2000, Carlton and Richmond have played 22 times. From left to right, this is the result of each game from the start of the millenium.

C – C – R – R – C – C – C – R – C – R – R – C – R – C – C – C – C – C – C – C – C – C

Carlton: 16/22
Richmond: 6/22

I’ve been looking forward to this game for about six months now, and it promises to be a beauty. Richmond, fighting to start the season with a win for the first time since 2008, while Carlton, aiming to hold their dominance over the Tigers. In a changing of the times, i’m tipping RICHMOND with not much confidence due to their forward power as well as a stronger backline. Midfield battle should be class with a capital C.

Margin: 7.

First goalkicker: Matthew Kreuzer.