Preview Richmond 2022 preview: Season predictions for the Tigers

AstuteTiger

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Damien Hardwick has lead Richmond to glory three times already though if he was able to do it once more, with this list, he may just become the greatest we have ever seen.

January 5, 2022 - News Corp Australia Sports Newsroom
Dustin Martin, Riley Collier-Dawkins, [PLAYERCARD]Shai Bolton[/PLAYERCARD] and [PLAYERCARD]Trent Cotchin[/PLAYERCARD] are set to shoulder big loads in 2022.

Dustin Martin, Riley Collier-Dawkins, Shai Bolton and Trent Cotchin are set to shoulder big loads in 2022.

Is the dynasty over or was 2021 just a bump in the road for the Tigers?
Injuries in the back half of the year, none bigger than to triple Norm Smith medallist Dustin Martin, ended all hope for a last-minute resurgence.
But they’re not crying rebuild or recession at Punt Rd just yet, instead a sharp rebound is being predicted by Brendon Gale and co for this blue-chip club.


Dustin Martin is back in training after a kidney injury. Picture: Michael Klein

Dustin Martin is back in training after a kidney injury. Picture: Michael Klein

What happened in 2021?
When the Tigers went down to West Coast in an epic nailbiter in Perth in June, it seemed a potential finals preview.
As it happened, the wheels fell off both teams after that night with the Tigers crashing all the way to 12th. A scrambled Jack Riewoldt goal with seconds to go in the final round against Hawthorn gave the reigning premier a 2-1-6 record from the final nine matches.
There were some excuses, including a cursed run with injuries that took out almost the entire starting backline and midfield in different blocks – plus Dusty for the final five rounds.


The versatile [PLAYERCARD]Liam Baker[/PLAYERCARD] was one big Tiger improver in 2021. Picture: Michael Klein

The versatile Liam Baker was one big Tiger improver in 2021. Picture: Michael Klein

What happens in 2022?
It will be a careful balance between giving one last swan song for the Killers side-act Jack Riewoldt and inspirational leader Trent Cotchin and ensuring the club’s youth are afforded ample opportunity. That juggling act, coupled with a fit Martin, will see the triple premiers return to the finals realm.
The Tigers have taken a hit to their talls stocks with the departure of Callum-Coleman Jones and Mabior Chol, but will be boosted by the return of a fit Ivan Soldo, which covers those losses in the short term.
A solid spine and star power in the midfield are the biggest factors in not writing off Richmond just yet despite a disappointing finish to 2021.
The Tigers are looking to the future with a suite of early draft picks but with names like Tom Lynch, Robbie Tarrant, Dion Prestia, and Dylan Grimes alongside Martin, Cotchin and Riewoldt all entering or near their twilight years, they’ll still see themselves as a contender come September.


The time is now for Riley Collier-Dawkins. Picture: Michael Klein

The time is now for Riley Collier-Dawkins. Picture: Michael Klein

Biggest improver in 2022?
After biding his time in the VFL for two-and-a-half seasons, Riley Collier-Dawkins got his chance in Round 7 last year and didn’t take long to show the AFL world what he’s capable of.
Two weeks later against the Giants he registered 18 disposals, seven tackles, four clearances and two goals to play a key role in Richmond’s best win of the season.
His nine games were enough to claim the club’s best first-year player award, but the Tigers need Collier-Dawkins to take his game to another level in 2022.
With Cotchin likely in his final season, Shane Edwards nearing the end of his brilliant career and Martin and Kane Lambert both 30, the midfield baton is ready to be passed to a new generation. And Collier-Dawkins has the tools to lead that group that also includes Jack Ross, Thomson Dow, Will Martyn and exciting draftee Tyler Sonsie.


[PLAYERCARD]Shai Bolton[/PLAYERCARD] launches into the night sky. Picture: Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images

Shai Bolton launches into the night sky. Picture: Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images

X-FACTOR
The obvious answer is the man with the trademark fend-off, but it’s Shai Bolton who deserves this mantle now. Everything Bolton touches reeks of X-factor quality and we saw those glimpses start to become a more regular feature of his game in 2021. From his now famous mark of the year to matchwinning goals, Bolton looked like he was about to elevate his status in the game even further before an incident in a nightclub that resulted in a broken his hand halted his momentum. Bolton wasn’t poor in the back half of the year, but he didn’t reach the dizzying heights of his mark at the MCG or his form in the first half. But the platform has been created and there’s no reason the mercurial midfielder/forward can’t add an All-Australian jacket to his CV.

Where will Richmond finish in 2022?

A fourth flag for Dusty and Dimma
32 %

Top four
25 %

Bottom half of the eight
30 %

Missing finals - the dynasty is over
13 %
1003 votes


COACH STATUS
The master coach penned a contract before the season began which will see him at Tigerland until at least 2024. There were some well documented issues about Damien Hardwick’s demeanour during the Covid-19 enforced pause of the 2020 season and in the hub as well as a breakdown of his marriage, but Hardwick is still one of the most revered coaches in the game.
Brendon Gale told the Herald Sun earlier this year he doesn’t believe in premiership windows so essentially they’re ready to pounce at a fourth flag under Hardwick’s guidance. But the Tigers are definitely in a refresh mode, equipping themselves with a suite of top draftees. If Hardwick can add to his already long list of achievements in yellow and black then he’ll further etch his name in Tigers folklore.


Like his team, Damien Hardwick had a tough 2021. Picture: Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images

Like his team, Damien Hardwick had a tough 2021. Picture: Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images

Who’s is in the last year of their contract
Jack Ross, Liam Baker, Jack Riewoldt, Trent Cotchin, Shane Edwards, Sydney Stack, Jayden Short, Daniel Rioli, Marlion Pickett, Jake Aarts, Josh Caddy, Kane Lambert, Riley Collier-Dawkins, Samson Ryan, Nathan Broad, Will Martyn, Matthew Parker, Ben Miller, Mate Colina, Maurice Rioli, Noah Cumberland (re-rookied), Bigoa Nyuon (re-rookied)

INS FOR 2022
Robbie Tarrant (traded from North Melbourne), Josh Gibcus (draft pick 9), Tom Brown (draft pick 17), Tyler Sonsie (draft pick 28), Sam Banks (draft pick 29), Judson Clarke (draft pick 30)

OUTS FROM 2021
David Astbury (retired), Mabior Chol (free agent – Gold Coast), Callum Coleman-Jones (traded to North Melbourne), Derek Eggmolesse-Smith (delisted), Ryan Garthwaite (delisted), Bachar Houli (retired), Patrick Naish (delisted)

Former Kangaroo [PLAYERCARD]Robbie Tarrant[/PLAYERCARD] joined the Tigers in the trade period. Picture: Michael Klein

Former Kangaroo Robbie Tarrant joined the Tigers in the trade period. Picture: Michael Klein

FIRST SIX GAMES AND HOW MANY THEY WIN
Rd 1: Carlton @ MCG (L)
Rd 2: GWS MCG (W)
Rd 3: St Kilda @ Marvel Stadium (W)
Rd 4: Western Bulldogs @ MCG (L)
Rd 5: Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval (W)
Rd 6: Melbourne @ MCG (L)
Prediction: 3 wins, 3 losses


BEST 22 IN ’22
B: Grimes, Balta, Vlastuin
HB: Rioli, Tarrant, Short
C: Graham, Martin, McIntosh
HF: Lambert, Lynch, Bolton
F: Edwards, Riewoldt, Baker
Foll: Nankervis, Prestia, Cotchin
Int: Broad, Stack, Collier-Dawkins, Soldo
Emerg: Pickett, Ross, Mansell, Rioli Jr


 

Ma Xiao Long

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Also, have they done this for any other clubs yet? Would like to know how they think the ladder will look after round six.
 

AstuteTiger

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Not bad, dunno about a loss to Carlton rnd 1.
It is gonna happen one day but hopefully not this decade

Agree, nothing lasts forever but our list is still too talented to be dropping a game to Carlton in RD 1, I reckon we will be hungry as in 2022 to atone for the disappointment of 2021
 
Apr 27, 2014
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I think if we make the eight it will be a big plus and if we do I hope it's more with at least 4-5 of the younger brigade as it could be a positive into our step moving into the future. It's going to be an interesting year with where we're heading and I'd be more concerned if the older stalwarts are what we're relying on for this season's success. I think if things go pear shaped early on then games into the kids maybe the right approach.
 

Dr Tigris

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If the kids take the next step I have no problems in seeing us top 4. Premiership - well we'll see. But our best is still probably the best.

2 caveats
1) Have we adjusted our game plan for the new rules and other teams game plans? - I'd be shocked if we haven't
2) can our best players stay fit? - If so then we are in the right zone.

Hopefully a 4th on 6 years and the core of the team is turning over to a new group.
 

prodigy1311

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Should we be worried about how many players are in the last year of their contract, or is that normal? Seems like a lot.

It does seem a lot but imo it's a really good position to be in from a transition perspective. If the season goes bad, the stars will retire, we can really squeeze the list, trade out a few players with currency and bring in some new talent . Best way to refresh the list
 

Bird Man

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We just need our core players to stay fit this yr & who knows what we can achieve.
can put a line through Dion, Lambert, Cotchin, Edwards to stay fit for most of the season.

I think we are on the downward decline any team with a stacked midfield will give us problems next year.

So far in no particular order

Port, Swans, Dogs, Dee's, Geelong, Giants, Bombers are ahead of us

Gonna really need a "last dance" effort from Martin. Cotchin, Edwards, Jack to get across the line this year
 

Calcium Man

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Lol loss to Carlton. Anywhere else in the world, sports journalist need some sort of evidence of on field performance before they change their opinion on a teams chances. In Australia, Carlton and Essendon start every season as premiership contenders and top 4 certainties!
 

Grrr

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I think Stack will become one of our best players next season. A proper preseason, a good run at the end of last year and probably the most all round talented player on the list behind Dusty. With a bit of confidence and form his ceiling is right up there with anyones.

If he, Balta, Bolton and a few of the others that have shown they can play like RCD, Ross, Dow etc go to the next level, and they are all in the age bracket to do it, and we have a reasonable run with injury, we will be right in the race.

A lot will depend on Dusty, as it aways does, but reckon he will rise to the challenge.
 

DoItForCaptBlood

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can put a line through Dion, Lambert, Cotchin, Edwards to stay fit for most of the season.

I think we are on the downward decline any team with a stacked midfield will give us problems next year.

So far in no particular order

Port, Swans, Dogs, Dee's, Geelong, Giants, Bombers are ahead of us

Gonna really need a "last dance" effort from Martin. Cotchin, Edwards, Jack to get across the line this year
In 2020, quite a few teams gave us problems!
 

Jonesracing82

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can put a line through Dion, Lambert, Cotchin, Edwards to stay fit for most of the season.

I think we are on the downward decline any team with a stacked midfield will give us problems next year.

So far in no particular order

Port, Swans, Dogs, Dee's, Geelong, Giants, Bombers are ahead of us

Gonna really need a "last dance" effort from Martin. Cotchin, Edwards, Jack to get across the line this year
How are Essendoom ahead of us? They haven't beaten us for yrs & got into the Finals last yr on 10 wins, they are no certainty to get there again this yr. Their "match winner" only performs against bottom sides to begin with.
 

Jonesracing82

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Lol loss to Carlton. Anywhere else in the world, sports journalist need some sort of evidence of on field performance before they change their opinion on a teams chances. In Australia, Carlton and Essendon start every season as premiership contenders and top 4 certainties!
Problem with that is we have to listen to the same idiots getting the same things wrong yr on yr.
 

Lacustrus

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May 24, 2014
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I think if we make the eight it will be a big plus and if we do I hope it's more with at least 4-5 of the younger brigade as it could be a positive into our step moving into the future. It's going to be an interesting year with where we're heading and I'd be more concerned if the older stalwarts are what we're relying on for this season's success. I think if things go pear shaped early on then games into the kids maybe the right approach.
I agree wholeheartedly
I watched the 2019 Geelong / Richmond PF last night and it was played at such a peak intensity, that would be needed again in 2022, but maybe beyond our ageing stars.
We need the young guys to really step up but they may be a few years off …