What it means for Richmond: A vital top-six scalp. The Tigers are yet to beat a team that currently sits above them, and with the Giants' patchy form both at the 'G and overall, the time is ripe.
What it means for GWS: Arresting an alarming form slump. The Giants have had a poor two weeks, losing to Essendon and Brisbane, and a rare win at the MCG will set them up well.
The stat: Richmond may have lost its past two games to GWS, but it holds the edge at the MCG. The Tigers have beaten the Giants on all four occasions the sides have met in Melbourne, the last match coming in the 2017 preliminary final.
The match-up: Jeremy Cameron v David Astbury
Cameron had a day out and a half against an inexperienced Ryan Garthwaite last time these sides met, but Astbury will be tougher. The Giant is his club's number one forward in the AFL Player Ratings (No.113 overall), with Astbury the Tigers' third key back (No.314).
Jeremy Cameron will have a bigger test against David Astbury this week. Picture: AFL Photos
It’s a big week for: Dustin Martin
Martin was poor against GWS last time the two sides met, succumbing to the tagging pressure of Matt De Boer and getting suspended for striking. With De Boer injured on the sidelines, Martin will be relishing the opportunity to rebound and put in a dominant performance.
Big call: Trent Cotchin will be determined not to lose to the Giants again and will dominate the clearances, recording 10 by himself.
Prediction: Tigers by 12 points
From Land of the Giants
I had to start all over again with this week’s preview.
I was going to say the game against the Tigers would be season-defining, but I get the sneaking suspicion that might have happened last night. The sense of expectation since the win at the Cattery has been shattered.
It was obvious Brisbane were “on” from the first bounce. Looking at the scorecard, you’d think that was where the game was lost, but in truth we were under constant pressure for four quarters and could only break even after quarter time. We didn’t kick consecutive goals until it was effectively over as a contest. Once the Lions established that twenty-point margin, it was never breached.
We struggle under sustained pressure and don’t appear to have an answer for it, which is now plain for all to see. I was surprised at the number of missed tackles and lack of second efforts. At one stage, several players were walking around with their hands on their heads. We’re really missing Callan Ward’s leadership.
It’s hard to say what we can do as far as personnel changes are concerned. There’s an obvious problem in the ruck, because Mumford, apart from all the frees he concedes, is now being managed and big Dawson is too slow around the ground. How do we solve that at this stage of the season?
As for next Sunday, well, looking at the ledger, Richmond’s wins to date have been against the Blues, Power, Swans, Demons, Dockers, Hawks, Bombers, Saints and Suns – all beneath them on the ladder. When they’ve lost, it’s been convincingly, especially to the Cats and Pies, but also to the Bulldogs, Crows…and us. We accounted for them quite easily back in Round 3 at home. But we also accounted for the Bombers back in Round 1, and look what happened in the return match on their turf…
In a strange way, we’re probably better off going into this than the Tigers, who are coming off a nice, easy win against the Suns. We’re coming off a tough game against a form team who are daring to dream. Much better preparation.
So, there might be some hope. But I fear the fat lady is only waiting for her cue…
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