Preview Round 18 Adelaide vs Richmond, Adelaide Oval, 4.40pm Adelaide time

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tugga

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Who would have thought that three years after the 2017 grand final, the two combatants would meet in the final home and away round in 2020 with one club playing for a top four spot and the other playing to avoid the wooden spoon?
Most pundits would have predicted that it would be the Crows playing for a home final and the Tigers slipping back to the abyss that was customary for the better part of four decades.
Not so.
Instead, Adelaide has since sacked its coach and tumbled down the ladder while Richmond has gone on to win one more flag.
Footy is a funny game.





THE FORM
The Crows lost their first 13 games and had commentators saying they are the worst side since Fitzroy’s fateful final year in the competition.
Sound familiar?
Damien Hardwick lost his first nine games in charge, prompting similar calls.
However Adelaide has won its past three games and looks to have found some confidence in the game plan.
Plucky wins over Hawthorn and finals contenders GWS and Carlton (wasn’t that great to see!) has resulted in the easybeat tag being rested.
The Crows are scoring well and credit where it’s due, it’s actually good to see a bottom side trying for wins rather than playing for draft picks (because that’s worked out so well for Carlton and Melbourne hasn’t it?).
Richmond is in peak form, having disposed of fellow flag contenders Brisbane, West Coast and Geelong in ominous fashion.

CH-CH-CH-CHANGES
I’m tipping Tex Walker to be back in the team, which would most likely be his final game. And what a way to go out in front of his home crowd by beating the reigning premiers and knocking them out of the final four. I know we like to hang it on the Big Texan, but if it is his final game, good luck in the future big fella and don’t let yourself go too much.




Daniel Talia will be brought back into the line up to play his 200th game while Bryce Gibbs will enter the land of retirement.
Frampton is likely to get dropped, but let’s hope he plays.
Richmond will make at least two forced changes with Ivan Soldo out for the rest of the season and most of the next and Tom Lynch nursing a hamstring strain.
It opens the door for Mabior Chol to return after booting five goals in the scratch match.


It’s likely Shane Edwards will be back and David Astbury is also available.
I think Jake Aarts will be the unlucky casualty and Astbury could actually spend some time forward.
Yep, call me loony, call me crazy, but don’t call me two phones.

SNAKES AND LADDERS
The big question is, will Adelaide even want to win?
A win will almost certainly deny them the number one pick in the draft, but the motivation of avoiding the wooden spoon would be too great.
Western Bulldogs will get the real No 1 pick anyway, thanks to their NGA pick.
And is there any real difference between pick and pick two? Pick one can almost be a poisoned chalice if the lad doesn’t have the mental fortitude to deal with it.
For Richmond it’s simple. Win and finish top four. Lose and finish fifth and face an elimination final.

BATTLE OF THE MIDFIELDS AND RUCKS
I quite liked what I saw of Adelaide’s mids last week. The Crouch brothers back playing together adds a little bit of muscle. Gibbs also provided a bit on the weekend, but he won’t be there.
Richmond will want the game on the outside which would benefit the speed of Bolton.
Richmond will miss Ivan Soldo and with Riley O’Brien having a good season, the pressure will fall on Nankervis to compete with some pinch hitting by Chol.

DEE-FENCE
Himmelburg will need to be watched closely, but Richmond has one of the best defences in the competition.
Balta will take the poorer version of Tom Lynch and Astbury, if he plays, might get Himmelberg while Walker, McAdam and Stengle will need to be watched.
This leaves Grimes to do Grimes things like stage for free kicks if you listen to Kane Cornes and Vlastuin to do Vlastuin things such as just be a total mean bastard and ninja warrior.


With no Lynch to worry about, Talia will take Riewoldt while Hartigan will probably get our resting tall whether it be Chol or … actually we have nobody else. The Crows will need to be careful not to go in too tall in defence.

THE DEPARTMENT OF YOUTH
The Crows have some exciting young players in Rory Sloane, Taylor Walker and David Mackay.
In all seriousness, I like the look of Lachlan Sholl and Harry Schoenberg and they will be able to add a number one pick next year.
It’s difficult to believe that Noah Balta, Shai Bolton and Liam Baker are all under 22.



GAMBLE RESPONSIBLY
Tyson Stengle to kick the first goal and then barely touch it after that.
Other options include Shane McAdam, Jack Riewoldt and the poor man’s Tom Lynch.
Please remember to gamble within your means.

THE VERDICT
I expect Adelaide to put up a real fight.
They pushed Geelong and Collingwood before winning their three games in a row, which suggests they will do the same here.
But I expect them to tire after half time.
If Richmond can’t beat the team sitting 18th on the ladder, it doesn’t deserve a top four spot.

Richmond 3.1.21 5.3.33 8.6.54 13.9.87
Adelaide 2.2.14 3.6.24 5.7.37 7.9.51
GOALS: Richmond: Riewoldt 3, Castagna 2, Martin 2, Chol, Rioli, Lambert, Bolton, Graham, McIntosh. Adelaide: Himmelberg 2, Walker, Stengle, B. Crouch, Lynch, McAdam.
BEST: Richmond: Vlastuin, Martin, Cotchin, Grimes, Baker, Short. Adelaide: M. Crouch, O’Brien, Smith, Laird, Sloane, Sholl.

THE FINAL WORD ACCORDING TO TUGGA




THE FINAL WORD ACCORDING TO DUSTY

 
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Crows look to have finally started to get what Nicks is trying to bring in and have started to play a very disciplined style of footy especially in their defensive set up as they take away the corridor and are forcing teams to play more of a down the line style of play. Once they get the ball though they are looking at moving the ball quickly and direct to their forward line where they have a few dangerous weapons to use with tall targets in Himmelberg & Frampton plus Fogarty who plays taller than he is. Add in McAdam & Stengle and they have the foundations of a forward line to build around.

A loss by the Roos to the Eagles on Thursday night will give the Crows the chance to avoid the wooden spoon something that they have never had the misfortune to win. Being a proud club they will be desperate to avoid picking up their first and winning 4 straight to end the season will really help Nicks and the coaching panel sell their vision to the playing group as they head into another preseason. It may also help them keep the likes of Brad Crouch who still hasn't signed a new deal.

On the flip side we have been a little up and down with our performances in recent weeks. Against the Eagles we were up and about for the contest and set the scene early, same with the game against Geelong last week. However we looked sluggish against the Dockers in between. I'm expecting that we'll be up for this one especially if the Eagles win as expected against the Roos as it will put our spot in the top 4 under threat. The other thing is that with finals to come there will be guy looking at holding their spot as we will be bringing back a few handy players over the next couple of weeks with Lynch Edwards & Astbury to come in this week or the first final, while the likes of Caddy Prestia Broad & Higgins will be also looking for a chance to return.

FWIW this week I'm expecting the following changes:

Out: Soldo Lynch Aarts
In: Chol Astbury Edwards

B: Grimes Balta Astbury
HB: Houli Vlastuin Short
C: Pickett Graham McIntosh
HF: Castagna Lambert Rioli
F: Martin Riewoldt Chol
R: Nankervis Cotchin Bolton
INT: Baker Edwards Ross Markov

Astbury comes back to stiffen up the defensive unit which also allows Balta to become more of an attacking weapon and also allowing Grimes to return to being a mid sized defender who can also come in as the 3rd man up. Edwards returning means he can get some touch before the finals and we can also manage his work load in his first game back. Chol plays this week as the second tall forward/ruck and then reverts to the second ruck role when Lynch returns, but that only happens if he has an impact across all 4 quarters otherwise I can see us changing tactics and reverting to using an undersized ruck for a few minutes a quarter if Chol can't make an impact.

For mine Tigers by 27 for effectively the 4th week in a row
 

Dr Tigris

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We have to win this. I reckon Dimma might give them a rev up to play real hard. One to ensure we get that home game against the Lions. Second to have good solid form going into finals.

Hope they come out and play hard. A half baked approach could be dangerous against an in form Crows - scary and strange thing to say this year.
 

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RunningBounce

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So why does this feel like a big one of these to me?

View attachment 962044
37 years of mental conditioning can't be turned around in 4 seasons - even though those 4 seasons have been bloody glorious. Still catch myself bracing for the impact of a poor loss from time to time. And by "time to time", I mean every single game.
 

darcytiger

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37 years of mental conditioning can't be turned around in 4 seasons - even though those 4 seasons have been bloody glorious. Still catch myself bracing for the impact of a poor loss from time to time. And by "time to time", I mean every single game.
I still think that we’re lucky to win every game. It’s so deep seeded in me
 
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