Jack Graham That Is
- Sep 13, 2015
- AFL Club
- Other Teams
Round 23 – Richmond vs Brisbane, MCG, Sunday 25/8 @ 3.20pmIt is hard to believe it was now 22 weeks ago the season started the same way it has for a number of years now – with a Richmond win over Carlton. Coincidentally, it was the same night our premiership hopes were ended thanks to a season-ending knee injury to Alex Rance. First the recruitment of ‘Liability’ Lynch, then the loss of Alex Rance. The tigers could not possibly compete without the best/most overrated (choose which best suits your argument) defender in the competition.
TV: Channel 7
Radio: Triple M, 3AW, ABC
TV: Channel 7
Radio: Triple M, 3AW, ABC
Somehow, here we stand. In some ways incredibly similar to this time in 2017 – 4thplace on the ladder, a win this week probably resulting in a QF matchup against the Cats, a loss and we are headed for an EF against whichever mid-table side chokes the least and grabs 8th. And there is quite a list of teams able to grab 8th, including this weeks opponent, the much improved Brisbane Lions.
Pre season I thought the lions would be big improvers this season, but would ultimately be proven to be not quite there yet as they miss the finals. And once again, I will be proven correct as a big tigers win will end their faint finals hopes on Sunday afternoon.
*looks at ladder*
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BRISBANE ARE ON TOP OF THE LADDER?
THE SAME TEAM THAT KICKED 2 GOALS AGAINST US LAST YEAR HAS SCORED THE MOST POINTS OF ALL TEAMS THIS SEASON AND IS ON TOP OF THE LADDER?????
(Pictured: Brisbane forgets to score)
Yep, the Lions have improved a lot this season. It started with a stunning 44pt win over West Coast despite conceding a 5 goal quarter time lead, and most recently a stirring 1pt win over Geelong. They are the only team on a longer winning streak than us, with 9 in a row. They are going to take some beating. And while I bloody hope we do it, I want all the Brisbane fans to know that I wish them nothing but the best – except when they face us. I am in admiration of how they’ve built a culture young players want to be in, just a few years after they were haemorrhaging players back to Victoria. Any team that beats Collingwood in a GF – not just once, but twice – IN A ROW – deserves some respect as well.
Key PlayersLachie Neale
This man is enjoying the sun and a non-Ross Lyon game plan. While he’s perhaps not in the same form he was in earlier in the season when he was well in the Brownlow discussion, he is still averaging 30 disposals and 7.6 clearances per game which is simply elite. He is averaging 6 score involvements per game – slightly lower than Dusty’s 7.1 which is somewhat inflated by his significant time spent forward. He was also very good on Saturday with 29 disposals, 6 clearances, 5 inside 50s and a goal. Simply put – let him off the chain and we’re in trouble.
(Pictured: Harry Styles was once a great junior footballer)
Actually, scratch that. Chris Scott reckons he had no impact on the game on Saturday. Just kicked 5 goals (25% of the total goals kicked) in a 1pt game. Trash player, goes missing in big moments and particularly in the 2ndhalf against top 4 opposition. Just 4 goals in the 2ndhalf
(Pictured: don’t forget he was part of this)
The man that needs no introduction- but I’ll give him one anyway.
The 3 x AA, 2 x JD medallist, Brownlow medallist, Norm Smith medallist, Gary Ayres medallist, Richmond premiership player, His Royal Highness – Dustin Martin.
Many have pondered whether he could – if anyone could – reach the same magical form he had in 2017. Well – here it is.
His last 4 games read like this.
R18 v Port: 30 disposals, 6 score involvements, 581m gained, 8 I50s, 5 clearances, 1 goal
R19 v Coll: 38 disposals, 11 SIs, 663m gained, 8 I50s, 4 clearances, 2 goals
R20 v Melb: 34 disposals, 10 SIs, 418m gained, 11 I50s, 5 clearances, 1 goal
R22 v WCE: 35 disposals, 8 SIs, 818m gained, 13 I50s (career high), 6 clearances, 1 goal
I’d imagine plenty of work will be put into him this week, but I’m not exactly sure he can be stopped when he’s in this form. And if work is put into him, it will only free up Dion Prestia.
(Pictured: one of the rare moments Dusty drifted into our dimension on Sunday)
Expected teamsI have NFI with us anymore. This is how the two teams ran out last week
Astbury, Broad, Grimes
Houli, Vlastuin, Short
Ellis, Prestia, Caddy
Rioli, Bolton, Lambert
Graham, Lynch, Riewoldt
Soldo, Edwards, Martin
Castagna, Ross, Chol, Baker.
If Nank’s back, either Chol or Soldo will go. I used to be all in for a Nank/Chol combo, now I’m not sure. Chol has been quiet for a few weeks now. Pickett is a tantalising prospect too. I honestly have no idea what we’ll do. Grimes could be an out too – Garthwaite and Balta would be in the box seat, Garth is more reliable, but a backline with both he and Astbury feels too slowww. Fingers crossed for Grimes.
Hodge, Andrews, Adams
Rayner, Gardiner, Rich
McCarthy, Zorko, Robinson
Cameron, Hipwood, McCluggage
Answerth, McStay, Berry
Martin, Neale, Lyons
Christensen, Witherden, Bailey, McInerney
Brisbane’s only change since R18 has been Walker replacing Andrews when he was suspended for a week. I don’t see much reason for them to change except for 1 forced by what Fagan described as a 2 to 4 week hammy for Allen Christensen. Who replaces him? Again, great insight here, I don’t know.
Note – Hugh McCluggage is probably my favourite name on any AFL list.
TipI’d like to preface this by saying that in the last 18 games we’ve played against Brisbane, there have been just two different types. Those we’ve won, and those I’ve attended. We’ve had a 16-1-1 record against them – and with myself in attendance, it’s 0-1-1. At this stage, I intend on going to the football on Sunday.
That being said, it is pretty bloody obvious to point out that the Richmond of the last 3 years is entirely different to that of the 35 before that, and I don’t think my attendance will have any bearing on the result. Nor will the winning streak we hold over Brisbane. They have been considerably worse than us for much of this time – but this year they are not.
We are in seriously hot form, and Sunday we showed something that we don’t seem to show often – we played from behind. We were beaten early but not only were we able to arrest the momentum, but we were able to claw our way back. That sort of thing will hold us in good stead against a Lions side that will be pumped up and may jump us. Brisbane too are on fire, but I think we’ve got a few too many avenues to goal for them to hold us at bay all day, and we’ll have a decisive 20min period at some point where we kick 4 or 5 goals to 1 and set up a 16pt win.