What They're Saying - The Bulldogs Media Thread - Part 3

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BeMoreBont

Debutant
Oct 14, 2017
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428
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Western Bulldogs
On the topic of getting no media attention - Alex Keath should be a lock at this stage for the AA top 40 squad and probably the 22 aswell. However it won't happen because Lever, May, Andrews (who has actually been poor this year) Allir Allir ect are getting talked up the most.
 

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bobs head soup

Club Legend
Sep 14, 2015
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Arkangel

Team Captain
Jun 8, 2007
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Nothing super startling in here but quite a good read.

I wonder whether one of the authors was the journalist asking Bevo interesting questions during the press conference after last week’s game?

Also worth noting from one of those figures that the only team with a substantially worse 1v1 defensive record than us this season is the Tigers...
 

NBates

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 4, 2007
7,072
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West Footscray
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Mick McGuane: Injury-hit Tigers can still win this year’s flag, with the Western Bulldogs game a chance to regain their mojo
Mick McGuane reveals the Tigers who need to step up in Dusty’s absence, the job he wants Noah Balta to take on and the tag that must be made if they are to reignite their season against the Doggies.

Mick McGuane

6 min read
April 29, 2021 - 6:00AM
News Corp Australia Sports Newsroom
https://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/.../02b2f775c9c885a64c69408ea589aae1#share-tools

Champions, in sport, invariably find a way when critics start doubting them.

Muhammad Ali overcame numerous obstacles to become the heavyweight champion of the world on three separate occasions. Tiger Woods came back from public humiliation to win a US Masters in one of the great sporting revivals in 2019. On a more local front, some wondered whether Steve Smith would ever play for Australia again after the Sandpaper Gate scandal, let alone again become one of the world’s best batsmen.

Character, resilience and a desire to win — even when the cards are stacked against you — is something that sets the champions and champion teams apart from the rest.

That’s why I’m not writing Richmond off just yet, as some are doing at the moment. And that’s why I still believe they can win an extraordinary fourth flag in five seasons.

I doubted the Tigers back in 2019 when they lost Alex Rance in Round 1, Trent Cotchin was sidelined for chunks of the season and when Jack Riewoldt and Toby Nankervis faced injury issues. I was proven wrong.

Damien Hardwick and his players suddenly find themselves in the spotlight after a couple of indifferent performances.

I’m not making the same mistake now that they are 3-3 on the ledger and have a number of players out of Friday’s blockbuster clash with Western Bulldogs, including the best player in the competition in Dustin Martin as well as Kane Lambert, Nick Vlastuin and Dion Prestia.

They can still win this year’s premiership.

Port Adelaide, Melbourne, Western Bulldogs with a watch on Geelong are the only other teams under consideration at the moment.

The Tigers thrive on a challenge, and they will get one against the undefeated Bulldogs.

But here’s how they can bring about the undoing of the Dogs as well as kickstart their quest for a third straight premiership success, which would solidify their greatness.

NO DUSTY, IT’S TIME TO STEP UP …

The Bulldogs are conceding on average only 41 inside 50s per game — a by-product of their stoppage/territory game, as well as their defensive structure. Conversely, they average 59 inside 50s, with a +18 differential, which is huge.

The Tigers need Nankervis, Cotchin, Jack Graham, Shai Bolton and Shane Edwards to step up and lead the way. They need to challenge the best contest, clearance and shape team out of congestion in the competition.

This group must also find a way to get the ball into clean air and move it at speed to challenge the Bulldogs defensively. Improvement in their ball use and decision-making going inside 50 would have been strongly discussed after their loss to Melbourne.

Last week they went in enough times against the Demons — 60 to 56 — but it was largely ineffective.

Those mids need to be at their best to combat the loss of Martin, who has been a constant for the club since the time he was drafted.
He has played 250 of the club’s past 258 games.

So the onus is on Nankervis as the ruckman, Cotchin as the skipper, and fellow mids in Edwards, Graham and Bolton to take up the slack in Martin’s absence.

TIME TO TAG?

Controlling the Bulldogs’ midfield stars won’t be easy, but to get the job done the Tigers might need to depart from one aspect of their successful 2017-2020 template.

Hardwick has rarely applied a tag across the past four seasons as they are system based.

But why not have a contingency plan in place on Friday night and put extra pressure on Jack Macrae to negate his impact? Or is it Tom Liberatore?

It’s not part of the Tigers’ proven formula, but does coach Damien Hardwick put a tag on Jackson Macrae to negate his impact?

It’s not part of the Tigers’ proven formula, but does coach Damien Hardwick put a tag on Jackson Macrae to negate his impact?

I suspect Marcus Bontempelli — who has a 75/25 mid-to-forward split this year — might spend more time in attack this week in Tim English’s absence. If that’s the case, Dylan Grimes defends him, given how dangerous he can be close to goal.

Macrae needs to have Graham as his shadow. The Bulldogs’ star is a prolific ball winner who reads the game incredibly well. His running patterns are elite and as a result he often finds himself unmanned in space to help kickstart the Bulldogs offence.

The Tigers must not let Liberatore get under their guard.

He is brilliant around stoppages. He is tough and uncompromising and a first-possession winner. Libba generates many offensive chains out of stoppages. His output must be diluted.

Everyone talks about Bont, Adam Treloar, Bailey Smith and Josh Dunkley (who is now out injured), but Liberatore’s value shouldn’t be undervalued. He is a star.

Over to you, Cotch, here is your chance to physically challenge Libba and limit his stoppage impact.

If he is left unattended, he will dominate.

PRESSURE THE DOGS’ DEFENCE

The selection of Riley Collier-Dawkins as another midfielder is logical due to the Western Bulldogs’ plethora of talented mids.

The Tigers need to win the midfield battle and challenge the one area of vulnerability the Bulldogs have in defence.

Luke Beveridge’s team hasn’t lost an inside 50 count all season, but in Round 2 against the Eagles they were tested for the first three quarters by Josh Kennedy, Jack Darling and Oscar Allen, due to good supply.

Can the Tigers do the same thing on Friday night?

Alex Keath will go to Tom Lynch and Zaine Cordy will take Jack Riewoldt.

Collier-Dawkins gets his opportunity to stand up against quality midfielders to give enough service to the Tigers’ forward to challenge the Doggies’ defenders.

Enlisting Riley Collier-Dawkins as an extra midfielder is must up against the powerhouse Bulldogs onballers.

GET DEFENSIVE ONE ON ONES RIGHT

The Tigers’ defensive one-on-one stats across their past four matches — Sydney, Port Adelaide, St Kilda and Melbourne — make for damning reading.
Between Rounds 3 and 6, the Tigers were ranked 18th for defensive one-on-one wins (10%), for defensive one-on-one losses (43%) and for defensive one-on-one marks (19%).

Is that a hunger issue? Or something deeper?

Or is their pressure up the ground not where it should be?

Noah Balta must play on Aaron Naughton.

Naughton kicked five goals and took 14 marks (9 contested) when the Dogs beat the Tigers in 2019 — he didn’t play against them last year.
In that 2019 clash he played on Dylan Grimes, Nathan Broad and Balta, with only Balta keeping him goal-less for the 29 minutes he played on him.

It’s time to do that again — but for longer.


It’s plain and simple: Tigers defender Noah Balta has to go to Aaron Naughton.
CONTROL COUNTER ATTACK AREAS
This is where the game will be won or lost. Both teams can bounce out of this area and score.
The team that best defends the other is critical.
Also in Richmond’s case, they must take greater care of its offensive chains out of this area and into its forwards. The Bulldogs are defending this area strongly so Richmond must master their ball movement out of their counter attack region.
In the Bulldogs’ unbeaten run to date, their opposition have not capitalised on the turnovers they have generated between the arcs.
Pressure is paramount to force turnovers and the Tigers are one team that do create midfield turnovers and have the capacity to score from those turnovers providing their efficiency improves when going inside 50.
The beneficiaries will be Tom Lynch and Riewoldt if the games plays out this way as the Bulldogs key defenders will be vulnerable.

THE ‘G FACTOR

In their glory years Brisbane had the ‘Gabbatoir’; recently, it could be said Richmond has had ‘the G Force’.

The Tigers’ MCG home ground has proven a fortress … until the last month.

Hardwick’s team has won 44 matches (plus a draw) from 53 games since the club’s renaissance started in 2017.

Two of those losses have come in the past four weeks, to Sydney in Round 3 and last week against Melbourne.

The Tigers need to reassert their home ground advantage and their small forwards must bring the manic pressure to the contest.

HEAT ON SMALL FORWARDS

Richmond’s forward 50 pressure and goal kicking capacity has been one of the key factors in their recent success. But at the moment, collectively, it needs a rocket.

Jason Castagna has kicked nine goals from his six games in 2021, albeit he was kept goalless for the first time this year against the Demons last week.

Jake Aarts has seven goals and Daniel Rioli has managed six majors, but collectively these three players must provide enormous pressure and creativity against the likes of Caleb Daniel, Taylor Duryea, Hayden Crozier and Bailey Dale.

Rioli’s form has been patchy. He has been in and out of the senior team and must find some consistency.

The Tiger smalls need to get back to their trademark urgency and play with the sort of intensity that not only inspires their teammates, but helps put a winning score on the board.

Six goals, as Richmond kicked against Melbourne last week, isn’t going to win you many games. Bringing back that manic pressure will assist with this.

Trent Cotchin and his troops will know a win against the Doggies will silence their growing doubters.

PRESSURE FROM WITHIN

Richmond’s culture is super strong, but in recent weeks some frank discussion among players would have taken place, reminding teammates of their non-negotiables.

Richmond is at its best when it plays a chaos and instinctive game with flair attached to it.

This week provides a great opportunity to go back to those basics and rediscover the trademarks of contest, pressure and dare.

It is the second successive week they come up against an undefeated team. Becoming the first team to knock off the Bulldogs may restore their mojo and put themselves back in the flag conversation again, silencing the critics.
 

Mutt

Moderator
Aug 16, 2008
8,333
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Victoria
AFL Club
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Other Teams
Footscray; Lakers
Mick McGuane: Injury-hit Tigers can still win this year’s flag, with the Western Bulldogs game a chance to regain their mojo
Mick McGuane reveals the Tigers who need to step up in Dusty’s absence, the job he wants Noah Balta to take on and the tag that must be made if they are to reignite their season against the Doggies.

Mick McGuane

6 min read
April 29, 2021 - 6:00AM
News Corp Australia Sports Newsroom
https://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/.../02b2f775c9c885a64c69408ea589aae1#share-tools

Champions, in sport, invariably find a way when critics start doubting them.

Muhammad Ali overcame numerous obstacles to become the heavyweight champion of the world on three separate occasions. Tiger Woods came back from public humiliation to win a US Masters in one of the great sporting revivals in 2019. On a more local front, some wondered whether Steve Smith would ever play for Australia again after the Sandpaper Gate scandal, let alone again become one of the world’s best batsmen.

Character, resilience and a desire to win — even when the cards are stacked against you — is something that sets the champions and champion teams apart from the rest.

That’s why I’m not writing Richmond off just yet, as some are doing at the moment. And that’s why I still believe they can win an extraordinary fourth flag in five seasons.

I doubted the Tigers back in 2019 when they lost Alex Rance in Round 1, Trent Cotchin was sidelined for chunks of the season and when Jack Riewoldt and Toby Nankervis faced injury issues. I was proven wrong.

Damien Hardwick and his players suddenly find themselves in the spotlight after a couple of indifferent performances.

I’m not making the same mistake now that they are 3-3 on the ledger and have a number of players out of Friday’s blockbuster clash with Western Bulldogs, including the best player in the competition in Dustin Martin as well as Kane Lambert, Nick Vlastuin and Dion Prestia.

They can still win this year’s premiership.

Port Adelaide, Melbourne, Western Bulldogs with a watch on Geelong are the only other teams under consideration at the moment.

The Tigers thrive on a challenge, and they will get one against the undefeated Bulldogs.

But here’s how they can bring about the undoing of the Dogs as well as kickstart their quest for a third straight premiership success, which would solidify their greatness.

NO DUSTY, IT’S TIME TO STEP UP …

The Bulldogs are conceding on average only 41 inside 50s per game — a by-product of their stoppage/territory game, as well as their defensive structure. Conversely, they average 59 inside 50s, with a +18 differential, which is huge.

The Tigers need Nankervis, Cotchin, Jack Graham, Shai Bolton and Shane Edwards to step up and lead the way. They need to challenge the best contest, clearance and shape team out of congestion in the competition.

This group must also find a way to get the ball into clean air and move it at speed to challenge the Bulldogs defensively. Improvement in their ball use and decision-making going inside 50 would have been strongly discussed after their loss to Melbourne.

Last week they went in enough times against the Demons — 60 to 56 — but it was largely ineffective.

Those mids need to be at their best to combat the loss of Martin, who has been a constant for the club since the time he was drafted.
He has played 250 of the club’s past 258 games.

So the onus is on Nankervis as the ruckman, Cotchin as the skipper, and fellow mids in Edwards, Graham and Bolton to take up the slack in Martin’s absence.

TIME TO TAG?

Controlling the Bulldogs’ midfield stars won’t be easy, but to get the job done the Tigers might need to depart from one aspect of their successful 2017-2020 template.

Hardwick has rarely applied a tag across the past four seasons as they are system based.

But why not have a contingency plan in place on Friday night and put extra pressure on Jack Macrae to negate his impact? Or is it Tom Liberatore?

It’s not part of the Tigers’ proven formula, but does coach Damien Hardwick put a tag on Jackson Macrae to negate his impact?

It’s not part of the Tigers’ proven formula, but does coach Damien Hardwick put a tag on Jackson Macrae to negate his impact?

I suspect Marcus Bontempelli — who has a 75/25 mid-to-forward split this year — might spend more time in attack this week in Tim English’s absence. If that’s the case, Dylan Grimes defends him, given how dangerous he can be close to goal.

Macrae needs to have Graham as his shadow. The Bulldogs’ star is a prolific ball winner who reads the game incredibly well. His running patterns are elite and as a result he often finds himself unmanned in space to help kickstart the Bulldogs offence.

The Tigers must not let Liberatore get under their guard.

He is brilliant around stoppages. He is tough and uncompromising and a first-possession winner. Libba generates many offensive chains out of stoppages. His output must be diluted.

Everyone talks about Bont, Adam Treloar, Bailey Smith and Josh Dunkley (who is now out injured), but Liberatore’s value shouldn’t be undervalued. He is a star.

Over to you, Cotch, here is your chance to physically challenge Libba and limit his stoppage impact.

If he is left unattended, he will dominate.

PRESSURE THE DOGS’ DEFENCE

The selection of Riley Collier-Dawkins as another midfielder is logical due to the Western Bulldogs’ plethora of talented mids.

The Tigers need to win the midfield battle and challenge the one area of vulnerability the Bulldogs have in defence.

Luke Beveridge’s team hasn’t lost an inside 50 count all season, but in Round 2 against the Eagles they were tested for the first three quarters by Josh Kennedy, Jack Darling and Oscar Allen, due to good supply.

Can the Tigers do the same thing on Friday night?

Alex Keath will go to Tom Lynch and Zaine Cordy will take Jack Riewoldt.

Collier-Dawkins gets his opportunity to stand up against quality midfielders to give enough service to the Tigers’ forward to challenge the Doggies’ defenders.

Enlisting Riley Collier-Dawkins as an extra midfielder is must up against the powerhouse Bulldogs onballers.

GET DEFENSIVE ONE ON ONES RIGHT

The Tigers’ defensive one-on-one stats across their past four matches — Sydney, Port Adelaide, St Kilda and Melbourne — make for damning reading.
Between Rounds 3 and 6, the Tigers were ranked 18th for defensive one-on-one wins (10%), for defensive one-on-one losses (43%) and for defensive one-on-one marks (19%).

Is that a hunger issue? Or something deeper?

Or is their pressure up the ground not where it should be?

Noah Balta must play on Aaron Naughton.

Naughton kicked five goals and took 14 marks (9 contested) when the Dogs beat the Tigers in 2019 — he didn’t play against them last year.
In that 2019 clash he played on Dylan Grimes, Nathan Broad and Balta, with only Balta keeping him goal-less for the 29 minutes he played on him.

It’s time to do that again — but for longer.


It’s plain and simple: Tigers defender Noah Balta has to go to Aaron Naughton.
CONTROL COUNTER ATTACK AREAS
This is where the game will be won or lost. Both teams can bounce out of this area and score.
The team that best defends the other is critical.
Also in Richmond’s case, they must take greater care of its offensive chains out of this area and into its forwards. The Bulldogs are defending this area strongly so Richmond must master their ball movement out of their counter attack region.
In the Bulldogs’ unbeaten run to date, their opposition have not capitalised on the turnovers they have generated between the arcs.
Pressure is paramount to force turnovers and the Tigers are one team that do create midfield turnovers and have the capacity to score from those turnovers providing their efficiency improves when going inside 50.
The beneficiaries will be Tom Lynch and Riewoldt if the games plays out this way as the Bulldogs key defenders will be vulnerable.

THE ‘G FACTOR

In their glory years Brisbane had the ‘Gabbatoir’; recently, it could be said Richmond has had ‘the G Force’.

The Tigers’ MCG home ground has proven a fortress … until the last month.

Hardwick’s team has won 44 matches (plus a draw) from 53 games since the club’s renaissance started in 2017.

Two of those losses have come in the past four weeks, to Sydney in Round 3 and last week against Melbourne.

The Tigers need to reassert their home ground advantage and their small forwards must bring the manic pressure to the contest.

HEAT ON SMALL FORWARDS

Richmond’s forward 50 pressure and goal kicking capacity has been one of the key factors in their recent success. But at the moment, collectively, it needs a rocket.

Jason Castagna has kicked nine goals from his six games in 2021, albeit he was kept goalless for the first time this year against the Demons last week.

Jake Aarts has seven goals and Daniel Rioli has managed six majors, but collectively these three players must provide enormous pressure and creativity against the likes of Caleb Daniel, Taylor Duryea, Hayden Crozier and Bailey Dale.

Rioli’s form has been patchy. He has been in and out of the senior team and must find some consistency.

The Tiger smalls need to get back to their trademark urgency and play with the sort of intensity that not only inspires their teammates, but helps put a winning score on the board.

Six goals, as Richmond kicked against Melbourne last week, isn’t going to win you many games. Bringing back that manic pressure will assist with this.

Trent Cotchin and his troops will know a win against the Doggies will silence their growing doubters.

PRESSURE FROM WITHIN

Richmond’s culture is super strong, but in recent weeks some frank discussion among players would have taken place, reminding teammates of their non-negotiables.

Richmond is at its best when it plays a chaos and instinctive game with flair attached to it.

This week provides a great opportunity to go back to those basics and rediscover the trademarks of contest, pressure and dare.

It is the second successive week they come up against an undefeated team. Becoming the first team to knock off the Bulldogs may restore their mojo and put themselves back in the flag conversation again, silencing the critics.
That's a very negative plan to beat the Bulldogs - focussing almost exclusively on negating our advantages and strengths. If Richmond plays that way, we will smash them. Really poor analysis by McGuane in my view.
 

X_box_X

King of September
Mar 15, 2001
20,268
16,999
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Chelsea
No Barkley Street Podcast this week. Frequent listeners to the Podcast will be well aware of how dismal our record is following the non-production of a Barkley Street episode. It is obviously purely coincidental, but our match results last year and so far this year appear to be influenced by whether a weekly episode is produced.
 

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Mantis Toboggan

Club Legend
Mar 24, 2018
1,773
3,719
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The newsreader on SEN in the afternoons has a very annoying voice. All her sentences have the same inflection. Doesn’t matter if she’s informing us of a 10 car pile-up or the results of Lower Plenty’s Annual Fluffiest Dog Contest, it’s all delivered with the same sentence pattern.

It’s irritating.

That is all.
 

ThePhreshOne

Club Legend
Apr 5, 2016
2,751
6,128
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The newsreader on SEN in the afternoons has a very annoying voice. All her sentences have the same inflection. Doesn’t matter if she’s informing us of a 10 car pile-up or the results of Lower Plenty’s Annual Fluffiest Dog Contest, it’s all delivered with the same sentence pattern.

It’s irritating.

That is all.
I know EXACTLY what you're talking about. It's so frustrating.
 

D Mitchell

Premiership Player
Jul 28, 2006
3,245
1,019
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That's a very negative plan to beat the Bulldogs - focussing almost exclusively on negating our advantages and strengths. If Richmond plays that way, we will smash them. Really poor analysis by McGuane in my view.
You've created a monster with your assessment. look what Macrae needs to have Graham as his shadow became.
 

ScragCity

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 7, 2015
11,006
23,752
AFL Club
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Mick McGuane: Injury-hit Tigers can still win this year’s flag, with the Western Bulldogs game a chance to regain their mojo
Mick McGuane reveals the Tigers who need to step up in Dusty’s absence, the job he wants Noah Balta to take on and the tag that must be made if they are to reignite their season against the Doggies.

Mick McGuane

6 min read
April 29, 2021 - 6:00AM
News Corp Australia Sports Newsroom
https://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/.../02b2f775c9c885a64c69408ea589aae1#share-tools

Champions, in sport, invariably find a way when critics start doubting them.

Muhammad Ali overcame numerous obstacles to become the heavyweight champion of the world on three separate occasions. Tiger Woods came back from public humiliation to win a US Masters in one of the great sporting revivals in 2019. On a more local front, some wondered whether Steve Smith would ever play for Australia again after the Sandpaper Gate scandal, let alone again become one of the world’s best batsmen.

Character, resilience and a desire to win — even when the cards are stacked against you — is something that sets the champions and champion teams apart from the rest.

That’s why I’m not writing Richmond off just yet, as some are doing at the moment. And that’s why I still believe they can win an extraordinary fourth flag in five seasons.

I doubted the Tigers back in 2019 when they lost Alex Rance in Round 1, Trent Cotchin was sidelined for chunks of the season and when Jack Riewoldt and Toby Nankervis faced injury issues. I was proven wrong.

Damien Hardwick and his players suddenly find themselves in the spotlight after a couple of indifferent performances.

I’m not making the same mistake now that they are 3-3 on the ledger and have a number of players out of Friday’s blockbuster clash with Western Bulldogs, including the best player in the competition in Dustin Martin as well as Kane Lambert, Nick Vlastuin and Dion Prestia.

They can still win this year’s premiership.

Port Adelaide, Melbourne, Western Bulldogs with a watch on Geelong are the only other teams under consideration at the moment.

The Tigers thrive on a challenge, and they will get one against the undefeated Bulldogs.

But here’s how they can bring about the undoing of the Dogs as well as kickstart their quest for a third straight premiership success, which would solidify their greatness.

NO DUSTY, IT’S TIME TO STEP UP …

The Bulldogs are conceding on average only 41 inside 50s per game — a by-product of their stoppage/territory game, as well as their defensive structure. Conversely, they average 59 inside 50s, with a +18 differential, which is huge.

The Tigers need Nankervis, Cotchin, Jack Graham, Shai Bolton and Shane Edwards to step up and lead the way. They need to challenge the best contest, clearance and shape team out of congestion in the competition.

This group must also find a way to get the ball into clean air and move it at speed to challenge the Bulldogs defensively. Improvement in their ball use and decision-making going inside 50 would have been strongly discussed after their loss to Melbourne.

Last week they went in enough times against the Demons — 60 to 56 — but it was largely ineffective.

Those mids need to be at their best to combat the loss of Martin, who has been a constant for the club since the time he was drafted.
He has played 250 of the club’s past 258 games.

So the onus is on Nankervis as the ruckman, Cotchin as the skipper, and fellow mids in Edwards, Graham and Bolton to take up the slack in Martin’s absence.

TIME TO TAG?

Controlling the Bulldogs’ midfield stars won’t be easy, but to get the job done the Tigers might need to depart from one aspect of their successful 2017-2020 template.

Hardwick has rarely applied a tag across the past four seasons as they are system based.

But why not have a contingency plan in place on Friday night and put extra pressure on Jack Macrae to negate his impact? Or is it Tom Liberatore?

It’s not part of the Tigers’ proven formula, but does coach Damien Hardwick put a tag on Jackson Macrae to negate his impact?

It’s not part of the Tigers’ proven formula, but does coach Damien Hardwick put a tag on Jackson Macrae to negate his impact?

I suspect Marcus Bontempelli — who has a 75/25 mid-to-forward split this year — might spend more time in attack this week in Tim English’s absence. If that’s the case, Dylan Grimes defends him, given how dangerous he can be close to goal.

Macrae needs to have Graham as his shadow. The Bulldogs’ star is a prolific ball winner who reads the game incredibly well. His running patterns are elite and as a result he often finds himself unmanned in space to help kickstart the Bulldogs offence.

The Tigers must not let Liberatore get under their guard.

He is brilliant around stoppages. He is tough and uncompromising and a first-possession winner. Libba generates many offensive chains out of stoppages. His output must be diluted.

Everyone talks about Bont, Adam Treloar, Bailey Smith and Josh Dunkley (who is now out injured), but Liberatore’s value shouldn’t be undervalued. He is a star.

Over to you, Cotch, here is your chance to physically challenge Libba and limit his stoppage impact.

If he is left unattended, he will dominate.

PRESSURE THE DOGS’ DEFENCE

The selection of Riley Collier-Dawkins as another midfielder is logical due to the Western Bulldogs’ plethora of talented mids.

The Tigers need to win the midfield battle and challenge the one area of vulnerability the Bulldogs have in defence.

Luke Beveridge’s team hasn’t lost an inside 50 count all season, but in Round 2 against the Eagles they were tested for the first three quarters by Josh Kennedy, Jack Darling and Oscar Allen, due to good supply.

Can the Tigers do the same thing on Friday night?

Alex Keath will go to Tom Lynch and Zaine Cordy will take Jack Riewoldt.

Collier-Dawkins gets his opportunity to stand up against quality midfielders to give enough service to the Tigers’ forward to challenge the Doggies’ defenders.

Enlisting Riley Collier-Dawkins as an extra midfielder is must up against the powerhouse Bulldogs onballers.

GET DEFENSIVE ONE ON ONES RIGHT

The Tigers’ defensive one-on-one stats across their past four matches — Sydney, Port Adelaide, St Kilda and Melbourne — make for damning reading.
Between Rounds 3 and 6, the Tigers were ranked 18th for defensive one-on-one wins (10%), for defensive one-on-one losses (43%) and for defensive one-on-one marks (19%).

Is that a hunger issue? Or something deeper?

Or is their pressure up the ground not where it should be?

Noah Balta must play on Aaron Naughton.

Naughton kicked five goals and took 14 marks (9 contested) when the Dogs beat the Tigers in 2019 — he didn’t play against them last year.
In that 2019 clash he played on Dylan Grimes, Nathan Broad and Balta, with only Balta keeping him goal-less for the 29 minutes he played on him.

It’s time to do that again — but for longer.


It’s plain and simple: Tigers defender Noah Balta has to go to Aaron Naughton.
CONTROL COUNTER ATTACK AREAS
This is where the game will be won or lost. Both teams can bounce out of this area and score.
The team that best defends the other is critical.
Also in Richmond’s case, they must take greater care of its offensive chains out of this area and into its forwards. The Bulldogs are defending this area strongly so Richmond must master their ball movement out of their counter attack region.
In the Bulldogs’ unbeaten run to date, their opposition have not capitalised on the turnovers they have generated between the arcs.
Pressure is paramount to force turnovers and the Tigers are one team that do create midfield turnovers and have the capacity to score from those turnovers providing their efficiency improves when going inside 50.
The beneficiaries will be Tom Lynch and Riewoldt if the games plays out this way as the Bulldogs key defenders will be vulnerable.

THE ‘G FACTOR

In their glory years Brisbane had the ‘Gabbatoir’; recently, it could be said Richmond has had ‘the G Force’.

The Tigers’ MCG home ground has proven a fortress … until the last month.

Hardwick’s team has won 44 matches (plus a draw) from 53 games since the club’s renaissance started in 2017.

Two of those losses have come in the past four weeks, to Sydney in Round 3 and last week against Melbourne.

The Tigers need to reassert their home ground advantage and their small forwards must bring the manic pressure to the contest.

HEAT ON SMALL FORWARDS

Richmond’s forward 50 pressure and goal kicking capacity has been one of the key factors in their recent success. But at the moment, collectively, it needs a rocket.

Jason Castagna has kicked nine goals from his six games in 2021, albeit he was kept goalless for the first time this year against the Demons last week.

Jake Aarts has seven goals and Daniel Rioli has managed six majors, but collectively these three players must provide enormous pressure and creativity against the likes of Caleb Daniel, Taylor Duryea, Hayden Crozier and Bailey Dale.

Rioli’s form has been patchy. He has been in and out of the senior team and must find some consistency.

The Tiger smalls need to get back to their trademark urgency and play with the sort of intensity that not only inspires their teammates, but helps put a winning score on the board.

Six goals, as Richmond kicked against Melbourne last week, isn’t going to win you many games. Bringing back that manic pressure will assist with this.

Trent Cotchin and his troops will know a win against the Doggies will silence their growing doubters.

PRESSURE FROM WITHIN

Richmond’s culture is super strong, but in recent weeks some frank discussion among players would have taken place, reminding teammates of their non-negotiables.

Richmond is at its best when it plays a chaos and instinctive game with flair attached to it.

This week provides a great opportunity to go back to those basics and rediscover the trademarks of contest, pressure and dare.

It is the second successive week they come up against an undefeated team. Becoming the first team to knock off the Bulldogs may restore their mojo and put themselves back in the flag conversation again, silencing the critics.
Who tags our trainers in this scenario? This bloke could be in for a big night if the Tigers don't send someone to him.

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Footscrazy

Team Captain
Jun 18, 2011
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No Barkley Street Podcast this week. Frequent listeners to the Podcast will be well aware of how dismal our record is following the non-production of a Barkley Street episode. It is obviously purely coincidental, but our match results last year and so far this year appear to be influenced by whether a weekly episode is produced.
 

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