Tigers Try To March On Against Saints

Picture: Michael Dodge/adelaidenow.com.au
Brett Deledio is a key cog in Richmond's midfield. Image courtesy of adelaidenow.com.au/Michael Dodge
Last 5 Meetings

Round 10, 2012 – Richmond Tigers 121 d St Kilda Saints 113
Round 2, 2011 – St Kilda Saints 95 drew with Richmond Tigers 95
Round 21, 2010 – St Kilda Saints 115 d Richmond Tigers 94
Round 11, 2010 – St Kilda Saints 97 d Richmond Tigers 59
Round 13, 2009 – St Kilda Saints 92 d Richmond Tigers 36


Current Form

  Rd 1 
 St Kilda   L
 Richmond   W


It seems as though as St Kilda’s slide down the AFL ladder over the past couple of seasons has coincided with the rise of this young Richmond outfit. The Saints won 13 straight over the Tigers between 2003 and 2010, but a draw in round 2 in 2011 broke that streak, then in one of the best shootouts of last season, Richmond finally beat its nemesis in an eight-point thriller at Etihad Stadium.

The teams come in to this clash with contrasting form. Despite wilting late against Carlton and almost surrendering a 42-point lead, Richmond managed to hold off the fast-finishing Blues, thanks in part to Chris Yarran misfiring with two attempts on goal. Tyrone Vickery made the most of the attention paid to Jack Riewoldt booting three goals, while Trent Cotchin (33 disposals) and Brett Deledio (17 disposals and three goals) were all class in the midfield.

St Kilda was undermanned in its 90-77 loss to the Gold Coast on Saturday night. There was no Sam Fisher, Sean Dempster or Tom Simpkin at the back, but it wasn’t the Suns’ tall forwards who did the damage on the scoreboard. After keeping him super quiet at Metricon last season, Gary Ablett Jnr unleashed on the Saints with his five-star performance including three goals in the final term. Coach Scott Watters admitted cramps played havoc with his line-up in the second half as his side was almost powerless to stop the Suns’ fightback after the Saints led by 19 at the long break .


Key Men

(St Kilda) Rhys Stanley – After playing as a forward/ruckman throughout his short AFL career, Stanley did a serviceable job down back against the Suns as the Saints battled with having a depleted defence. He had 18 disposals and 14 marks, but with Riewoldt and Vickery heading Richmond’s forward line, his ability to keep one of them quiet will be far more important than any touches he gets.

(Tigers) Brett Deledio – With so much attention on Brownlow Medal fancy Trent Cotchin, Deledio could well sneak under the radar this season. Everything he did against Carlton last Friday night was class. He only had 17 possessions, but six of those were inside 50s, while three others finished in goals. Opposition teams will let this man go unchecked at their peril.


Prediction

Neither team ran their opening match out well, but the Saints probably had more reason to do so given they were playing in Queensland and had some senior players out. Even so, you couldn’t help but be impressed by the opening three-and-a-half quarters produced by the Tigers. With St Kilda understocked at the back, Richmond is probably not the type of team Scott Watters will relish coming up against. Tigers by 21 points

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