Testing Time For Tigers

Picture: Michael Dodge/adelaidenow.com.au
Brett Deledio and Dustin Martin are vital to the Tigers' cause. Image courtesy of adelaidenow.com.au/Michael Dodge
Last Five Matches

Round 5, 2013 – Fremantle 81 d Richmond 80 at Patersons Stadium
Round 21, 2012 – Fremantle 94 d Richmond 72 at Patersons Stadium
Round 11, 2012 – Fremantle 78 d Richmond 66 at MCG
Round 7, 2011 – Richmond 148 d Fremantle 99 at MCG
Round 15, 2010 – Richmond 100 d Fremantle 81 at Etihad Stadium


Form

     Rd 12       Rd 13       Rd 14       Rd 15       Rd 16   
Richmond    W  W  W  L  W
Fremantle   W  W  L  W  W

Richmond has won five of its last six and seven of its last nine, but just one of those wins has come against a top eight side, and that was a Port Adelaide team which is a long way from comfirming its place amongst the AFL’s elite. The Tigers struggled to put away an understrength Gold Coast in ordinary conditions in Cairns last Saturday, but the nine-point win at least snapped a two-game losing streak to the Suns in far north Queensland.

It was business as usual for Fremantle in last Sunday’s Western Derby. The Dockers have nine wins and a draw from their last 11 starts, a run which began when they snuck home by a single point against Richmond at Patersons Stadium in round five.

Freo’s forward line has been restructured with Matthew Pavlich suspended and goalsneak Hayden Ballantyne out with a hamstring injury.


Key Men

(Tigers) Daniel Jackson – He has been prone to doing some silly things in the past, but Daniel Jackson finally looks to have matured and is now one of the Tigers’ most important players. In a low scoring game, his 24 possessions and two goals were vital in the wind and rain agains the Suns. His continued improvement means some of the pressure comes off the likes of Trent Cotchin and Brett Deledio .

(Dockers) Nathan Fyfe – For someone who was well backed to win the Brownlow Medal this year, Nathan Fyfe has flown under the radar, somewhat. His last two weeks have been outstanding, though. He had 35 touches against St Kilda, then backed that up with 30 possessions, eight marks and a goal in the 28-point victory over West Coast. He is probably the most versatile part of the toughest, and arguably best, midfield in the AFL.


Prediction

This is a massive acid test for Richmond. As well as the Tigers have gone this season, plenty of pundits still think they lack the toughness to succeed in finals footy. Well, teams don’t come any tougher currently than the Fremantle Dockers. If the Tigers want to find out what the pressure is like at the business end of the season, they’ll know by the end of Sunday’s match. Richmond has won seven of the nine matches the teams have played at the MCG, but in nine showdowns against Dockers coach Ross Lyon, Tigers mentor Damien Hardwick is yet to record a victory. Richmond has had plenty of good wins this season, but the Tigers still haven’t knocked off a team above them on the table. Fremantle by 12 points .

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