Tigers Try To Tie Up Fifth

Image courtesy of dailytelegraph.com.au, Photo: Michael Klein
Dustin Martin was quiet last week. Image courtesy of dailytelegraph.com.au/Michael Klein
Only Previous Match

Round 12, 2012 – Richmond 86 d GWS 74 at Skoda Stadium


Form

     Rd 17       Rd 18       Rd 19       Rd 20       Rd 21   
GWS Giants    L  L  W  L  L
Richmond    W  L  W  W  L

After kicking eight goals in the opening quarter of last week’s clash with Carlton, there is no way Richmond should have lost. But as has been the Tigers want over the years, they somehow found a way to lose the unloseable. The big win over Hawthorn three weeks back now seems a distant memory, and the loss to the Blues has done little to dispel the thought that this team is somewhat flaky under pressure.

GWS has travelled extensively over the past fortnight; after a big trip over the Perth where they were smashed by 113 points by the Dockers, the Giants were fortunate to keep the margin to 60 points against Brisbane at the ‘Gabba last Saturday night. They’ve been good the last two times in front of their home fans as Skoda Stadium; in round 17 Essendon overcame a quarter time deficit to win by 39 , while the Giants recorded their only win this season in round 19 beating Melbourne by 37 points .

Richmond will be missing David Astbury and Luke McGuane due to leg injuries. Kevin Sheedy has dropped former Hawks defender Stephen Gilham as the master coach prepares to take the reins of the club for the final time in a home match.


Key Men

(Giants) Stephen Coniglio – He’s still only 19, so you can forgive him for the inconsistent performances, but when Stephen Coniglio has his good days, you can see why the Giants drafted him with the second pick in 2011. The West Australian was one of his team’s best in the second half of last week’s clash with Brisbane, as the visitors lost the final two terms by just a single point. He ended up with 28 touches, eight marks and a goal to cap off just about his best all-round effort of the season.

(Tigers) Dustin Martin – It may be just a coincidence, but Dustin Martin had by far his quietest game of the season the week he apparently knocked back Richmond’s latest offer of a contract extension. The young forward has been outstanding this year, but the total of 10 touches he mustered against the Blues was seven less than his next lowest tally in 2013. There’s talk he may be shopped around to rival clubs in the near future, which isn’t what Tigers fans want to hear on the brink of a rare finals appearance.


Prediction

Only 12 points separated these teams in their only previous clash last season, but the Tigers are a better team by the length of the Flemington straight. With so many high draft picks in their best 22, the Tigers are what the Giants may look like in 3-4 years’ time. For now, though, GWS has an opportunity to compete with top eight clubs, but it’s hard to see them sustaining their effort for four quarters. Richmond easily accounted for the Lions in round 20, then Brisbane hosted the Giants the week after and racked up a ten-goal lead by the main break. That says it all about the gulf in class. Richmond by 65 points .

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