2017 season preview: Richmond Tigers

Stirling Coates Roar Guru

By Stirling Coates, Stirling Coates is a Roar Guru

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    Richmond’s run of finals appearances came to a disappointing end in 2016, with Damien Hardwick claiming he over-coached the team and promising a simpler gameplan. But will that be enough to bring the Tigers back up?

    Let’s have a look at the list changes made in the off-season.

    Additions: Dion Prestia (Gold Coast), Toby Nankervis (Sydney), Josh Caddy (Geelong), Shai Bolton, Jack Graham, Ryan Garthwaite, Tyson Stengle (draft)

    Subtractions: Brett Deledio (GWS Giants), Ty Vickery (Hawthorn), Troy Chaplin, Chris Yarran, Reece McKenzie (retired), Andrew Moore, Adam Marcon, Liam McBean (delisted)

    What happened last year?
    Richmond found themselves behind the eight-ball early in 2016. After struggling to shake off Carlton in Round 1, the Tigers dropped their next six games to virtually eliminate themselves from the finals in May.

    The club rebounded with a strong six weeks of football that saw them net five wins, but they fell away again with just two wins in their last nine games, resulting in a 13th-placed finish, and no finals for the first time since 2012.

    What’s changed?
    The club made some smart moves in the trade period that should help them perform a bit better in 2017.

    Dion Prestia and Josh Caddy both have their best football ahead of them, and they’ll bring a healthy injection of class and polish to a midfield that currently rates on the higher end of serviceable.

    Toby Nankervis has the potential to be the steal of the season. While showing strong glimpses during his time in Sydney, the Swans didn’t have the game time to give him and the early signs are that, at age 22, he’ll be a dominant force in the number one ruck job for Richmond.

    What needs to happen in 2017?
    While Hardwick slowly pulled Richmond out of the doldrums they were mired in during the late 2000s, 2016 was an unwelcome return to the ‘Tigers of old’.

    Richmond suffering shellackings has been an all-too-common sight since the turn of the century, and the nightmare returned for Tigers fans last year, with the club losing 14 games by an average of 44 points.

    They say the snowball gets bigger even if you’re pushing it uphill, but too often last season this team simply shut up shop when the game got away from them early, with diabolical efforts against North Melbourne in Hobart, the Giants in Canberra and Sydney in the last round particularly shameful.

    If they’re to be any chance of climbing back up the ladder in 2017 they must start competing again from siren to siren.

    Richmond also desperately need to find more avenues to goal this season, with only three players last year eclipsing 20 majors – and one of them now plays for the Hawks.

    The Tigers failed to put 60 points on the board on a stunning eight occasions last season, and only reached triple digits five times.

    Jack Riewoldt and Sam Lloyd do their bit to keep the scoreboard ticking, but Richmond need huge increases in output from players like Ben Griffiths, Shane Edwards and Daniel Rioli.

    Converting new recruit Caddy into a permanent half forward or crumbing forward role could also be worth trying.

    The verdict
    Richmond are capable of performing much better than their disappointing 2016 effort, but they have a lot to work on to get back to that level.

    Problems with consistent effort crept back into their psyche last season, and that is a crease that takes some serious ironing out. They’ll improve, but finals are still beyond them.

    Prediction: 10th

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    The Crowd Says (9)

    • March 20th 2017 @ 1:28pm
      Milo said | March 20th 2017 @ 1:28pm | ! Report

      Thanks for the article. Hope Im wrong but Id expect a bottom four finish unfortunately.

      The good news is that will probably be accompanied by the search for a new coach. One who can effectively communicate, manage people, knows what tactics are (including plans B, C & D), and stops sending mixed messages to the players and fans alike.

      While long gone are the days of eating our own, Hardwick has been given more chances than any other current coach of the last 20 years for one who’s shown so little success. The off-season has seen the coaching team significantly enhanced and there are absolutely no excuses anymore.

      Bring on Thursday.

      • March 20th 2017 @ 1:42pm
        Macca said | March 20th 2017 @ 1:42pm | ! Report

        Milo – I don’t believe it – a Tigers fan actually saying “bring on” round 1! – Don’t you blokes normally watch it while hiding behind your couch with the membership card waiting in the microwave?

        • March 20th 2017 @ 1:52pm
          Milo said | March 20th 2017 @ 1:52pm | ! Report

          Yes mate well, sometimes behind the couch, sometimes i cant even turn on the TV. After 2014 i try to make a point of not microwaving the card until at least Round 14.

          Seriously, I will be at the G like we do for most Round 1s tho. A few galvanizing froffees at the Cricketers Arms to strengthen my resolve and then the march to the ground to see what evil awaits.

          And as for ‘bring it on’, i guess its a case of not much to lose. Either we improve or we get a new coach…!

          • March 20th 2017 @ 2:01pm
            Macca said | March 20th 2017 @ 2:01pm | ! Report

            “Either we improve or we get a new coach…!” I like the philosophy!

            Should be an interesting game – the Tigers should win but the blues should have enough quality around the ball and in defence that if the implement the defensive structures and pressure Bolton requires to keep it close enough for most of them game.

            Hopefully tomorrow the blues will be bold at the selection table and I get to see some talent young players make a name for themselves.

            • March 20th 2017 @ 2:23pm
              Milo said | March 20th 2017 @ 2:23pm | ! Report

              Ditto that last line for the Tigers.

              ‘Tigers should win’ Dunno about that. if you go on preseason form maybe (albeit i remember those preseasons when Carlton wouldnt win a game and go on to finals and or premierships! )
              Either way there was more to like out of 2016 from CFC than RFC that’s for sure!

    • March 20th 2017 @ 2:32pm
      Macca said | March 20th 2017 @ 2:32pm | ! Report

      “albeit i remember those preseasons when Carlton wouldnt win a game and go on to finals and or premierships!” And those preseason where the blues won premierships and go on not to win a game!!

      With my prediction I am assuming Prestia, Nankervis and Caddy add enough around the ball to in support of Cotchin and Martin that it is a really good battle with Murphy, Gibbs, Cripps Kreuzer and Curnow while Riewoldt up forward and Rance down back give you the edge at either end.

      If the blues can bring the defensive pressure and pick plenty of speed they might be a chance.

      • March 20th 2017 @ 3:19pm
        Milo said | March 20th 2017 @ 3:19pm | ! Report

        At $2.75 to $1.45 they’re a very decent bet the blues…

        • March 20th 2017 @ 3:45pm
          Macca said | March 20th 2017 @ 3:45pm | ! Report

          Temptng Milo but nowhere near enough to get my money.

    • March 21st 2017 @ 9:45am
      col in paradise said | March 21st 2017 @ 9:45am | ! Report

      yes some good pickups in those 3..although what game plan is Hardwick talking about and making it simpler..didn’t know he had a game plan in 2016??…so just wondering what he is referring to….

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