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The Richmond Tigers held out for a 13-point win to end Hawthorn’s unbeaten start to the 2018 AFL season.
Richmond Tigers: 15.12 (102)
Hawthorn Hawks: 13.11 (89)
An in-form Hawthorn Hawks will face off against the reigning premiers, the Richmond Tigers, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 1:10pm (AEDT).
Richmond have been far from their best in the first two games of the season. They were scratchy against Carlton to begin, but found a way to get the four points, and were promising against Adelaide, but ran out of gas in the end.
It is only two games in, but they look more reliant on Dustin Martin this time around. He no doubt was leading the troops last season with his efforts, but you could see there was a real collective effort from the team when it came to winning and losing games. So far, it looks as if Martin has to be firing, otherwise they will struggle.
If he were to get injured, then it would really put a few doubts in the back of people’s minds about the Tigers going back-to-back. Saying that, Martin is fit and firing, and they’ll need him to put in another performance like he did at the Adelaide Oval a week ago, where he kicked five goals and had 25 disposals.
In team news for Richmond, Josh Caddy will miss out due to suspension, and Shai Bolton and Corey Ellis are omitted.
The replacements are Nick Vlastuin, Sam Lloyd and debutant Jack Higgins.
As for the Hawks, it was this time last season that everyone thought it was doom and gloom, but they are well and truly back. They have started the season off with two wins, the most impressive against Geelong last week, where they won by a point.
Alastair Clarkson’s men will take huge confidence from that clash. Being able to face the Geelong midfield of Gary Ablett, Patrick Dangerfield and Joel Selwood, and come out with the win, that is big.
Everyone just seems to be playing their role. They have an even number of contributors all across the ground, but Tom Mitchell seems to be the one setting the world on fire. He has been outstanding in the two games thus far, and the Tigers will have plenty to do if they want to stop his influence.
In team news for the Hawks, they will be without James Sicily due to suspension, and lose Ryan Schoenmakers and Shaun Burgoyne to injury.
James Frawley, Will Langford and Harry Morrison come into the side.
I think Hawthorn win this purely because of the form they have shown in the first two games. Saying that, the Tigers are a good football side and will be looking to bounce back, but I think Clarkson’s men will come through with four points here.
Hawthorn by 13.
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 1:10pm (AEDT).
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