Second chances are well and truly are a thing of the past, as the Richmond Tigers, Collingwood Magpies, West Coast Eagles and Melbourne Demons face off in the 2018 AFL preliminary finals.
We are seeing a vulnerable Richmond right now, and last Friday night we saw how bad they played against Port Adelaide without Dustin Martin.
The Brownlow medalist was a late withdrawal from the side’s trip to Adelaide and decided to fly down to New Zealand to visit his dad.
The Tigers midfield of Trent Cotchin, Josh Caddy, Shane Edwards and Kamdyn McIntosh looked lost without the star guiding them through. It might’ve been only 14 points they lost by, but it is a stark contrast to the Tigers of 12 months ago who began putting teams to the sword after the bye.
Richmond’s away record this season has been dismal, and the loss last Friday night cements a 0-3 record away from the MCG and Etihad Stadium. They play GWS in Round 17 at Spotless Stadium, and with the Giants reinvigorated, they should beat Richmond.
Richmond’s physical performance manager Peter Burge told Roar Vision on Tuesday that Martin should be fine, and looks to be running without soreness or concern.
Richmond take on Geelong, who look to give Richmond their first back-to-back loss of the season on Sunday when the sides meet each other at the MCG.
Honestly, I would like to see how Martin goes, looking out of sorts as he has the last few weeks, before he took last week off to nurse an injury. If Martin doesn’t fire up against a midfield on fire consisting of Mitch Duncan, Gary Ablett, Joel Selwood and Patrick Dangerfield, Richmond could be some strife and face missing out on a home final having to travel to Perth or Sydney potentially in the first week of finals.
Hopefully Martin can be back to 100 per cent, as another loss or two for Richmond is problematic in their quest to go back-to-back and win another premiership this year.