Will Richmond’s challenger please stand up?

Ryan Buckland Columnist

By Ryan Buckland, Ryan Buckland is a Roar Expert

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    It has been a tough fortnight for anyone bar the Tigers as we hit the final fortnight of the season. It leaves one pondering: is season 2018 a wrap?

    This isn’t the first time this column has asked that question. In early May, when the Tigers were 6-1 with a percentage in the 150s, I asked if anyone could stop the runaway Richmond. The short answer, at the time, was it’s still too early to tell. Well, 21 rounds is anything but early, and here we are pondering once again.

    Richmond are almost certainly going to finish on top of the ladder, bar some sort of catastrophe against either Essendon or the Western Bulldogs in Rounds 22 and 23. And even then, West Coast have to outdo them by one game, and even still, Richmond can fall as low as second. They have all-but sewn up home field advantage for the 2018 finals series, and that home ground happens to be the one at which they currently hold the league’s longest single-venue winning streak.

    The Tigers were untroubled in the most literal sense of the word against the Gold Coast Suns, barely breaking a sweat in running up the team’s fourth blowout win of the season. Jack Riewoldt kicked ten goals and Trent Cotchin spent half the game on the pine. They took going through the motions to a whole new level.

    As we discussed a month ago, Richmond isn’t some sort of invincible, historically great super team. They are playing just a shade above their win tally according to my Pythagorean win formula – 16-4 – in a season where there aren’t many standout teams. However, as foreshadowed in that piece, the Tigers might not be historically great, but they appear to be historically difficult to beat.

    And ‘tough to beat’ might be enough to win it all in season 2018, what with the repeated blows being worn by every other team still in the hunt. Every time someone is handed Tiger Killer status, they seem to fall by the wayside.

    Dustin Martin

    (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

    This weekend’s results make you wonder whether there is a sizeable chunk of the league that has thrown in the towel. Losses to Geelong, Port Adelaide, North Melbourne and Melbourne put each of their seasons in jeopardy, though the maths being as it is two of the four will make it into the eight come two weeks from now.

    Geelong once again needed to be revived on the operating table after a languid three quarters of football against the Hawks. It’s getting a bit lather, rinse, repeat for the Cats: the top handful of players in the team keeping the whole squad in it until the second half of the last quarter, then some willing efforts help bring the margin closer. It is not sustainable football.

    Port Adelaide were wrecked by injuries after doing plenty right in stifling the West Coast Eagles on Saturday afternoon. Now, with Charlie Dixon’s leg broken and Paddy Ryder’s electrical tape and elastic bands coming loose more frequently, Jack Watts once again carries the hope of his franchise.

    North Melbourne were made to look amateur by a Western Bulldogs outfit that finally put together four quarters of Luke Beveridge’s new gameplan. The Dogs had almost 90 extra uncontested possessions than the ‘Roos as they moved the ball at will. North now need a miracle to make good on its surprising start to the season.

    And Melbourne’s annual Seppuku routine kicked off in earnest, losing to a Sydney side (two men down on the bench, including the luckless and cursed Alex Johnson) who ostensibly leapfrogged both their ladder position and their likelihood of making the eight. The Dees had enough ball, enough territory and enough scoring shots but couldn’t get it done. Now they face the prospect of having to win either away against West Coast or at home to the GWS Giants to secure their place in the eight.

    Of all of this weekend’s losers, Port Adelaide’s predicament looks most dire. They still have to travel to the ‘G to play Collingwood and host an Essendon team on Friday night in Round 23 in what may be in a win-and-in (at least temporarily) situation. Without Dixon in attack, the Power risk becoming less multi-dimensional, given his role in straightening up the opposition’s defensive set-up.

    Even this weekend’s winners have their challenges. West Coast looked a completely different team without Andrew Gaff as the midfield fulcrum – at times equal parts directionless and impotent with the ball in hand. Now Josh Kennedy looks likely to miss the rest of the home-and-away season (if one is reading Adam Simpson’s comments correctly) and suddenly a top-four finish seems sort of… wasted.

    Andrew Gaff

    (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

    The Giants and Pies have their share of injury challenges too. Neither side will hit the end of the home-and-away season with a clean bill of health – on their planned or emergent best 22 – and will relish the chance to rest up in the pre-finals bye weekend.

    Sydney still remain utterly unconvincing, though a finish in the fifth or six seed might do them nicely so long as they get a nice match-up in week one of the finals. The Swans are road warriors, but seem to lose the plot at home. A tough match against the GWS Giants looms this weekend, before – pending that result – a crucial Round 23 encounter against Hawthorn.

    And it is the Hawks who, almost by default, are this week’s great white Richmond-stopping hope. They tick a few of the requisite boxes: MCG team, quality outside game, flexibility up forward. However, they aren’t deep through the middle and have a back six that relies on support from further up the ground to stop opposition sides from scoring. On balance, though, they look like the best challenger we’ve got.

    Which says it all, I reckon. It was May 7 when I first posed the Richmond question for 2018. Three months and 14 rounds of football later, the best answer we’ve got is “Hawthorn, maybe, but they’ve got some holes”. The Tigers have been crunched into extraordinarily meagre odds to win the flag at most outlets. Follow the money.

    Ryan Buckland
    Ryan Buckland

    As an economist, Ryan seeks to fix the world's economic troubles one graph at a time. As a sports fan, he's always looking one or two layers beneath the surface to search for meaning, on and off the field. You can follow Ryan here.

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    The Crowd Says (195)

    • August 13th 2018 @ 6:42am
      Slane said | August 13th 2018 @ 6:42am | ! Report

      Hard to argue that Richmond shouldn’t be the favourite for the Flag, but there are still 3 teams in the top 8 that have beaten Richmond once already this year. Those teams should absolutely have the belief that they can do it again. We all know that the Minor Premier rarely wins the flag and that going back-to-back is a rare occurrence. A Richmond flag is certainly no fait accompli.

      • August 13th 2018 @ 11:35am
        GoSwans said | August 13th 2018 @ 11:35am | ! Report

        I believe the Minor Premier has the highest chance of winning followed by second on the ladder followed by third and then daylight, fourth. Only teams with umpire assistance win from outside the 4.

        • August 13th 2018 @ 12:02pm
          Milo said | August 13th 2018 @ 12:02pm | ! Report

          Since the beginning of this century which co-incides with implementation of the current finals system,
          I reckon minor premiers have won it six times, 2nd has won it six times, 3rd has won it five times, fourth has never won it and of course one team has won it from 7th (with umpires assistance…)

      • August 13th 2018 @ 2:22pm
        sean said | August 13th 2018 @ 2:22pm | ! Report

        fair enough, I suppose you got to have hope to make this finals series no so predictable.

        But where were those losses? Not at the G so it’s almost irrelevant.

    • Roar Rookie

      August 13th 2018 @ 7:13am
      New York Hawk said | August 13th 2018 @ 7:13am | ! Report

      If the Hawks somehow found their way to the GF against the Tigers, I would be shocked. But I wouldn’t be shocked if we beat the Tigers in a poor-man’s 2008 type of result if we got there. Richmond just aren’t a team that compares favorably to any other back to back team I can think of.

      • Roar Guru

        August 13th 2018 @ 12:45pm
        Penster said | August 13th 2018 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

        Whenever I hear “unbeatable” “theirs to lose” ……….. I think of 2008, 2014 & 2015.

        • August 13th 2018 @ 12:52pm
          Milo said | August 13th 2018 @ 12:52pm | ! Report

          Thats why you wont hear many Tiger fans say that.

          • Roar Guru

            August 13th 2018 @ 12:58pm
            Peter the Scribe said | August 13th 2018 @ 12:58pm | ! Report

            Except plenty in here and plenty around calling yourselves the new Hawthorn already Milo.

        • Roar Guru

          August 13th 2018 @ 6:03pm
          hairy fat man said | August 13th 2018 @ 6:03pm | ! Report

          True maybe of 2008, but not of 2014 or 2015. The Hawks were going so well in 2015 that a major betting outlet paid out on a Hawthorn premiership, before the finals even began.

      • Roar Guru

        August 13th 2018 @ 5:56pm
        hairy fat man said | August 13th 2018 @ 5:56pm | ! Report

        I’m starting to sort of like the Hawks a bit, now that they are giving their supporters false hopes of another premiership.

        • Roar Guru

          August 13th 2018 @ 6:12pm
          Peter the Scribe said | August 13th 2018 @ 6:12pm | ! Report

          They probably can’t win it Hairy one but they could help some other sides by knocking off the Tigers week one.

      • August 15th 2018 @ 9:46am
        EddiefromElwood said | August 15th 2018 @ 9:46am | ! Report

        How so? Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Not saying they are a back to back thing, but at the time could you have categorically said that the Hawks or Geelong always going to win multiple cups? Such a rubbish comment, they just don’t seem to be……..!

    • August 13th 2018 @ 7:36am
      Roger of Sydney said | August 13th 2018 @ 7:36am | ! Report

      Richmond are in front becuase they have virtually no injuries and more power to them.

      But if they get people back GWS would be the best team in the comp, with Hawthorn, WCE and Swans more than capable.

      Having said that the usual prejudice against non Victorian teams in umpiring would mean Hawthorn would be the only chance. Still cant get over the fact that the Bulldogs still get to keep that umpire assisted premiership.

      • August 13th 2018 @ 9:15am
        shiftyxr said | August 13th 2018 @ 9:15am | ! Report

        Swans get to keep the cola assisted flsgs, plus the Barry Hall ” I shouldn’t have been able to play” flag. WCE get to get the amphetamines assisted flag so I see no reason the dogs should give theirs back.

        • August 13th 2018 @ 9:50am
          Jim said | August 13th 2018 @ 9:50am | ! Report

          Throw whatever you want around about COLA, but the Barry hall line is utter garbage. Go and actually review what the tribunal decided, and for the rules of the game at the time, the decision to not suspend Hall was spot on.

          • August 13th 2018 @ 12:47pm
            Bolt1493 said | August 13th 2018 @ 12:47pm | ! Report

            Not even close to spot on – it was the old “finals” time interpretation to suit a club that hadn’t won a premiership in a while. Even as an Eagles fan it was exactly as I expected. Really, under the rules, he shouldn’t have been playing but all know that the rules are kind of stretchy if you are going to rub someone out for a Prelim or a GF.

          • Roar Guru

            August 13th 2018 @ 1:01pm
            Penster said | August 13th 2018 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

            Jim, that line is not utter garbage at all. The Swans QC successfully argued that Hall’s punch was delivered “in play” when it was a good 50m off the ball. The AFL was happy for any reason to let Hall off, they needed the Swans to succeed. He shouldn’t have played – and Big Baz has always acknowledged that.

          • August 13th 2018 @ 1:28pm
            shiftyxr said | August 13th 2018 @ 1:28pm | ! Report

            I used quotation marks because they were Barry’s words. Personally If the Hawks aren’t premier’s I don’t care who is.

        • August 13th 2018 @ 10:32am
          mdso said | August 13th 2018 @ 10:32am | ! Report

          Oh, now I get it, that is what equalization really means!!!

        • August 13th 2018 @ 1:44pm
          IAP said | August 13th 2018 @ 1:44pm | ! Report

          Don’t forget Geelong’s dank-assisted premiership. Umpiring aside, no other team has won 4 finals in a row in the AFL era. The umpires didn’t win those 4 finals. It was a finals series for the ages.
          I think the biggest problem that Sydney supporters have is that they don’t actually know the rules. That’s the only explanation for their blaming of the ‘refs’ every time they lose.

      • August 13th 2018 @ 11:23am
        GoSwans said | August 13th 2018 @ 11:23am | ! Report

        2016 umpire assistance to the Dogs extended to their game in the finals against the Hawks with the Dogs throwing the ball a lot and the umpires looking the other way. The AFL did not want Hawthorn (4 flags over the previous 11 years), Geelong (3 flags) or the Swans (2 flags) winning. Somehow that came to pass. If GWS made it to the Grand Final this year against the Tigers I suspect it will be the Giants that get the rub of the green.

        • August 13th 2018 @ 2:10pm
          shiftyxr said | August 13th 2018 @ 2:10pm | ! Report

          Or Melbourne

      • August 13th 2018 @ 2:19pm
        sean said | August 13th 2018 @ 2:19pm | ! Report

        Lol Swans have no chance, but I like your optimism though.

        • August 13th 2018 @ 6:16pm
          Mitcher said | August 13th 2018 @ 6:16pm | ! Report

          Good to see this week’s guffawing, write off of the Swans is of our premiership chances rather than our finals chances. We must have move the goal posts at least slightly for those who roam these parts with theirs lols and rofls, making declarations of such epic certainty they’d seen the very future itself.

        • Roar Guru

          August 14th 2018 @ 10:20am
          Peter the Scribe said | August 14th 2018 @ 10:20am | ! Report

          No Swans can’t win it.

          • August 14th 2018 @ 5:56pm
            yeahhnahh said | August 14th 2018 @ 5:56pm | ! Report

            better chance than the pies, swans they can actually beat teams contending.

    • Roar Rookie

      August 13th 2018 @ 7:53am
      Paul Dao said | August 13th 2018 @ 7:53am | ! Report

      Great article! I so too think Hawks are most likely but that’s not saying much about the rest of the comp.

    • Roar Guru

      August 13th 2018 @ 7:54am
      Peter the Scribe said | August 13th 2018 @ 7:54am | ! Report

      Richmond are simply a pretty good team who have hardly had any injuries to their best 8 as you see in the table below. As for beating the Tigers, you don’t have to beat them in season, you just have to beat them in the finals. Definitely could be set up for a 2008 type upset on GF day.
      WCE, with JK back will be the most well credentialed challenger but others can beat the Tigers. Geelong nearly did a couple of weeks back and the Tigers won’t want the Cats getting through.

      Games missed since the start of 2017 – Richmond best 8
      Rance – 0
      Astbury – 1
      Grimes – 1
      Cotchin – 1
      Martin – 1
      Lambert – 1
      Nankervis – 2
      Riewoldt – 2

      • August 13th 2018 @ 8:39am
        Don Freo said | August 13th 2018 @ 8:39am | ! Report

        If Grimes, Astbury and Lambert are in their best 8, everyone can beat them.

        • August 13th 2018 @ 9:21am
          Blakey said | August 13th 2018 @ 9:21am | ! Report

          Grimes, Astbury and Lambert would make the best 8 of any team. Astbury is as good as Rance and Lambert is a gun. He has missed Edwards, one of the absolute superstars of the comp not to mention Houli,Vlaustin and Short as they have missed games and doesn’t suit the on going pathetic arguments. Richmond actually win because they have the best bottom 6 , not top 6 and this is acknowledged by most serious commentaters. It is true that anybody can get up in a sudden death match but Richmond are on top and favourites because they are far and away the best team inthe truest sense of the word.

          • August 13th 2018 @ 9:53am
            DougyW said | August 13th 2018 @ 9:53am | ! Report

            Spot on Blakey, not many supporters grasp that it is the bottom 6 which is crucial.
            I don’t think Donny watches much footy as Grimes, Ashbury and Lambert would walk into any other side in the AFL. Most commentators rate Lambert at an A level which was pretty evident from the 2017 Grand Final and his finish in the Richmond Best and Fairest.

            • August 13th 2018 @ 12:52pm
              Bolt1493 said | August 13th 2018 @ 12:52pm | ! Report

              Bottom 6, I would largely agree but for Richmond that is their 16-22 best players or at worst 18-24th best squad players. for some of the other teams, it is 26th-32th players in their squad owing to injuries. That really makes a difference – particularly if you are swapping no 1 or 2 or 3 for no 30.

            • August 14th 2018 @ 11:09am
              Alchemist said | August 14th 2018 @ 11:09am | ! Report

              Old Don-ial is the first to jump down anyone’s throat if they date pass judgement on any player on the Freo list that contradicts his. Maybe should take some of his own advice and stick to Freo posts, which will not be on any articles about finals for a fair while.

              • August 14th 2018 @ 11:46am
                Don Freo said | August 14th 2018 @ 11:46am | ! Report

                You sound like you might be a little afraid of a dissonant voice.

                Why not try to match what I do (apparently, according to you) very well? Expain with your ‘intimate knowledge’ of your club who you think is Richmond’s best 8.

                I’ll bet it will differ from other Richmond folk. I suspect you won’t for fear of being decried.

              • August 14th 2018 @ 4:14pm
                Alchemist said | August 14th 2018 @ 4:14pm | ! Report

                I’ll leave that to the Richmond fans, as you should. Thus why I called you out on it.

              • August 14th 2018 @ 4:32pm
                Don Freo said | August 14th 2018 @ 4:32pm | ! Report

                I think you misunderstand The Roar.

                You seem to think this is a club newsletter.

              • August 15th 2018 @ 11:25am
                Alchemist said | August 15th 2018 @ 11:25am | ! Report

                No I know full well what The Roar is. So if you’re entitled to comment on other teams lists then maybe you should accept that other people can comment on Freo’s list and are actually entitled to that opinion without you insisting that they aren’t if they’re not a Freo fan.

              • August 15th 2018 @ 1:36pm
                Don Freo said | August 15th 2018 @ 1:36pm | ! Report

                I have no problem with anyone commenting on Freo. That’s your fragile little reading. Freo wasn’t even in the conversation. If, however, someone makes a comment on Freo, it’s quite likely I’ll have an opinion in response. You might not like my response but if you are not prepared for that, you might be better off scrolling past that comment.

                See how easy it all is? Man up and accept that the world doesn’t have to think your way. If this is any indication of your processes, I’d imagine no one would think your way.

          • August 13th 2018 @ 10:01am
            Don Freo said | August 13th 2018 @ 10:01am | ! Report

            Grimes and Astbury would have to wait behind Pearce and Hamling at Freo. Mind you, they’d get a game ahead of Matera, Sheridan and Kersten.

            • August 13th 2018 @ 10:14am
              DougyW said | August 13th 2018 @ 10:14am | ! Report

              Donny I am referring you to the MRO for your bizarre comments.
              I think you need a two week break.

            • August 13th 2018 @ 10:22am
              Milo said | August 13th 2018 @ 10:22am | ! Report

              Don youre right as always. Most of the Richmond team wouldnt get a game at Freo.

            • August 13th 2018 @ 10:32am
              Peter said | August 13th 2018 @ 10:32am | ! Report

              Haha. Nearly nuffies-on-afl-pages territory

              • August 13th 2018 @ 5:23pm
                Don Freo said | August 13th 2018 @ 5:23pm | ! Report

                If all you silly Richmond respondents list your top 8 Richmond players here, not many of you will agree. Only one of you will have Grimes, maybe 2 of you will throw in Astbury or Lambert (probably either/or).

                Most of you will differ. Rather than mock someone who knows, deliver some substance. You will see how disparate your views.

          • Roar Guru

            August 13th 2018 @ 5:37pm
            Peter the Scribe said | August 13th 2018 @ 5:37pm | ! Report

            Lambert out injured now and Short too. Is this when the Tigers injury count starts to catch the rest of the competition? At the worst possible time?

        • August 13th 2018 @ 2:28pm
          sean said | August 13th 2018 @ 2:28pm | ! Report

          Lol Astbury and Grimes never get beaten and Lambert was 3rd in their b&f last year, might even win it this year.

          Clearly no clue.

          • August 13th 2018 @ 3:37pm
            Don Freo said | August 13th 2018 @ 3:37pm | ! Report

            You’re excluding quite a few Richmond players from your top 8 if you include just good players.

      • August 13th 2018 @ 8:40am
        Richwhat said | August 13th 2018 @ 8:40am | ! Report

        It must really irk you that Richmond aren’t phased at all by Geelong, you really harp on about it. Nice best 8 there, a bit different to mine, but that’s the thing about Richmond the talent is so evenly spread that injuries don’t matter (even when we do get them).

        • Roar Guru

          August 13th 2018 @ 8:52am
          Cat said | August 13th 2018 @ 8:52am | ! Report

          You haven’t had an injuries of note to be able to say that.

          • August 13th 2018 @ 9:56am
            DougyW said | August 13th 2018 @ 9:56am | ! Report

            Prestia, Broad, Graham, Houli, Butler and Conca just to name six.

            • August 13th 2018 @ 10:48am
              Peter said | August 13th 2018 @ 10:48am | ! Report

              Rioli out for half the season too

            • August 13th 2018 @ 2:00pm
              Stan said | August 13th 2018 @ 2:00pm | ! Report

              Spot on Doug more injury’s than any other team in the competition

          • August 13th 2018 @ 1:31pm
            Jack T said | August 13th 2018 @ 1:31pm | ! Report

            Yeah no he’s right boys, Richmond’s injuries are never of note. Only other teams injuries are of any importance. We keep winning so we don’t need excuses anyway.

          • August 13th 2018 @ 2:33pm
            sean said | August 13th 2018 @ 2:33pm | ! Report

            Had a bunch but not as many as the doggies or pies obviously, had 6 of the best 22 out in the cats game.

            Who do geelong have out? no one significant cockatoo and old man taylor is all that comes to mind.

      • August 13th 2018 @ 8:52am
        truetigerfan said | August 13th 2018 @ 8:52am | ! Report

        If you haven’t included Edwards, Rioli, Vlastuin, Short, Prestia, Higgins, Houli or Caddy you really haven’t been watching carefully or critically, have you? Geelong? Ha! It seems his psychological barbs have made an impression on you and you alone. They won’t be a major player come finals.

        • Roar Guru

          August 13th 2018 @ 8:59am
          Peter the Scribe said | August 13th 2018 @ 8:59am | ! Report

          The same Houli you weren’t worried about re-signing TTF? Hawks, Pies, GWS could all upset Tigers in week one. Cats will win their last two easy and cause some chaos in the finals. Fact is, you fired your best shot at the Cats and the Cats dominated you at times and went within a kick of winning. Don’t see why you are so overconfident if you meet them again.

        • August 13th 2018 @ 9:56am
          Neil from Warrandyte said | August 13th 2018 @ 9:56am | ! Report

          TTF, you could also include Butler, Castagna, Broad, Macintosh, Ellis, Townsend, Grigg, Conca and Graham on that list too. 😉

          • Roar Guru

            August 13th 2018 @ 11:22am
            Peter the Scribe said | August 13th 2018 @ 11:22am | ! Report

            You’ve named 9 above Neil and not included Rance, Jack, Dusty or Cotch? TTF has done the same. Are they not in your top 8 Neil? TTF? Perhaps name your top 8 and put yourself out there or are you unsure yourselves?

            • August 13th 2018 @ 11:39am
              truetigerfan said | August 13th 2018 @ 11:39am | ! Report

              I’d be more interested who you think our bottom 6 are. You copied the AFL’s top 8, do you have any original thoughts? And if we, as Tiger supporters, are unsure of our top 8 it really does reflect on how even a group this side is.. So, Peter, who are our weakest links?

              • Roar Guru

                August 13th 2018 @ 1:15pm
                Peter the Scribe said | August 13th 2018 @ 1:15pm | ! Report

                The thread was about your top eight not bottom six. You named Edwards, Rioli, Vlastuin, Short, Prestia, Higgins, Houli, Caddy as your top eight and left out Dusty, Cotch, Jack and the diver Rance? Most wouldn’t agree with that top eight TTF.

              • August 13th 2018 @ 1:15pm
                Neil from Warrandyte said | August 13th 2018 @ 1:15pm | ! Report

                For such a dominant team, I don’t think the tigers will have to many All Australians this year. Another indication of a very even team.
                Not many tigers in Champion Data’s top 50 also.

      • August 13th 2018 @ 9:26am
        Tom M said | August 13th 2018 @ 9:26am | ! Report

        The fact you excluded Edwards in your above “best 8” just shows that you clearly haven’t watched much footy. He is a freak one of the most underrated players around.

        • Roar Guru

          August 13th 2018 @ 10:31am
          Peter the Scribe said | August 13th 2018 @ 10:31am | ! Report

          The best 8 was stolen directly from the AFL website. Their video review directly compared the injury ravaged Pies to the Tigers “arguable” most important 8 with both commentators stating the Tigers have had a dream run with injury. Tom, you’re the same bloke who said Josh Smith from the Pies was a solid VFL player who will never play AFL forgetting he has already played 31 AFL games so I’ll take your comments with a grain of salt.

          • August 13th 2018 @ 11:41am
            Tom M said | August 13th 2018 @ 11:41am | ! Report

            That’s a straight lie from you PtS. I said Josh Smith is a solid VFL player who isn’t good enough to warrant playing AFL. Collingwood are in all sorts if he gets a game.

            • Roar Guru

              August 13th 2018 @ 11:48am
              Peter the Scribe said | August 13th 2018 @ 11:48am | ! Report

              How can he now warrant playing AFL when he has already played 31 games then Tom?

              • August 13th 2018 @ 2:11pm
                Tom M said | August 13th 2018 @ 2:11pm | ! Report

                Because he wasn’t good enough when he was given a game and hes still not good enough. Will be delisted and might get lucky at another club, Collingwood have gone past him.

            • Roar Guru

              August 13th 2018 @ 4:54pm
              Peter the Scribe said | August 13th 2018 @ 4:54pm | ! Report

              He has only been back from a season injury three weeks in the twos Tom, give the kid a chance.

        • August 13th 2018 @ 5:18pm
          yes said | August 13th 2018 @ 5:18pm | ! Report

          Agree there mate, Josh Smith is a hack always has been

          • Roar Guru

            August 13th 2018 @ 6:14pm
            Peter the Scribe said | August 13th 2018 @ 6:14pm | ! Report

            Say it with as many aliases as you want I think J Smith can play.

      • August 13th 2018 @ 9:41am
        Neil from Warrandyte said | August 13th 2018 @ 9:41am | ! Report

        Cut and paste PTS? As I said in a previous post, you’re only highlighting that the tiger’s strength and conditioning personnel are the best in the business and the envy of the competition. You have to admire those figures!!! You may argue it’s just lucky over one season, it’s a trend over many.

        • August 13th 2018 @ 10:04am
          truetigerfan said | August 13th 2018 @ 10:04am | ! Report

          Perhaps Collingwood should approach some of those Richmond depth players Scribe’s been shopping round all year. They have what many Pies players don’t . . . resilience.

        • Roar Guru

          August 13th 2018 @ 10:34am
          Peter the Scribe said | August 13th 2018 @ 10:34am | ! Report

          Neil, the point of it is your luck will balance out eventually, maybe in finals this year, maybe next year. I simply refuse to believe the Tigers have a unique group of conditioning staff that no one else has. It’s a group not one bloke so the odds are you are just having a dream run. Most argue that GWS would certainly be giving you a run for their money if they were all fit, I mean they already beat you this year with a third of their best side out?

      • August 13th 2018 @ 10:27am
        Realist said | August 13th 2018 @ 10:27am | ! Report

        Same old boring diatribe from Pete the Snide! The only thing that can beat Richmond is Richmond themselves….that is, if they have a bad day or if we lose a couple of key players before the GF.
        Geelong is no threat…they leave too much to too few, have had 2 tries against us this year, fired their best shots and failed both times.
        As most of the intelligent “Scribes” have pointed out here, it’s the Tigers bottom 6, which is the best in the league, that is key to our success.
        I think the only two teams the Tigers need be concerned about are Melbourne and WCE.

        • Roar Guru

          August 13th 2018 @ 10:37am
          Peter the Scribe said | August 13th 2018 @ 10:37am | ! Report

          Realist, can you only imagine the Tigers impressive MCG winning streak runs all the way up to the GF this year and ends on the big day? Sheedy, with the Bombers in full flight they say used to “orchestrate” a timely loss every now and then to diffuse the over confidence and mounting pressure of winning streaks. If the Tigers G streak fails on the big day it will fuel opposition fans for the next 37 years surely?

          • August 13th 2018 @ 11:54am
            Realist said | August 13th 2018 @ 11:54am | ! Report

            We did try to “orchestrate” a loss, PtS….the first time against Collingwood and then when that failed, against Geelong. Unfortunately, in spite of that, we still won both games!
            As for Grand Final day, I guess anything can happen but we’re unquestionably the team most likely to win it!

          • August 13th 2018 @ 12:57pm
            RichieTiger said | August 13th 2018 @ 12:57pm | ! Report

            Peter if you keep predicting we’ll lose I guess you’ll be right eventually but please don’t come here and crow “I told you so” because you have told us so many times before and been wrong.

            • Roar Guru

              August 13th 2018 @ 1:02pm
              Peter the Scribe said | August 13th 2018 @ 1:02pm | ! Report

              Richie it’s more when you lose than if. The when is far more important if it happens to be GF day. If you can keep the streak going right through on the coattails of a dream injury run then good luck to you.

              • August 13th 2018 @ 1:23pm
                Neil from Warrandyte said | August 13th 2018 @ 1:23pm | ! Report

                Will be an exceptional effort to go back to back with credit to all aspects of the club both on and off the field. You make your own ‘luck’ in this business and run with it.

      • August 13th 2018 @ 5:07pm
        Peter said | August 13th 2018 @ 5:07pm | ! Report

        Lambert to miss the next two games atleast. Your voodoo dolls and rain-dancing are working!

      • August 15th 2018 @ 9:53am
        EddiefromElwood said | August 15th 2018 @ 9:53am | ! Report

        Please spare us your analysis! How would anyone know, it’s conjecture! Yes, not the injury list of other teams, but they have had injuries to important players that have proved their importance. As for the Pies, we keep hearing how if this guy was in, if that guy was in, guess what? They have been in in the past and the Pies have not won games! How about celebrating the players that have got the Pies where they currently are, rather want to drop them for players that in the past have proved themselves as mediocre!

    • August 13th 2018 @ 8:06am
      Chris said | August 13th 2018 @ 8:06am | ! Report

      Richmond will be the team to beat. Do the challengers go for it on Qualifying Final day or later on. Who will step forward? Hawthorn? Collingwood? GWS? Melbourne? The idea that 5th position is a more favourable option is rather fraught with danger as Geeloing could be lurking. These finals are a lottery and nobody is sure of anything other than Richmond and WCE are going to host the Qualifying Finals.

      • August 13th 2018 @ 9:35am
        Jacques of Lilydale said | August 13th 2018 @ 9:35am | ! Report

        Geelong wont be lurking, they are not a team in the true sense of the word, not a team like the Tigers. So they will go out in straight sets, aka, one final.
        The GWS have too many injuries to be a threat, Melbourne, well they haven’t beaten anyone in the top 9 so they’ll be skiing come finals time and Collingwood, who knows, if they bring their A game and get a few players back they could be a lurking threat.
        Hawthorn is the enigma here, supposedly rebuilding, they have the skillset, mix of quality youngsters and seasoned veterans, all coached by the best coach in the business, to be real handful in September. Would not surprise me to see a Hawthorn vs Richmond GF, then all bets are off.

        • Roar Guru

          August 13th 2018 @ 10:39am
          Peter the Scribe said | August 13th 2018 @ 10:39am | ! Report

          With the mounting arrogant claims of being the “new Hawthorn” of the Tiger Nuff Nuff brigade after 37 years in the wilderness, I’ll take another Hawks flag thanks!

      • August 13th 2018 @ 1:01pm
        Bolt1493 said | August 13th 2018 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

        Not sure Eagles will host QF yet – have to win another game, neither of them are gimmies. I was a little worried by Essendon in the finals, they really looked to have momentum but they should fall just short, most of the others will not be simple either for the Eagles. GWS will be hard on anyone. I really hope Tigers do not lose their QF – if they did I would not be heartbroken for the Eagles to lose the QF and so avoid Richmond until the GF. Working to get second to end up playing Tigers in the Prelim would be pretty sucky even if it was in Perth. I would fancy the Eagles if playing the Demons or Pies in Perth or MCG during the finals.

        • Roar Guru

          August 13th 2018 @ 1:04pm
          Peter the Scribe said | August 13th 2018 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

          Hang on…the Eagles smashed Richmond in Perth! Why on earth would you fear playing them over there in a prelim? You’d go in favourites!

          • August 13th 2018 @ 4:04pm
            Bolt1493 said | August 13th 2018 @ 4:04pm | ! Report

            Why would we want to play them when we could be playing Demons or similar.

            • Roar Guru

              August 13th 2018 @ 4:56pm
              Peter the Scribe said | August 13th 2018 @ 4:56pm | ! Report

              You belted them by 10 goals in Perth, what are you worried about? They have lost every away game except against a sorry Suns outfit this year! They just aren’t very good away at all, not even average. Why not boot them out of the finals in the prelim (they actually don’t beat good sides away) and come up against a weaker MCG opponent in the GF?

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