It’s been heard before. Certain ways to beat Richmond can be said, listed. Yet nothing has troubled the Tigers in Victoria throughout the 2018 season.
However, if they are to be stopped, Collingwood are one of the only teams capable.
Here’s how they’ll have to do it.
Stay desperate, stay with them
Richmond aren’t the type of team to blow others away within the first quarter. They steadily apply waves of pressure until the opposition crumbles. It’s what allowed them to break free in the 2017 finals series, as they managed to go on a second-half spree in each game. Part of this is based on fitness.
The Pies have had two tough games, yet this may have hardened them and kept their match fitness to an optimum. Therefore, they must do what they have done in their previous encounters with Richmond and stay with them, even ahead of them if possible.
If they can do this and remain fit and energetic, then who knows what a final quarter in front of 100,000 may bring when the Tigers are coming off one game in four weeks.
Don’t let Richmond kick red-time goals
In the previous two encounters this year, quarters were relatively even, bar the final terms. Richmond were able to maintain their lead and stay a couple of goals ahead due to their ability to hit the scoreboard late in quarters.
Casting the mind back to their latest game, Dustin Martin’s late goal before halftime shifted the momentum away from the Pies and ensured that they would never see the lead again.
If the Magpies are to cause a boilover, they have to stop these late goals in the last five minutes of play, or else they’ll be down at the end of quarters regardless of how well they play during the guts of the term.
Use the ball smartly when entering forward 50
Collingwood must use their slingshot running game to cleanly pass the Tigers’ defenders. Glimpses of it were shown against Greater Western Sydney, where hard leading broke open the forward 50 and allowed for easy shots at goal. But this has to be done by the whole line as well.
High balls down the line are killers, and the Pies, through have to lower the eyes and hit targets forward of centre if they are going to kick a score large enough to win the game.
Cut off Jack’s leading room
Coleman Medallist Jack Riewoldt is indispensable for Richmond’s forward line. The reason why they score so heavily with just one tall forward is because he is so damn good at what he does. His leading is key in creating space for his livewire small forwards.
If you can flood Riewoldt’s leading space and cut off his runs, then it blocks the others from finding room to crumb balls and kick easy goals. It all starts with Jack.
Pressure them the whole time – especially their midfield
Brodie Grundy is huge in dictating how the Pies will go. Therefore, Collingwood’s dominant midfield must win the clearances and give their forwards first use of the footy before the Tigers can kick into gear.
Scoreboard pressure is key in finals, and winning the ball at the coalface and gaining territory goes a long way to securing this.
If Dusty is down in form and score output, then the midfield can be pressured to swing the momentum towards Collingwood’s way.