The Richmond Tigers finished 12th on the ladder in season 2021.
They had nine wins, one draw and 12 losses. They were unfortunate to miss out on the finals by one and a half wins. There were plenty of injuries that the Tigers were forced to deal with. They only had four players that featured in all 22 games. Those players were Jayden Short, Jack Graham, Liam Baker and Jack Riewoldt.
It was a challenging season for the Tigers as they lost eight games by 20 points or more in season 2021. They didn’t have any players in the AFL All Australian squad of 40 in season 2021. It’s fair to say that they would be disappointed with where they finished on the ladder, but due to that they rejuvenated a bit as they had six debutants.
To be eligible for selection, it’s essential that each player selected featured in at least five games in season 2021. Here are the five players and an honourable mention selected, which the Tigers could least afford to lose based on their performances in season 2021.
Honourable mention: Kane Lambert
Lambert featured in just 13 of 22 games that the Tigers played in season 2021. Despite that, he finished ninth in the Tigers’ best and fairest in season 2021. He averaged the second most score involvements of any Tigers player with an average of 6.23 score involvements per game. He averaged the equal fourth most score assists of any Tigers player with an average of 0.77 goal assists per game.
5. Toby Nankervis
Nankervis featured in 16 of 22 games that the Tigers played in season 2021. He averaged the most contested possessions of any Tigers player with an average of 10.31 contested possessions per game. He averaged the most clearances of any Tigers player with an average 4.31 clearances per game. He was labelled as a barometer by the Tigers coach Damien Hardwick prior to the first game back for Nankervis from injury, which occurred in Round 18 when the Tigers defeated the Lions.
4. Nathan Broad
Broad is a player that can play on tall or mid-sized forwards. He is a versatile defender that’s difficult to replace. Impressively, he averaged the third most intercepts per game with an average of 6.71 intercepts per game. The Tigers won seven of the 14 games that Broad featured in, which was more on average, which equated to them winning 50 per cent of games with him in the team. They only won two of the eight games that Broad was unavailable to play through injury in season 2021, which equated to the Tigers only winning 25 per cent of games without him.
3. Shai Bolton
He was a pivotal part of the Tigers’ team in season 2021. He had the equal most goal assists of any of the Tigers’ players with an average of exactly one goal assist per game. He may have missed two games, but he averaged the third most score involvements of any Tigers player with an average of 6.05 score involvements on average per game. He finished fourth in the Tigers’ best and fairest by one vote. Therefore, had he played all 22 games he probably would’ve finished in the top two in the Tigers’ best and fairest in season 2021.
2. Dion Prestia
Prestia featured in nine games, but in one of those nine games he had to be subbed out and he only three disposals in that game. It was in Round 3 against the Swans. They won five of the other eight games. He averaged the second most clearances of any Tigers player with an average of 4.22 clearances per game. He also worked hard defensively as he averaged the third most tackles of any Tigers player with an average of 4.11 tackles per game.
1. Dustin Martin
Martin is a player that’s impossible to replace. He finished equal fifth in the Tigers’ best and fairest, despite featuring in 16 games. He averaged the second most contested possessions of any Tigers player with an average of 9.44 contested possessions. He averaged the second most metres gained of any Tigers player with an average of 383.94 metres gained per game. He averaged the most inside 50s of any of the Tigers players with an average of 5.25 metres inside 50s per game.