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|T. J. Lynch||22:13|
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It is a marquee matchup in the first of the bye rounds, with the might of the black and yellow Richmond Tigers army taking on the giant that is the Geelong Cats, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Join The Roar from 7:50pm (AEST) for live scores and blog of the game.
Say what you like about the AFL Commission this season, but they have nailed scheduling this fixture on the Friday night that kicks off the three bye rounds.
Talk about kicking things off with a bang going into the June long weekend.
Now, let’s all take a step back for a moment, and remember something: Richmond remain without their star defensive player Alex Rance, Jack Riewoldt is still some time away, and the list of injuries at Punt Road is as long as you can imagine.
Yet here they stand, toe to toe with the contenders this season, still making noise and creating waves.
Last week’s loss aside, the Tigers are still bringing their A-game, and that they are doing it with an injury list that would cripple most teams,
How do they continue to do it?
It would be easy to say that Richmond are simply a good systems team, but given their reliance on chaos ball, and just running amok, that style of play relies as much on individual brilliance as it does any system.
And speaking of individual brilliance, the Tigers welcome back Daniel Rioli, Jacob Townsend, and Jack Graham into their line up for tonight’s clash.
And speaking of welcoming back individual brilliance, that is also exactly what Geelong do, with the return of Gary Ablett from his MRP-enforced one-week holiday.
What is it about Geelong that just continues to deliver?
Chris Scott just seems to have the blend right at the moment for his charges to make that premiership tilt, even this early on in the season.
As Tim Kelly continues to tear up the opposition in the middle, more than ably assisted by one Patrick Dangerfield, the Cats go into this contest with both the best attack and defence in the league this season.
What that says is that the Cats are doing it better than the rest in all facets of the game, in particular noting the fixture they’ve had to date.
The simple truth is that the Cats right now are the benchmark, and it is upon the Tigers to respond as to whether they can met that standard.
Richmond come into this match on a three-game winning streak over their opponent, but you get the feeling that the Cats come into this contest with all the confidence.
The No.1 defensive and offensive team in the comp is hard to tip against, and with the return of Gary Ablett, the Cats are looking set to explode.
Cats by 15
Join The Roar from 7:50pm (AEST) for live scores and blog of the game, and please leave a comment in the comment section below.
When: Friday, 7 June 2019, 7:50 pm
Where: MCG, Melbourne
TV: Channel 7, Fox Footy, AFL Game pass, Kayo
Betting: Tigers $2.70, Cats $1.47
B Ryan Garthwaite, Nick Vlastuin, Dylan Grimes
HB Noah Balta, Shane Edwards, Bachar Houli
C Liam Baker, Dion Prestia, Kamdyn McIntosh
HF Daniel Rioli, Jason Castagna, Dan Butler
F Dustin Martin, Tom J. Lynch, Jacob Townsend
FOL Ivan Soldo, Trent Cotchin, Josh Caddy
I/C Sydney Stack, Jack Higgins, Jack Graham, Patrick Naish
B Zach Tuohy, Jake Kolodjashnij, Mark O’Connor
HB Mark Blicavs, Harry Taylor, Tom Stewart
C Patrick Dangerfield, Tim Kelly, Mitch Duncan
HF Luke Dahlhaus, Esava Ratugolea, Tom Hawkins
F Gary Ablett, Gary Rohan, Jordan Clark
FOL Rhys Stanley, Cameron Guthrie, Joel Selwood
I/C Jack Henry, Gryan Miers, Tom Atkins, Brandan Parfitt