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A Friday night blockbuster arrives at the SCG as Sydney host Richmond in a match with major top-eight ramifications. Join The Roar for live scores and rolling coverage from 7:50pm (AEST).
After three losses in their last four matches, the much-heralded Swans face an improving Tigers outfit in a fixture that could well see Sydney written off as premiership contenders were they to lose on home turf.
Carlton, Gold Coast and Brisbane have proven too strong for John Longmire’s team over the last month, with a lone win against Essendon the only highlight and one not really worth writing home about.
Diametrically opposed to the recent form of the Swans has been the improved play of the Tigers. They enter this fixture off the back of four straight wins and a gutsy loss to premiership favourites Melbourne the week prior. The band is somewhat back together, with key personnel strengthening the Tigers’ performances, yet a few key injuries have now emerged to challenge them once again, as they attempt to establish a firm footing in the top eight at the halfway point of the season.
Team news sees the black and gold without Tom Lynch, who looks set to miss a handful of weeks with a hamstring strain, whilst Kane Lambert also misses this classic eight-point game through injury.
The Swans are reasonably settled when it comes to injury and illness, yet do enter the match without Josh Kennedy and face a long period without the veteran’s services. Ruckman Tom Hickey is also unavailable for Sydney.
Whilst there have been some concerns around AFL crowds, the SCG will be humming for this one and the importance of a win for both teams cannot be underestimated. The Swans will be on the back foot should another unconvincing performance play out, and whilst the Tigers have been charging in recent weeks, they will not be keen on hitting a speed bump in the road, just when their season appeared to be heading in the right direction.
While the bookies have the Swans clear favourites, I’m not too sure why. Form says the Tigers are ready for a smash and grab trip to Sydney, with momentum the key ingredient in such a result.
In what looms as a low-scoring affair, expect the Tigers to prove they are well and truly back.
Richmond by 11 points.
B: D. Rampe (c), P. McCartin, O. Florent
HB: J. McInerney, T. McCartin, J. Lloyd
C: W. Hayward, C. Warner, N. Blakey
HF: L. Parker (c), L. McDonald, M. Roberts
F: T. Papley, L. Franklin, S. Wicks
FOLL: P. Ladhams, C. Mills (c), I. Heeney
I/C: J. Rowbottom, B. Campbell, S. Reid, E. Gulden
EMG: H. McLean, D. Stephens, J. Bell, C. O’Riordan
IN: Rowbottom, Roberts, Reid, Campbell (R10 medi-sub)
OUT: O’Riordan, Bell, Kennedy, Hickey
B: D. Grimes (c), R. Tarrant, J. Gibcus
HB: L. Baker, N. Vlastuin, D. Rioli
C: M. Pickett, J. Short, K. McIntosh
HF: J. Castagna, S. Edwards, S. Bolton
F: D. Martin, I. Soldo, J. Riewoldt
FOLL: T. Nankervis (c), D. Prestia, T. Cotchin
I/C: J. Ross, J. Graham, N. Broad, M. Rioli
EMG: J. Aarts, N. Cumberland, H. Ralphsmith, B. Miller
IN: Graham, Pickett
OUT: Lambert, Lynch