Rich­mond v GWS Giants

SATURDAYATURDAY 4.45PM4.45PM

Herald Sun - - FRONT PAGE -

1 CAN THE TIGER TRAIN ROLL ON?

THEY’VE waited a long time for this, and this batch of Tigers looks the goods to en­sure the train pulls into Jolimont sta­tion on the last Satur­day in Septem­ber. Mo­men­tum is an in­cred­i­ble force in foot­ball, and Rich­mond has all of the in­gre­di­ents to get through an­other week. Spring has fi­nally sprung in Mel­bourne which could open the door for an­other tall, es­pe­cially as this is not a night game. But do the Tigers go for a mid-tall, such as Sam Lloyd, or could Shaun Hampson be res­ur­rected?

2 CAN THEY MAIN­TAIN THE RAGE?

AGAINST Gee­long, the Tigers were manic. Their game has been built on pres­sure this sea­son and they pun­ished the Cats at ev­ery op­por­tu­nity in the qual­i­fy­ing fi­nal. Led by skip­per Trent Cotchin and this year’s best player Dustin Martin, they were ra­bid. They recorded their high­est pres­sure rat­ing since 2012 and made Gee­long pay from turnovers. Now to do it again. The week off will help in reload­ing for Satur­day, as they look to re­pro­duce the siren-tosiren ef­fort that blew away Gee­long.

3 CAN THEY FILL THE ‘G?

TICK­ETS go on sale to­day. To say they are the hottest tick­ets in town is an un­der­state­ment. Rich­mond fans turned the ta­bles on “home” side Gee­long 10 days ago and turned the MCG into a Tiger fortress, leav­ing plenty won­der­ing just which club had the home-ground ad­van­tage. Ex­pect Rich­mond sup­port­ers to be out in even greater num­bers this week­end. Set your watches — it’s Tiger time. And it’s go­ing to be huge.

1 CAN STE­VIE J DO IT AGAIN?

THE vet­eran Gi­ant’s roller­coaster year couldn’t have been summed up any bet­ter than over the past fort­night — out of the side one week, boot­ing six goals to get it into a pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal the next. Coach Leon Cameron said on Satur­day night that not even that per­for­mance would not guar­an­tee John­son his spot. ”(His knee has) been a weekly strug­gle all year,” he said. “Some­times he can get up and some­times he doesn’t. We have got to make sure we make that right de­ci­sion.” If he’s in, the fi­nals vet­eran will be rar­ing to make an im­pact.

2 CAN THEY WIN AT THE MCG?

THE Giants have won just one game in Vic­to­ria this sea­son — at Eti­had Sta­dium — and rarely play at the MCG. They fell 19 points short of Rich­mond in their Round 18 fix­ture there and last year lost to Mel­bourne in their only game at the venue. It’s the sec­ond pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal in as many years for the youngest club in the com­pe­ti­tion, but the biggest crowd GWS has played in front of won’t be two-thirds of the Tiger army that is ex­pected on Satur­day. It’ll be a big, hos­tile crowd and whether the Giants can han­dle it is the ques­tion.

3 HOW DO THEY STOP DUSTY?

THE mid­fielder has av­er­aged 33 dis­pos­als against the Giants in the clubs’ two games this sea­son, and was im­mense when they met in Round 18. Given the strength of the Giants mid­field against West Coast — led by Stephen Coniglio and Josh Kelly — Cameron might back his ball­win­ners to outdo Martin. But he thrives on the big stage and can’t go unchecked.

EARLY CALL TIGERSBY 21POINTS

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