Richmond v GWS Giants
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