Friday, August 7, 2015, 7.50pm AEST, Adelaide Oval, watch on Seven Network, Fox Footy
Adelaide Crows: ninth
Richmond Tigers: sixth
Adelaide Crows: 9-7-0
Richmond Tigers: 11-6-0
Last five games
Adelaide Crows: WLWWL
Richmond Tigers: WWWLW
THE mighty Tigers are on a roll, having disposed of premiership favourites Hawthorn in brilliant performance last Friday night.
Now it’s time top back it up, again under the Friday night lights, with the challenger this time being a desperate Adelaide Crows ($2.20 with WilliamHill.com.au)
A top four berth is not out of reach for Richmond ($1.72 with CrownBet.com.au), with just one win separating it and the third placed Hawks after the stunning result, 10.11 (71) to 7.11 (53).
The Tigers were rabid. They were hungry. And they choked a Hawthorn outfit that looked at times disinterested and not up to the task.
They tend to do that to Hawthorn, though, so this week is a real litmus test as they hit the road to Adelaide, where it hasn’t exactly been a happy hunting ground.
Brett Deledio was the best player on the deck, garnering only 18 disposals, but converting four of those into goals to prove the difference.
The usual suspects in Dustin Martin (27 touches), the vastly improved Brandon Ellis (27) and Trent Cotchin (24) fired for the Tiges, but it was lesser light Anthony Miles who gave the superstars a much needed chop out, accumulating 30 disposals in perhaps his best game for the club.
“‘Milesy’ has been a fantastic pick-up for us,” defender Troy Chaplin said.
“He’s come into the midfield and had a massive impact since halfway through last year.
“He puts his body on the line week in, week out, and he’s always getting high tackles against him – we just love him for that.
“He’s heart and soul, and that’s what we’re all about at the footy club.”
Fellow defender Alex Rance said he had absorbed some of the work load of the midfield stars.
“He’s always at the bottom of every pack and he’s taken the workload off ‘Cotchy’,” Rance said.
“It means he (Cotchin) doesn’t have to get bashed up as much at the bottom of the packs and we get his good use on the outside.”
Coach Damien Hardwick was rapt with the victory, especially on the heels of a heartbreaking loss to Fremantle last round.
“The execution of the game plan was really important, probably built on the disappointment of last week,” Hardwick said after the match.
“The guys were quite angry with the loss and the pleasing thing from my point of view is that they turned that disappointment and anger into a really credible performance.
“The way they went about the contest tonight – they hunted the opposition – I thought was as good as I’d seen it.
“It’s another win where we build on our story as a footy club.
“It’s been a reasonably long journey for our patient Richmond fans, but we hope we can repay them at some stage.”
The Tigers have now beaten three of the top four sides in the competition – Hawthorn, Sydney and Fremantle.
The Crows simply must win.
Equal on 38 points with Geelong, but outside the eight on percentage, every game is crucial for the Crows if they want to be alive come September.
They did themselves no favours last week, heading to Sydney and copping a 52 point hammering, 17.15 (117) to 9.11 (65).
Midfield superstar Patrick Dangerfield had another 27 touches, but his usage was left wanting at times, while Scott Thompson had 25 and Tom Lynch had a day out with three goals, 21 disposals and 10 marks.
But it wasn’t anywhere near enough to compete on the road against Sydney and they will be looking forward to the comforts of home.
Crows coach Scott Camporeale reckons the Tigers won’t let them get too comfortable, likening their uncompromising play over the past three weeks to that of bullies.
“If you’ve watched their games the last three weeks against quality opposition that’s what they’ve brought,” Camporeale said.
The Crows have lost pact midfielder Richard Douglas ahead of the clash, after he had his appendix removed on Monday.
Camporeale wants the Crows to hold their own destiny in their hands, rather than relying on other teams to lose, but they need their vanquishers of last week, Sydney, to beat Geelong this weekend.
“You just don’t know what’s going to happen and how other teams are going to fall so, as I’ve said all along, we’ve just got to make sure we keep winning,” he said.
“We can’t rely on other teams losing for us to get in.”
Match winner: Richmond Tigers ($1.72 with CrownBet.com.au)
Line: Richmond Tigers: -5.5 ($1.85 with WilliamHill.com.au)
What makes this a tough one to predict is the nightmares of Richmond past. The Tigers have a track record of being a giant killer and then losing to sides they’re supposed to beat. On paper, they should beat Adelaide. They’re the better side. They have the better record. They have better players and they’re in better form. They just handed the back to back premiers a loss. But you just have that doubt in the back of your mind. The Crows will be desperate. Every one of their players knows they can’t afford to slip up. All of this points to it being a close match. But we’re going to keep trying to believe in the Tigers. Could they actually blow Adelaide away and make a few heads turn? They’re still yet to prove themselves in finals footy action, but a big win over the Crows could well make those other top eight bound teams sit up and take notice.
First goal scorer tips
Tom Lynch ($13 with sportsbet.com.au)
Tom Lynch once kicked 10 goals in a game and it looked like he was going to be a super spearhead for the Crows. Especially with Kurt Tippett gone. But he has been slightly disappointing in the shadow of Taylor Walker and Josh Jenkins. Not so last week. Big Sauce was perhaps the Crows’ best player, gathering 21 possessions and being the side’s only real target up forward, pulling down 10 marks and booting three goals. You get the feeling the mids will have their eye on the 24 year old, who has 22 goals on the season and will be keen to add a few more against Richmond.
Patrick Dangerfield ($19 with sportsbet.com.au)
One of the best midfielders in the game is going through a dry spell in front of the big sticks. Used to provide 20-30 goals a season, these days he spends his time exclusively in the midfield and that has taken him away from the big sticks. So why are we telling you this if we think he is a first goal scorer chance. Well we feel like the Tigers have no obvious match up for the hard nosed talent laden midfielder and we also feel like he will use that as an opportunity to roam. The Crows need more scoreboard help and that could well come from Dangerfield. Only has one goal in the past five games, after hitting the scoreboard in six in a row. He will want to rectify that and we think the $19 is worth just a flutter against the Tigers.
Brett Deledio ($11 with sportsbet.com.au)
The Jack Attack is usually the default pick here, but we’re going to rely on a bit of form and go with Deledio’s purple patch against the Hawks as a pointer for our first goal scorer selection for the Tigers this week. There were three goals kicked in the first quarter of that game between the two sides and it was Deledio who kicked them all. He would kick another later to give him four for the match, but we’re going to ride his pacy, hard tackling, slick kicking skills to hopefully another first goal in the Adelaide game. The four goals gave him 17 for the year, but he has hit the scoreboard in each of his last eight appearances for Richmond.
Kamdyn McIntosh ($29 with sportsbet.com.au)
This is another one out of left field. No Jack, you say? Look, Riewoldt is the obvious pick, but we’re trying to find a bit more value. We guess the $7 about the Tigers’ spearhead is always enticing, but we’re going to take a flyer on the young stud McIntosh. Started out in a blaze of glory and has solidified a spot in the Tigers best 22 with hard running, bash and crash play that is fast making the solid youngster a fan favourite. Not the most likely goal kicker, but has managed to slot one in each of the past two weeks. If he does it again and you decide to follow out tip, you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank with those very juicy odds at Sportsbet.
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