The unfavourable Sunday timeslot will see Richmond host Gold Coast for the second-consecutive time at the MCG. It is equally as much a danger game for the Tigers as it is the most winnable for the Suns since the Q Clash. Richmond will be looking to atone for the mistakes made against North Melbourne in Hobart last Friday night whilst Gold Coast will be hoping to snap an eight-game losing streak.
The Suns are a team that the Tigers need to remain wary of. They have regained the services of several of their key players in recent weeks and have lifted accordingly, without winning. Their performance against the Swans in the previous round in trying conditions is just one example. It also prompted Gold Coast coach, Rodney Eade to say that his charges had grown in the torrid conditions. Just how much Gold Coast has improved in recent weeks was underlined by Alex Rance, who spoke to the media last Thursday morning. He said “over the last four weeks, they’re No. 4 for contested ball and tackles. So, it’s definitely not going to be a walk in the park.”
Richmond will put time into the two potent ‘talls’ in Tom Lynch, who Rance considers to be at least one of the top two forwards in the competition at the moment that is reflected in the 35 goals he has kicked so far this season as well as Peter Wright, who has been the Suns number one target up forward across the past month. Curbing their impact on the game may contribute to Richmond replicating their last outing against Gold Coast – an 83-point victory that saw the Tigers kick 14 goals to three in the second half, Ty Vickery kicked four goals and Dustin Martin was best-on-ground with 29 disposals, six tackles and three goals. Since winning their first three games of the season, Gold Coast have lost by more than 50 points in five of those losses, conceding an average score of 132 points a game.
Anything could still happen on Sunday afternoon and that’s what makes it a rather intriguing clash in a way, especially when you consider that Richmond is ranked equal-eighth in centre clearances with an average of 13.5 a game. This should advantage the Suns, who rank 16th with an average of 11.5 a game. However, the Suns are ranked second-last for inside 50s this season, averaging 46.1 a game. They’re ranked 14th for scoring with an average of 80 points a game. Gold Coast will undoubtedly take it up to Richmond, so the Tigers will have to have a real crack if they want to come away with the four points and restore some order after a rather indifferent week.
What are your thoughts on the game ahead?