Richmond will be looking for redemption when they take on Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval this Friday night, with Brandon Ellis admitting on Tuesday afternoon that the elimination final loss to the Power in 2014 still burns, let alone the fact that Tigers will be looking to atone for the Round 6 loss at the MCG earlier this season too.
The team that will take on them this time around will be marginally different to the team who beat Brisbane in the previous round. Ben Griffiths and Jake Batchelor were both late outs in the previous round due to sickness are available for selection against the Power. However debutant Nathan Broad, who came in for Batchelor last Saturday afternoon, netted 14 disposals including five intercepts, five marks and provided some good run and carry out of the backline. He may hold his place in the team keeping Batchelor on the sidelines for at least another week. The other late inclusion last Saturday afternoon was Jacob Townsend, who came in for Griffiths and he provided some real toughness at the coalface for his team. He may also hold his place in the team to take on Port Adelaide.
A player that might receive a reprieve and return to the senior team to take on the Power could be Ivan Maric, who was a late withdrawal from the VFL side last Sunday. In recent weeks Shaun Hampson has taken over the mantle as the #1 ruckman for the Tigers, but a knee injury very late in the victory over the Lions means that he is a 50/50 prospect to face Port Adelaide and faces a fitness test to continue his career-best form in Adelaide on Friday night.
There is also three players in particular that are seriously pushing hard for a senior call up, thus possibly prompting the Tigers to use the second of their rookie elevations. The first of these players is Adam Marcon – the most consistent AFL listed player at VFL level for a number of weeks, according to Richmond VFL coach Craig McRae. In the loss to Collingwood last Sunday afternoon, he netted 23 disposals, 13 contested, four tackles and kicked two goals. Andrew Moore is also closing in on a senior call up, who finished the game strongly with 23 disposals after only having eight until the last change. He had nine contested possessions in the final term alone along with 14 touches. If Moore can believe in himself for four quarters, McRae believes he is more than capable of playing above the level when he does. Jason Castagna also made a strong case for a senior recall, after being named as the third AFL emergency for the game against Brisbane last Saturday. He played as a midfielder for three quarters, with McRae saying he was probably the best player particularly in the first half. He laid 10 tackles and has 17 disposals to the main break. He played a half-back role in the final term and whilst he didn’t have as much influence, he more than showed he’s capable of playing in the midfield.
Just what the team line-up will be remains to be seen. It will be interesting to see who boards the plane to Adelaide on Thursday though, with many different players available for selection.
Who makes your best 22 to take on Port Adelaide on Friday night?