It was nothing short of a disappointing loss to Port Adelaide in the previous round for the Tigers. Understandably, multiple changes are almost a certainty; Damien Hardwick more or less admitted this in his post-match press conference last Friday and even attended the narrow VFL loss to Casey last Sunday afternoon to see firsthand just who the changes might be.
One of the more obvious changes that should occur ahead of the game against the Western Bulldogs this Saturday night is swapping out Ivan Maric for Shaun Hampson. The only sticking point here is that Hampson faces a fitness test on his knee to be able to resume duties as the Club’s #1 ruckman. Whilst Maric is universally loved by the Yellow and Black, he had little impact on the game last Friday night unfortunately. However, if Hampson is unable to return from injury, Maric might get a reprieve.
Some of the AFL-listed players who played in the aforementioned narrow VFL loss last Sunday afternoon that may have shown enough for a senior stint include Andrew Moore, Jason Castagna and Oleg Markov. Moore, a mature-age recruit from Port Adelaide, has been the most consistent player across four quarters for the past month, according to Richmond VFL coach Craig McRae. He netted 24 disposals, nine clearances, eight tackles and a goal last Sunday. Castagna meanwhile kicked three goals (a couple coming at crucial times) along with amassing 23 disposals, seven tackles, four clearances and four inside 50s. A highlight of Markov’s game in particular was his run-and-carry and ball-use off half-back; though he has played roles across the ground at VFL level so far this season. He netted 19 disposals, six tackles and had eight handball receives as well.
Just who comes out for Moore, Castagna and Markov could be any number of players, depending on which supporters you speak to. All three would be a welcome addition to a team who is looking to finish off the season as strongly as possible.
Who makes your best 22 for Saturday night?