The fact that Damien Hardwick labelled Richmond’s fourth quarter against Hawthorn last Saturday afternoon as ‘shameful’ means that team changes should not be ruled out ahead of their match against Greater Western Sydney this Saturday afternoon in Canberra. One player that will not make his return is Brett Deledio, who has been treated conservatively with his calf and put away for the remainder of the season.
Another player the Tigers may take a conservative approach with is Dylan Grimes, who was unable to play out the game against Hawthorn with hamstring tightness. He does however face a fitness test to be deemed available to play. If Richmond chooses to not run the risk, they might look at bringing back Bachar Houli to the senior team after playing only 75% of one VFL game last Saturday. He amassed 24 disposals, five clearances and six tackles. Richmond VFL coach Craig McRae said of Houli’s return...” His last quarter was one that really set the scene for the team. It was a great day out for him”. Further to this, Nathan Schmook from AFL.com.au believes Houli looks ready to return to the senior team and he would thus give the Tigers the creativity off half-back they were missing against the Hawks.
Two other players, who might be omitted from the team, after having a few lacklustre performances, could be Jason Castagna and Shane Edwards. Both players were quite down in their output against the Hawks, but Edwards in particular has gone missing in consecutive games now. The player who may come in for Castagna could finally be the opportunity for mature-age rookie Adam Marcon to be upgraded from the rookie list. He amassed 21 disposals, seven tackles, three clearances and kicked a goal in the surprise victory over the Box Hill Hawks, where he showcased his versatility by playing on the wing, in the midfield and on the forward line. The standout performer at VFL level is yet to be given a chance at senior level and Schmook believes he should be tested before the end of the season. The player who may come in for Edwards meanwhile could be Jacob Townsend, a player the Tigers appear reluctant to bring back into the senior team – playing him once in three months, according to Schmook. Last Saturday afternoon against Box Hill, he amassed 28 disposals and had eight tackles. McRae said of Townsend... “Another who, when the game was on the line, really wanted to step up. He had eight clearances, 11 inside 50s and a goal”. Whether or not these particular team changes will happen remains to be seen, but Richmond have nothing to lose by giving both an opportunity at senior level.
Who makes your best 22 for Saturday afternoon?