There are two ways Richmond could go ahead of their grudge match with arch rival Collingwood this Friday night – either back the kids in or bring in some senior players. The Tigers have been all about playing the kids in recent weeks, but you could make the case that they were overwhelmed against the Giants in Canberra last Saturday afternoon...perhaps this was symptomatic of the whole team though.
Nevertheless, there will undoubtedly be team changes for the game against the Pies. A handful of senior listed players have made a case for selection through the VFL. However, who comes out of the team from last Saturday to make way for these players is no easy task; especially given the Herald Sun reported that only Alex Rance and Dustin Martin could walk off the field content with their game after the demoralising loss to the Giants. If that is to be believed, then the remaining 20 players are all in danger of being omitted – perhaps it’s not as dramatic as that – and that instead, a decent handful might find themselves on shaky ground ahead of Friday night.
Two players at VFL level who deserve another crack at senior level have to be recycled Port Adelaide midfielder Andrew Moore – 37 disposals, 11 clearances, 20 contested possessions and 14 handball receives against Frankston last Saturday – a strong four-quarter effort, according to VFL Development Coach Ryan Ferguson. If he does get another opportunity, it will be his first senior game since Round 4. The other player is the somewhat maligned Jacob Townsend – 24 disposals, 10 tackles, 14 handball receives and five clearances against Frankston. The midfielder is a tackling machine, an area where the Tigers have clearly been lacking this season. The former Giant has had extremely limited senior exposure as a Tiger, coming in and out of the side. However, his toughness in the contest could prove pivotal to Richmond coming away with bragging rights under the Friday night lights.
The Tigers may also be ruthless with their tall men in the forward line –Liam McBean was given a two-week stint before being relegated to the VFL again last Saturday. Some supporters deemed this harsh, with Ty Vickery making his way back into the senior team in the previous round and arguably not showing much. Although he missed the game against the Giants with a groin injury, fellow tall man Ben Griffiths might come in for Vickery provided he passes a fitness test. Griffiths showed about as much as McBean and Vickery have in recent weeks though, but bringing him back in as the support for Shaun Hampson in the ruck duel as well as being a target up forward might not be the craziest idea in the world. There is nothing left to lose for Richmond, but they need to restore the pride – in themselves, in the jumper and in their supporters.
Who makes your best 22 for Friday night?