There is that old adage, that no matter where Richmond and Collingwood find themselves on the ladder, you can expect a dog fight. The traditional rivals sit side-by-side on the ladder at current, 12th and 13th respectively, but many would say it’s the Pies who are the in-form side between the two. It is a daunting task for the Tigers given that Collingwood have notched up four wins from six games and are coming off a perhaps surprise 19-point victory over West Coast. The Tigers meanwhile are looking to restore some pride and rediscover the spirit and desire that appeared to be lacking last Saturday.
Across the past five meetings – Collingwood holds sway 3-2. The second game of this season being on a Friday night also doesn’t bode well for the Tigers, given Richmond has not defeated Collingwood on a Friday night since 2007, though they did come away with two victories in the 2015 season and subsequently snapping a 7-game losing streak in the process. One advantage the Tigers could have this Friday night is marks inside 50 – a statistic where Richmond are ranked fourth with 13.4 a game. The Pies meanwhile are ranked equal 14th with 10.8 a game. Collingwood could however expose Richmond on the tackling front, given the Tigers are the worst tackling side this season averaging only 62.8 a game whilst the Pies are ranked second with 79.1 a game. Another area where the Tigers remain vulnerable is inside 50s – they have slipped to 17th averaging only 46.8 a game and they have also fallen to 15th in scoring with 80 points a game. In relation to the Schick AFL Player Ratings also, eleven of Richmond’s top 13 players are falling, with only star defender Alex Rance and Captain Trent Cotchin the only players in that group moving up.
Finals are out of calculation for both teams – but you could say that the Pies appear to playing with a real purpose. Under the Friday night lights, Richmond needs and should match their opponents in intensity and desire. It could be a match to remember for more reasons than one.
What do you think will happen on Friday night?