Two Tigers Call Time
In mid-August, midfielder Nathan Foley announced his immediate retirement from football due to a degenerative knee injury.
Brook "Boris" Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA
The Sunday special this week belonged to Richmond and St Kilda, two clubs with differing fortunes and vastly different short term futures. The Saints, only a couple of years removed from a Grand Final appearance, seem to have bypassed their potential Premiership window as their older players move away from their prime. The Tigers on the other hand, have put a dark recent past behind them, forging a bright future on the back of 60,000 plus members and a three game winning streak that should help them build towards their first Finals appearance since 2001. The sideshow to every St Kilda versus Richmond clash is the match up of gun forward cousins in Nick (St Kilda) and Jack (Richmond) Riewoldt, with Jack having the better of the spoils over the last few contests including a seven goal haul the last time these two teams met. Tiger young gun Nick Vlastuin was a late withdrawal prior to game time, while St Kilda were without feisty goal sneak Stephen Milne after off field issues that could potentially end a tumultuous but effective career.
Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia
A solid crowd of 40,000 plus pushed through the turnstiles of the MCG to witness the Round 7 twilight clash between the Richmond Tigers and the Sydney Swans. The Richmond faithful, feeling good after a win against Port Adelaide, were once again pinning their hopes on victory against a Top Four contender, this time in the guise of the ultra-consistent Sydney. The Swans on the other hand were looking to rebound after a shock home loss to the Adelaide Crows after previously being undefeated.
Brook "Boris" Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from AAMI Stadium, Adelaide
Overcast conditions and a steady drizzle greeted the visiting Richmond Tigers as they ran onto a pristine AAMI Stadium surface to face the Port Adelaide Power. With both teams sporting an equally precarious 1-4 record, the importance of a win and the prized four Premiership points could not be understated. The home fans were buoyed by a strong Port performance a week earlier at the same venue when a late fade out cost them a win against their arch rival Adelaide Crows, while Tiger fans could point to narrow losses against League pacesetters the West Coast Eagles and Geelong Cats as evidence of solid improvement.
A Round 23 clash between two struggling clubs would normally not attract a lot of attention but this round had a high level of importance for both Richmond and Melbourne. The Tigers had seemingly lost their way after an exciting start to the season but, coming off a thumping 47 point win against perennial finalist Sydney, they appeared to have their mojo back. If they could pull off a win against Melbourne – a feat they had not managed since Round 18, 2009 – some momentum could be regained as the Tigers move into a very important off-season. Melbourne on the other hand, has had its season torn apart over the past month, going from a highly-touted dynasty built around Trengove, Scully and Watts to a team which sacked its coach after some abysmal late season performances. Amazingly, the Demons could still mathematically make the Finals with a win over Richmond and games against cellar-dwelling Gold Coast and Port Adelaide to follow.
Brook Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia
Fresh from an unexpected victory over the all-conquering Cats, Essendon were favored to continue their resurgence with a win over a Richmond team coming off a belting at the hands of a rampaging Carlton. Essendon made one forced change from the team that beat Geelong, with the injured Andrew Welsh making way for Ricky Dyson. The Tigers decided not to make wholesale changes in the wake of their dismal display against Carlton, recalling Luke McGuane to bolster a thin defense and bringing back young draftee Reece Conca after a week’s rest.
In a season-defining win, the Richmond Tigers have come of age, defeating one of the most talented and improved sides in the AFL, the Fremantle Dockers, and recording their third victory in a row. After many seasons at the bottom of the Ladder, the young Richmond side has shown that it is heading in the right direction and that it may well upset other stronger and more experienced teams on the road to improvement.
Mitch Brown, shoulder, season
Max Rooke, knee, indefinite
Jesse Stringer, hip, season
Adam Varcoe, knee, season
Hopes were high that after last week’s spirited performance against Geelong, Richmond could break their winless streak and take the game up to an in-form Western Bulldogs. However there were ominous signs when Richmond players failed to break through the supporters’ club banner when running onto the ground.
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