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AFANA Finals Preview: Richmond vs Hawthorn

Richmond Tigers vs Hawthorn Hawks (MCG)

State of Play:

This game has all the makings of an absolute classic. On one hand you have Richmond, the reigning premier coming into the game riding a 21-game winning streak at the MCG. On the other you have Hawthorn, the form team of the competition boasting a massive total of 265 games of finals experience (the Tigers have just 114).

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Bulldogs Tame Tenacious Tigers

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Melbourne, Australia

Despite an almighty scare against the lowly ranked Tigers, the Western Bulldogs ran out 10 point winners in a stirring contest at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night. Fielding a young team with one eye firmly on the future, the Tigers almost pulled off a massive upset as they led deep into the final quarter.Im the AFL weekend action, Anthony Miles catches Mitch Wallis. Photo by Kim Densham for AFANA. In the end it was the class of the enigmatic Jake Stringer and young gun Marcus Bontempelli that helped the Bulldogs to victory and kept their top-four hopes alive.
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Tigers Upset Swans in Thriller

Janet Linn reporting for AFANA from Australia

In a Round 13 game played in two distinct halves of football, the Richmond Tigers pulled off a three goal victory over 2014 Grand Finalists the Sydney Swans in a down-to-the-wire thriller at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Franklin Lines Up
The Swans had won their last six games and looked set to run the listless Tigers into the ground before the Tigers found their mojo in the third quarter and produced a scintillating seven goal quarter.

Even before the ball was bounced to start the first quarter, the Swans were showing signs they meant business with Lance (Buddy) Franklin and his opponent Alex Rance
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Tigers Shock Dockers

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia

Riewoldt Marks
The Fremantle Dockers entered Friday night’s home clash with visiting Richmond, searching for what would be a club record tenth win in as many games to start the season. Despite a close call with Adelaide in round nine, no team had been able to penetrate the vaunted Fremantle defense well enough to end the winning streak in 2015. Richmond went into the game on a roll of its own, having chalked up three wins in a row against quality opposition after an indifferent 2-4 start to the season. While the Tigers had not beaten Fremantle in Western Australia since 2009, they could take some solace in the fact their away record has been solid over the past few seasons.
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Tigers Turn Bombers Dreamtime Into Nightmare

Brook Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia

Deledio_tackled
Undoubtedly the biggest game of the AFL’s Indigenous Round - one that celebrates Australia’s indigenous population and their contribution to the game of AFL - is the “Dreamtime at the G” clash between Essendon and Richmond. Almost 84,000 fans packed the MCG to watch this year’s encounter, with both Essendon and Richmond desperate for victory to keep in touch with the Top Eight. The Bombers, having already beaten the reigning Premier in Hawthorn, had shown sporadic form heading into Saturday night’s game, while the Tigers seemed to be finding their mojo with consecutive wins against Collingwood and Port Adelaide after a poor start to the season. There was more to celebrate for Essendon fans as stalwart fullback Dustin Fletcher was playing his 400th AFL game - an amazing achievement given the demands on the modern AFL player.
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Tigers Claw Victory Over Magpies

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick Reporting for AFANA from the Melbourne Cricket Ground

A beautiful Melbourne afternoon greeted fans of Collingwood and Richmond as they headed in droves towards the mecca of Australian sport, the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Under enormous pressure after three losses in a row and with a tough draw ahead, Richmond coach Damien Hardwick was in desperate need of a win to avoid another week of speculation about his tenure at the helm of the Tigers. The late withdrawal of small forward Shane Edwards, arguably the Tigers' best player of the season to date, was a cruel blow to Hardwick and Tiger fans prior to game time. Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley would have been feeling confident of victory with the Magpies holding a winning streak against the Tigers that went back as far as Round 19 in 2007.

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Tigers Down Blues In Season Opener

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia

Over 83,000 football starved fans flooded into the MCG on Thursday night for the opening game on the 2015 AFL season. Richmond went into the game as favorites after a strong finish to their 2014 campaign while Carlton was looking to make a stand despite its recent struggles.

Things started badly for the Tigers with star play maker Brett Deledio reported for a high hit within seconds of the opening bounce. They went from bad to worse when new Carlton recruit Liam Jones (ex-Western Bulldogs) had the first goal on the board for the Blues just seconds later. In a frantic opening few minutes, Carlton’s Dale Thomas left the game with a dislocated shoulder while his team mates were getting the better of their Richmond opponents. A Ben Griffiths goal kept the Tigers within touch but Carlton was doing the bulk of the attacking and stifling the much lauded Tigers midfield. Some errant kicking for goal was all that kept the Blues from building a healthy lead as they were clearly the more polished team early.
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Tigers Hit Bombers For Six

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

A little over a month and a half ago, the Richmond Football Club was languishing near the bottom of the AFL table, an abysmal 3-10 record reflecting a lost season after a promising return to Finals in 2013. Fast forward to their Round 20 game against arch-rivals Essendon with the Tigers a chance to take their record to 9-10 and retain a sniff of the possibility of Finals footy. Essendon itself has been in good shape to appear in the Finals after a horror 2013 when they finished eighth, only to have their points stripped due to the ASADA drug saga, vaulting Carlton from ninth position into the top eight. A win against Richmond would set the Bombers up nicely to play in the major round, despite missing their Captain Jobe Watson since Round 12.
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Bomber Dreamtime Tiger Nightmare

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

“Dreamtime at the G" between Essendon and Richmond once again drew a big crowd of around 75,000 fans, with most expecting a close contest between two teams fighting to stay in contention for Finals' action. Unfortunately for Tiger fans, only one team appeared hungry and it wasn’t the boys donning the yellow sash. Essendon players appeared refreshed after their Round Ten bye and they bounced out of the blocks with the first goal to back man Dustin Fletcher within three minutes of the opening siren. Ben Howlett added a second before ex-Geelong goal sneak Paul Chapman tripled the Bombers' pleasure, giving Essendon a 19 point lead at the ten minute mark with the Tigers yet to score. Essendon’s pressure was first class, forcing Richmond into numerous turnovers. The Tigers bombed the ball forward - seemingly without system - playing into the hands of the hard running Bombers. Howlett kicked his second goal as the Bombers did what they pleased. It wasn’t until the twenty-one minute mark that Richmond finally registered a score - and it was a rushed behind. At quarter time the Bombers held a commanding 27 point lead that should have been even greater on the balance
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Demons Exorcize Tigers

Brook "Boris" Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

It was supposed to be a celebration of the life of Tommy Hafey, Richmond’s iconic four time Premiership coach who sadly passed away during the week. Instead, for Richmond, it was a disaster of far-reaching proportions. Coming into the contest with a precarious 2-5 record, the Tigers simply had to win. Not just to keep their Finals hopes alive, not just to honor the memory of Hafey, but to give their fans some hope that their 15 win season in 2013 wasn’t a fluke. The answer to the latter is one that Tiger supporters will not want to accept and will certainly struggle to understand. Melbourne mounted a spirited effort to grind out a hard-fought win – the Demons' second in a row and third for the season. The Demon players were simply better when it counted, their masterful new coach Paul Roos earning every cent of his high-priced contract.
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