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Bad Bounce Turns Tigers Blue

Brook "Boris" Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

Richmond and Carlton headed to the MCG on Saturday night desperate for a change in fortune. With the Blues sitting in 11th position and the Tigers 12th, a loss in their round 18 clash would spell curtains for any post-season aspirations in 2012. Richmond, fresh off narrow defeats to Gold Coast and North Melbourne, were searching for a win against a Carlton team that has completely dominated them over the last few seasons. The Blues were riddled with injury after being touted as premiership favorites just a couple of months earlier, their problems exacerbated by losing prime mover Chris Judd to a bizarre “tackle” against the Kangaroos in Round 17. Matthew Kreuzer and Kane Lucas returned for Carlton, while Richmond welcomed back spiritual leader Jake King from a knee injury.

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Kangaroos Into Top Eight

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

Sunday's Round 17 clash between the in-form North Melbourne Kangaroos and the struggling Richmond Tigers was touted as the Tigers' last chance to gain a Finals berth. Realistically, that chance probably passed the Tigers by a week earlier at the hands of the Gold Coast Suns, but there was no doubting the importance of this game to both teams. The Kangaroos could stake their claim to a Top Eight finish with a victory, while Richmond desperately needed to restore some lost credibility after an abysmal performance in Cairns. They welcomed back exiled young gun Dustin Martin while the Kangaroos would be missing one of their rising stars in Jack Ziebell, outed for four weeks by the increasingly confusing Match Review Panel.

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Tigers Unconvincing Over Demons

Brook "Boris" Kilpatrick reporting from the MCG for AFANA

A sunny Saturday afternoon was the setting for the Round 15 clash between a shell-shocked Richmond and a hungry Melbourne. The Tigers had endured a horror week off the field, losing Ty Vickery to season-ending shoulder surgery and team barometer Jake King to a knee injury for four weeks. As if that weren't enough, Dustin Martin was suspended by the club for two weeks in an incident that cost Daniel Connors his Richmond AFL career. Dylan Grimes was also unavailable with ongoing hamstring troubles and Daniel Jackson would be sitting out after being suspended for a love tap on Adelaide's Chris Knights in the previous round.

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Round 14 Milestones

Peter (241 games) and Shaun (210) Burgoyne became the 12th pair of brothers in League history to reach a combined total of 450 games. The leaders are: Madden (710 games - Simon 378, Justin 332), Nankervis (578 - Ian 325, Bruce 253), Coventry (533 - Syd 227, Gordon 306), Richardson (518 - Wayne 277, Max 241), Wakelin (513 - Darryl 252, Shane 261), Rocca (499 - Saverio 257, Anthony 242), Matthews (487 - Leigh 332, Kelvin 155), Cornes (483 - Chad 248, Kane 235), Hocking (473 - Stephen199, Garry 274), Collier (470 - Harry 253, Albert 217), Voss (459 - Michael 289, Brett 170), and the Burgoynes.

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Tigers Repel Gutsy Giants

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia

A cold and dreary Skoda Stadium greeted players from Richmond and Greater Western Sydney (GWS) in a match that was expected to be won comfortably by the Tigers. Whilst the Giants had shown they could compete for periods with the top sides, they had struggled to perform over a full four quarters, clearly tiring as their matches wore on. Richmond, coming off a frustrating loss to a well drilled Fremantle team, was desperate to go into the bye with a win to even its season win-loss record at 6-6.

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Tigers Bury Saints Hoodoo

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia

In an unlikely “match of the round”, form teams St Kilda and Richmond met at Etihad Stadium in front of a pumped up Friday Night Footy crowd. The Tigers had not beaten St Kilda since 2003, though they came painfully close in the corresponding match just 12 months earlier when the game ended in a tense draw. The Saints were instilled as slight favorites with the bookmakers, in part due to the Tigers' poor form at Etihad and the aforementioned head to head record. St Kilda has been transformed into a more attacking team under new coach Scott Watters, giving the match all of the ingredients for an enthralling contest.

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Like Tigers Of Old

Brook "Boris" Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia

The Round 9 match between Hawthorn and Richmond was billed as a clash between the newly anointed Premiership favorites and the up and coming Finals hopefuls. The recent demise of Carlton and the continuing struggles of Geelong had the bookmakers talking up the Hawks as the team to beat in 2012. With young gun defender Dylan Grimes out of the Richmond team through injury, all signs pointed to a comfortable Hawthorn victory. The late withdrawal of another solid defender in Jake Batchelor left the Tigers' defense ripe for the picking for the Hawks' prize forwards in Lance “Buddy” Franklin and the dynamic Cyril Rioli.

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Bombers Take Dreamtime Honors

Brook "Boris" Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia

A massive crowd of over 80,000 footy fans streamed into the MCG to witness the Dreamtime clash between the Essendon Bombers and the Richmond Tigers. The game had been built up as a battle between two up and coming teams. The Bombers were sitting pretty near the top of the AFL Ladder with a 6-1 record versus the Tigers who were coming off good wins against Port and Sydney to be knocking on the door of the Top Eight.

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Tigers Earn Their Stripes

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.

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Resurgent Tigers Overcome Demons

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.

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