Last year’s Premiers came thudding back to Earth following their 36 point defeat at the hands of Adelaide last Friday, but they are heavily favoured to return to the winners circle when they meet the Hawks at the MCG on Sunday afternoon. Flag hero Jack Graham is expected to go to Tom Mitchell in an attempt to rid him of his leather poisoning, while Dusty may spend a little more time up forward given the absence of the suspended Josh Caddy and the key outs for the Hawks back 50.
FormRichmond (1-1): Richmond’s start to their Premiership defence has been solid, if not unspectacular. After accounting for the Blues comfortably enough in the season opener, they were simply out-worked by a gallant Crows side. It is certainly not panic stations for the Tigers despite the 36 point loss.
Hawthorn (2-0): One of only 4 teams still undefeated, Hawthorn’s victory came at a cost with defenders James Sicily and Shaun Burgoyne both missing for this big game against Richmond. Tom Mitchell has easily been the form player of the AFL, while the experienced Hawks forward line just continues to mature like a fine wine.
Stats That Matter– Richmond were 9-3 ATS at the MCG last year – Tom Mitchell has amassed 94 disposals and 265 Fantasy Points across the first 2 rounds – The Tigers are 2-0 on the Over/Under this year – Dusty averages 31 disposals per game in his last 4 against Hawthorn – Richmond have conceded 90+ on both occasions this year despite averaging only 74 points against last year – Hawthorn are 2-0 ATS in 2018
What To ExpectThe Wolf is expecting the Tigers to bounce back after last round, and they will relish returning to the ‘G. Hawthorn have certainly proved they shouldn’t be scratched entirely from Top 8 conversations, but it would appear they do not quite have the firepower to deal with Richmond. Jaeger O’Meara might be returning to somewhere near his Rising Star best, but Damien Hardwick will have his charges very well prepared against his former mentor, Alistair Clarkson.
How It’s Shaping UpRichmond by 22
Best: Richmond WIN ($1.65) Value: Richmond by 20-39 ($4.10) Player Prop: Jack Graham 10+ tackles ($3.75) First Goalscorer: Jacob Townsend