The defending Premiers suffered just their second loss of the season last round, and they will be looking to bounce back at their fortress against the lowly Saints on Saturday afternoon. The struggling Saints will be hard-pressed to get just their second win of 2018 when they take on a Tigers side that will be hellbent on redemption after their shock 47 point defeat to the Eagles last Sunday. Combine that with the fact that the Tigers have won 18 of their last 20 matches at the ‘G and all signs point to a completely one-sided encounter. Saints fans, close your eyes and pray that your side has somehow learnt how to kick straight. Tigers fans- there’s no need to stick your membership cards in the microwave this week, it could be a slaughter.
Richmond (WWWWL) – The Tigers have been cruising past opponents for much of the season before they were overwhelmed in front of the Eagles faithful in Perth last round. There were stages where the West Coast forwards were taking uncontested marks in acres of space- such was the level of confusion amongst a usually stingy Richmond defence. That may give Damien Hardwick some cause for concern in the sense that it may have given other sides a blueprint to defeat them, but that certainly won’t be the case against this impotent Saints forward line.
St. Kilda (DLLLL) – Their closest loss this season came last round against Collingwood- and it was still 28 points. What on earth has Alan Richardson done to this club? Their draw against GWS now has some context, with the Giants poor form-line suggesting it wasn’t as impressive as first thought. Jack Billings may have become the poster boy for his inaccuracy in front of goal, but more perplexing is the evolution of Tim Membrey; who was the most accurate goal-kicker with over 30 goals last season (69%). He is currently shooting at a mere 25% and the Saints lack of belief in themselves and their gameplan is tough to watch.
Stats That Matter– St. Kilda have only once (Round 1) scored more goals than behinds this season – Richmond have won 7 of the last 9 clashes – Dustin Martin had 36 disposals and 2 goals in their last meeting – The Saints are 2-7 ATS in 2018 – Seb Ross is averaging 31 disposals per game in his last 3 against Richmond – The Tigers are 5-1 ATS at the MCG this year – Richmond have not had the leading disposal winner on the ground once this season
2018 Line: Richmond- 5-4; St. Kilda- 2-7
2018 Over-Under: Richmond- 5-4; St. Kilda- 2-7
What To Expect
Watch out St. Kilda, the Wolf is expecting a huge response from the Tigers in this one- and there won’t be a thing a side so bereft of confidence will be able to do about it. They will relish being back in the cauldron of the ‘G and the expected perfect conditions should suit their slick, swift ball movement perfectly. Jack Riewoldt was colossal in a losing side against the Eagles- and he, in conjunction with captain Cotch, will be leading the way for the rest of the Tigers. The Saints will crumble under the relentless Richmond pressure game, and that should see a whole heap of points for the defending Premiers.
How It’s Shaping UpRichmond by 62
Best Bet: Second Half Line- Richmond -24.5 ($1.87) Value Bet: Richmond 121+ Total Points ($3.50) Player Prop: Riewoldt 3+ Goals/Caddy 3+ Goals ($2.31) First Goalscorer: Jack Riewoldt