The bye rounds may be over, but footy tragics will still be blessed with a Thursday fixture, when the Tigers take on the Swans in a top-of-the-table clash at Etihad Stadium. Both sides come into this game on the back of a bye, and will be eyeing off a Home Qualifying Final at the end of the year, with healthy percentages ensuring they are sitting 1st (Tigers) and 2nd (Swans) on the ladder. Richmond supporters would be no doubt wishing this game was at the ‘G instead of across the CBD at Docklands, but bear in mind the last team to beat Richmond at the MCG (after 16 consecutive wins for the Tiges) was…..you guessed it- the Swans! John Longmire’s men were too physical for the Tigers late in the game on that occasion, but Richmond’s run and pressure in 4th quarters this season have been something to behold- so this Thursday night clash promises to be a mouthwatering display where every single point counts.
Richmond (LWWLW) – They might not be playing with quite the same momentum and seamless ball movement as their Finals series last year, but the Tigers are certainly not suffering from a Premiership hangover. Clearly more vulnerable away from home (0/3 in interstate fixtures), Richmond have consistently found a way to rebound strongly from any loss- and it usually comes from frenetic pressure from their mosquito fleet. Daniel Rioli, in his first game since the 2017 Grand Final, came back into the team and pulled out 8 tackles and a number of gut-busting 1 %ers, demonstrating the strong bond within this team- both off the field and from a tactical perspective during games. Everyone knows exactly what role they need to play. They don’t need to be superstars.
Sydney (WWWWW) – Since they were sprung at home by the Kangaroos, the Swans have strung 6 straight wins together- though it does need to be said that just one of those opponents is currently in the Top 8. You can only beat who you are drawn against, however, and the most impressive element of their wins of late has been the amount of different contributors. Ollie Florent has started to play more through the midfield and gives the engine room another dimension with his electric pace, while players like Zak Jones, George Hewett, Aliir Aliir and Tom McCartin are closing the gap between the top and the tail of the team. It’s quite remarkable what the list management and development teams have done for this club- so many diamonds in the rough!
Stats That Matter– Sydney have won the past 2 meetings by a combined 122 points – Richmond have won 10 of 13 fourth quarters at a percentage of 169% – Lance Franklin has kicked 15 goals in his last 4 matches against Richmond – The Swans have won 4 of their last 5 games at Etihad Stadium – Richmond have had 15+ Goals on 8 occasions this year – Luke Parker averages 113 Fantasy Points per game at Etihad – Isaac Heeney has had 100+ Fantasy Points in 5 of his last 6 matches
2018 Line: Richmond- 7-6; Sydney- 7-6
2018 Over-Under: Richmond- 7-6; Sydney- 6-7
What To Expect
The Wolf is expecting a very physical encounter on Thursday night which should see a few swings in momentum. Both sides have clear statistical dominance in certain times of the game and the Wolf is very keen to bet into the Wire to Wire market given the game is expected to be both low-scoring and tight. Richmond should win in Melbourne, but the Swans absolutely thrive on these scenarios and it would be no surprise to hear their fans cheering the red and the white! Tigers in a nail-biter.
How It’s Shaping UpRichmond by 7
Best Bet: Wire to Wire- Any Other Result ($2.00) Value Bet: Richmond 1-24 ($3.20) Player Prop: Isaac Heeney 100+ Fantasy Points ($1.75) First Goalscorer: Jason Castagna ($15.00)