RICHMOND v COLLINGWOOD
MCG, Friday 0750 PM
A dominant 31 point win over the Hawks at the MCG gave the Tigers the week off and passage straight through to the preliminary final. One of the big positives to come from the qualifying final was that Richmond was the closest team to cracking 100 points with some incredibly inaccurate kicking for goal. There is plenty of room for improvement.
Richmond moved the ball well against Hawthorn with just 28 disposals per goal compared to 41 for the Hawks. The Tigers had just 12 disposals per scoring shot. The Magpies averaged 44 disposals per goal against the Giants and 16.62 per shot on goal. The extra 10 points Collingwood kicked was the final margin in the semi final.
What we can see here is two teams that are very efficient with transitioning the ball into attack, but they are struggling to convert in the finals. The team that can turn their quantity of shots into quality goals will win this match.
The Tigers pressure on the Hawthorn defence was incredible and they will replicate that physicality and suffocating presence around the ball against the Magpies. Richmond had 66-36 inside 50s and eleven more shots on goal against the Hawks. They were relentless.
What the Tigers need to do to win this game
- Dustin Martin needs to spend more time in the midfield than the forward line
- Clean use of the football
- Keep the pressure on the Magpies backline
Four quarter effort is one of those old football cliches but it is essential for the Magpies in this preliminary final. In both games that they have played Richmond this season, the Tigers have stormed home to win convincingly. In round 6 the Magpies trailed by just 15 points at three quarter time and lost by 43 and in round 19 the Magpies trailed by just 4 points and lost by 28.
Steele Sidebottom will be key to the Magpies winning the contested football and clearances against the Tigers. The midfielder had 31 disposals, 6 inside 50s and 5 clearances against the Giants.
What the Magpies need to do to win this game
- Accurate goal kicking
- 4 quarter effort. No last quarter shutdowns.
- Win the clearances and the contested football
STATS THAT MATTER
- Dustin Martin remains the king of finals football with 29 disposals, 4 tackles, 5 inside 50s and 10 clearances against the Hawks. A magnificent goal in the second term helped to break the game open with Richmond going into the half time break with a 14 point lead.
There has been speculation that Martin is carrying a ‘significant’ knee injury which could see him playing forward rather than in the engine room. Every minute he spends away from the midfield will benefit the Magpies.
- Adam Treloar hasn’t missed a beat since his return from a double hamstring injury. He built on his impressive performance against the Eagles with 29 disposals and 4 clearances in the semi final against the Giants.
- Pressure will be the key for the Magpies, particularly in the first quarter in front of a sell out crowd. Collingwood will look to Scott Pendlebury and Taylor Adams to set a physical tone early. Pendles had 11 tackles and Adams 10 against the Giants.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Accurate goal kicking is the key in this match for Collingwood. The Magpies may struggle for opportunities and they will need to convert the chances they get. Richmond don’t rely on high possession football to score. The Tigers are incredibly efficient, drilling the ball into their forward 50.
In both games that they have played Richmond this season, Nathan’s Buckley side has been close but consistently unable to turn the game in their favour. The ‘burst’ football that Collingwood has used over the last few weeks hasn’t worked in their favour against the consistent, grinding effort of the Tigers.
The Wolf thinks that the Tigers will be too strong.
HOW IT’S SHAPING UP
Richmond by 24 points