Expectations were high for Melbourne this year on the back of their Preliminary Final finish last year. Unfortunately for the Dees and their fans, they are yet to live up to these hopes and their season sits on the brink at 1-4. The Tigers, on the other hand, have defied external expectations and has found a win despite missing a number of their stars. Will the occasion finally bring the best out of Melbourne or will Richmond continue on their winning ways?
Last Five Meetings
|2018||Rd 5||Rich||15. 12 (102)||Melb||8. 8 (56)||MCG||77,071|
|2017||Rd 5||Rich||12. 16 (88)||Melb||11. 9 (75)||MCG||85,657|
|2016||Rd 5||Melb||20. 9 (129)||Rich||14. 12 (96)||MCG||60,867|
|2015||Rd 4||Melb||12. 11 (83)||Rich||6. 15 (51)||MCG||58,175|
|2014||Rd 9||Melb||14. 7 (91)||Rich||9. 20 (74)||MCG||56,910|
Richmond has won the last two matches between the two sides, breaking a three-game run of outs against the Demons. While Melbourne has the edge 3-2 over the last five games, Richmond has won six of the last 10.
Five reasons to watch
The Last Post.
The commemoration ceremony before this game is one of the most spine-tingling moments of the season. There are some things much bigger than football, and this is perfectly acknowledged when 80,000 spectators are silenced in quiet contemplation of the sacrifices made by others today and in the past.
Will Melbourne Stand Up?
We might sound like a broken record but Melbourne has been the big disappointments of 2019 so far after big things were expected of them in the wake of tremendous final series last year. Their midfield has created plenty of opportunities for the team but the forward line has misfired and the backline has been as leaky as any in the competition. With their season slowly slipping away from them, will a full house at the MCG finally see the best of the Demons?
Undermanned and underrated, Richmond hunted and harassed their way to an impressive victory over Sydney last week. Hunting their prey with a relish, the Tigers feasted on a steady supply of Swan turnovers. So effective were they without the ball, that 58 of their 59 first half points came from opposition error. With the Dees still licking their wounds from St Kilda’s onslaught of pressure on Saturday, you can expect that Richmond will be extremely keen to repeat the dose.
After a slow start to 2019, we got a glimpse of the best of Dustin Martin against the Swans last week. Built for the big stage, as he showed in September 2017, 80+ thousand at the ‘G is sure to have him ready to impress. As will the opportunity to improve upon a relatively poor record, by his lofty standards, against Melbourne. Simon Goodwin will have spent much of the short turn around time this round formulating plans to quell Martin’s impact which means, as always, he will be at the centre of attention come Tuesday night.
If Melbourne knew when they traded Jesse Hogan, just how far Tom McDonald would drop this season, would they have still pressed the button on the deal? While we will never know the answer to this question, we will find out soon whether the Melbourne tall can rediscover his 2018 form or not. Brayden Pruess’ injury may have spared him the axe this week, which will give him another chance to do so. With the Dees third for inside fifty’s yet 12th for points scored, his club will somebody to do so this week if they are to have any chance of knocking off the Tigers.
Melbourne have done very little in 2019 to mount a case for them getting the points in this one. Even down a few of their stars, the Tigers look to have too much fire power. Their pressure should give them a considerable edge and they should win comfortably. Given the unpredictable nature of the season to date that will probably see Melbourne win the game.
Richmond will win by 25 points.