AFL 2019: Richmond v Geelong Rd 12 – Five Reasons to Watch

Bozza gives us five reasons we should watch the Cats and Tigers clash in Friday Night Football.

Geelong have gone about their merry way for much of 2019, will this be the night that they are finally tested. Richmond are coming off a shock loss to the Kangaroos after performing well despite a long injury list, will they be able to rediscover the best form.

Last Five Meetings

2018Rd 20Rich12. 13 (85)Gee12. 10 (82)MCG67,054
2018Rd 13Rich12. 11 (83)Gee9. 11 (65)MCG46,423
2017QFRich13. 13 (91)Gee5. 10 (40)MCG95,028
2017Rd 21Gee11. 14 (80)Rich9. 12 (66)KP32,226
2016Rd 21Gee10. 22 (82)Rich12. 6 (78)MCG45,667

Richmond are on three game winning streak over the Cats that commenced with the famous Qualifying Final victory in 2017. Of the 21 matches prior to that glorious September night for Tigers fans, they had won just one.

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Five reasons to watch

Sydney Stack

At the conclusion of Round 11, the AFL confirmed what the football world already knew, Sydney Stack is a Rising Star. The young Tiger has been an excitement machine in his first season in the big time. In quick time he has become a favourite of the Tiger faithful and neutrals alike. Will he be able to add to his already impressive highlight reel under the bright lights of Friday night footy?

Tom Hawkins

The Cats spearhead seemingly discovered the luck that finally evaded Gary Ablett a week earlier, when issued just a fine for his clumsy challenge on Jordan Dawson. The AFL’s fixation with outcomes rather than genuinely attempting to stamp out dangerous behaviour making it possible for Hawkins to suite up against the Tigers. It’s a spot of fortune for those intending to watch too, with the big Cat in form having kicked 16 goals in his last four games.

Finals atmosphere.

Whatever the result, we will learn something about the Cats and Tigers after this one. Both teams will be primed for battle, and with a big crowd in attendance, this will be close as it comes to a final in June as they come. Not all home and away games are created equal and, while neither side will admit it, this one is worth more than a few others they’ve played recently.

Geelong’s Midfield.

While identifying the fact that Geelong have an embarrassment of riches in the midfield requires very little investigation, it doesn’t make watching them in action any less enjoyable. How they square off against a Richmond onball brigade publicly challenged by their coach during the week, will go a long way to deciding this match. A boring take we know, but its true.

Tom Lynch.

The Tigers big off-season recruit has been the subject of a level of scrutiny that would be unlike anything he endured during his time on the Gold Coast. While he would have been warned about this before moving from an AFL outpost to one of the biggest clubs in the competition, theory and reality are two very different things. Seeing how he responds to the increased attention on his form, will be an intriguing storyline in this match.

The Verdict

The Cats have lowered their colours just once in 2019, while the Tigers have lost twice in the last five weeks. Richmond are slowly rediscovering their best form but it is hard to see them getting the points here if Geelong produce what they are capable of.

Geelong will win by 16 points.

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