Tonight at the MCG the Tigers take on the Cats in the first Preliminary Final. The Cats go into the game as outsiders, and missing a couple of key players while Richmond’s team goes in unchanged from their win against Brisbane, which seems a rested and ready, one would assume. It’s not forecast to rain at least, so Geelong will take heart from that – Richmond have been fantastic in wet weather in 2019
Last time they met
The last time these two met it was a lop-sided affair, with the Tigers missing 8 of their best 22 and Geelong running out 67 point victors. While the injuries to the Tigers were certainly telling, Geelong will take heart from the last meeting and try to draw from that.
Tom Hawkins’ Suspension (why, why did you do that, Tom?) will be a factor in this game. I honestly think it is at the very least AS stupid as Toby Greene’s penchant for Fred Hollows impersonations on opposition players. Mind you – neither of them have the greatest record (nor intellectual horsepower it would seem) when it comes to on-field indiscretions. Geelong will be buoyed though, by the recent form of big Esava Ratugolea – the big marking Fijian looks set to stand in at FF for Tomahawk, but will not find it easy going, with a lineup on Dylan Grimes probable.
Melbourne’s Weather – Forecasts of torrential rain were expected but it looks set to hold up, with overcast conditions forecast and no rain on the horizon.
Geelong must race out of the blocks. 80,000 Richmond fans’ silence will be their reward. On the flipside, limp out of the starting gates and the Cats will bare the brunt of said 80,000 Tiger faithful cheering Richmond’s every foray.
Dustin Martin, Richmond.
Who goes to Dusty? Seemingly a man on a mission, his recent form has been sensational, with 6 goals in his last outing. Geelong may curb his influence in the middle, but the aforementioned swag of goals against Brisbane is testament to the fact that Dusty is as dangerous in the forward 50 as he is around centre stoppages. I’d guess at Guthrie manning him in the middle (Danger v Dusty head to head would be a gift from the footy gods), but as one from left-field they may try tagging him with a Blicavs to hold him up when he moves forward. Either way, Geelong will need to curtail his influence if they are to overcome the Tigers.
Joel Selwood, Geelong
The modern-day Captain Blood will be rearing to go. He lives for occasions such as this. Selwood will be insisting that the Cats come out firing and will look to lead from the front in that regard – expect him to be bloodied and bruised within 10 minutes of the opening siren. His leadership, direction and example will be a lighthouse for the chances of a Geelong victory, let’s hope that his charges can heed his example and set up a ripper.
Patrick Dangerfield, Geelong
Danger’s last quarter against the Eagles was telling. Contested marks, clearances, solo clearance, bounce and bound inside 50’s, is there anything this man cannot do? (kick straight). Danger will need to replicate his effort in that last quarter across four of them tonight if Geelong are a chance to win, and one would back him to do so – his thirst for premiership glory is obvious and unslaked, he will also need to take his chances in front of goal.
Tom Lynch, Richmond
The twin-towers of Riewoldt and Lynch will hope to remain standing this September, and one feels that Big Tom is due. This is what he relocated for – the big stage, the big crowds, finals. He needs to stamp his dominance and show that he is a big-stage performer. One also senses that Richmond’s smaller forward brigade in Bolton, Rioli and Castagna could have a big part to play.
I’m tipping a Richmond win and a lot of Chris Scott salt and excuses, perhaps a coaches box blow-up.
Richmond by 23 pts