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HomeAFLIs it time to stick a fork in the Tigers?

Is it time to stick a fork in the Tigers?

With just six rounds to go in the regular season, only one team is mathematically out of action for the final, with North Melbourne leaving their form too late in the season to emulate Richmond in 2014.

Yes, you read that right. 17 teams are still in contention, although teams from 13th to 17th have to win each game and rely on the results as they please, more and more as you move down the ladder.

Hawthorn started the season with a win, but since then they have never been in the top eight at the end of a round or won consecutive games, so with three games against the top four teams, a last place is much more likely than the finals.

Adelaide needs to win and hope that many more results will go their way if they are to make up the 12 points and ton of percentage that they are currently behind in eighth place. With the Round 18 clash against the West Coast as the first stop on their mountain, the Crows are just hoping they can take out the pair of teams currently below them to avoid another wooden spoon.

Collingwood also has three games to catch up, but their austere defense has kept a reasonable percentage and three wins from their last five give their chances a boost of credibility with four MCG games ahead against rivals for eighth place, with traveling to face Brisbane and Port made it all the more fascinating as the Magpies lost at home to both teams by just one point each time.

Gold Coast has shut its mouth to the murderous media with successive victories against the two 2019 grand finalists away, with the next three games against the top four teams, all played in Queensland and the Northern Territory, while the percentage of the Suns and six wins largely put their fate in their own hands with only a handful of results having to go their way if they run the table.

Carlton has a chance of nipping eighth with five games to come in Melbourne against teams currently outside of the final places and a good percentage, so they will consider the Round 22 clash against Port in Adelaide as their mini. big final if they can win the next four, but it all depends on this week’s game against their black and white rivals.

However, while all of these clubs are set to ride the longest round of the table since Richmond in 2014, it is the Tigers themselves in the worst form of any team over the past month who have to rediscover their ways of winning the flag or their season. will be in a fortnight as the Lions and Cats await them in their next two games.

Morals Club
The Tigers have apparently lost their self-confidence in four straight losses to clubs they should have beaten on a regular basis. Still, with just 12 players in the latest loss to Collingwood backing up the 2020 decision maker, Richmond is a shadow of themselves and their aura of invincibility in big games has been shattered.

(Photo by Quinn Rooney / Getty Images)

So how does a team with such swagger over their previous hundred games suddenly become incapable of the last quarter heroisms that have punctuated the dynasty to this day?

Richmond’s only win against one of the top eight teams came against the Bulldogs, but they lost six and only their intimidating flat track performances at the start of the season kept them a touching distance from the Finals despite their horrific form. winter. In fact, their overly difficult game did not come off as the reigning Premiers might expect, with just nine games against the top teams and 13 games against teams other than the eight.

The elephant in the room is Damian Hardwick’s marriage breakdown and the ensuing new relationship with a club staff member. Dimma wasn’t the only coach who suffered a split last offseason, with the other guy having already lost his job after six months of horror. Jack Riewoldt has repeatedly hinted that his coach’s private life has affected the Tigers’ season, but speculation continues as Hardwick shows increasing signs of cracks during his team’s downturn season.

At the start of the season, club morale should have been high without any major departures, except for fringe players Jack Higgins and Oleg Markov (both of whom have had victories against their former team in recent weeks), but they gave way to the exciting hope of ruck Samson. Ryan and father-son Maurice Rioli Junior. And yet, something is wrong with Tigerland.

The injury factor
Richmond won the 2017 and 2019 Grand Finals playing with double ruckmen Toby Nankervis and Ivan Soldo. Neither Superman nor considered an elite, however, together the pair were able to give the highly experienced and talented midfielder good access to the ball in addition to providing extra height around the floor. The fact that neither has been available recently is revealing given the Richmond meltdown, with Callum Coleman-Jones and Mabior Chol entering and also suffering their own injuries, so Sam Ryan was recruited. for his debut and quickly recorded donuts on the stats sheet.

The injuries and suspensions forced the Tigers’ brains to trust the blood of the youngsters, but this was exacerbated by the quality of the names missing on the squad sheet – Shane Edwards, Bachar Houli, Dion Prestia, Nick Vlastuin, Nathan Broad, Kane Lambert, Tom Lynch – and saw the losses increase as the next generation was overthrown by injuries and bad behavior.

Where’s the cavalry?
The fitness of many of the top 22 players for the prime-time clash against the Lions will go a long way in seeing the Tigers take a shot, with Edwards, Nankervis, Lambert and Chol all given a chance to play and then another group. of players could return for the game of cats.

Tigers' Kane Lambert celebrates after scoring a goal

(Photo by Ryan Pierse / Getty Images)

In the VFL, Josh Caddy had 39 touches, Will Martyn had 31 touches and 13 tackles and Noah Cumberland had 20 touches and kicked 5.3 while Sam Ryan had 3.1 with 20 hits on goal.

Play children?
While it has already been necessary for the Tigers to play against children as they grapple with the form and injury issues of their senior players, there is a prospect who has been the club’s exciting insiders with the youngster. Maurice Rioli. Observers report that it has shrunk and inflated in the right places, so expect its debut to take place this year.

As above, the main performers of the two are the children, with the former Brisbane Academy trio of Martyn, Cumberland and Ryan pushing for selection.

Mid-season rookie draft
Readers may have forgotten that Richmond pulled off a stunt at MSRD reminiscent of Marlion Pickett’s selection in 2019 by passing 19-year-olds and removing ex-Saint Matt Parker from the WAFL. Taking an experienced player out of the box was a risk other clubs weren’t willing to take, so the Tigers really need to push the button and see what they have in the mate.

Last word
The Richmond dynasty is almost certainly over, however, it would be a brave expert to write them off entirely. With their backs to the wall, the Tigers are in the spotlight this next fortnight to show if they have more to say in 2021. Even if they do not qualify for the final, or as they did in 2014, they are eliminated first, 2022 is a brand new chance for the Core Group to reload in the draft with their impressive lineup of top picks and have another shot at glory.

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