2021 may be the best yet | PUNT ROAD END | Richmond Tigers Forum
  • If you are having trouble logging in to the forum please contact [email protected] // When reseting your password or awaiting confirmation please check that your email is correct and also your junk/spam emails.
  • IMPORTANT! Our inbox is full of email errors from members who have not updated their emails, please follow the instructions on how to update here
  • IMPORTANT // Please look after your loved ones, yourself and be kind to others. If you are feeling that the world is too hard to handle there is always help - I implore you not to hesitate in contacting one of these wonderful organisations Lifeline and Beyond Blue ... and I'm sure reaching out to our PRE community we will find a way to help. T.

2021 may be the best yet

Carter

Tiger Legend
Nov 14, 2012
6,594
1,933
Chin up folks.

I get it, the hounds are at the door. We just got owned by a team we usually use as a gym session for early season lethargy. Anzac Day Eve was a very disappointing loss - you could see it in Dimma's face afterwards. Melbourne asserted themselves and we had no answer. It was so un-Richmond that most of us were left with a vaguely queasy feeling in the gut. What if this is it? The beginning of the downward slope?

Already, celebrated doyens in the media landscape have all but written us off. Galaxies of tactical experts are frothing at the idea of someone - anyone - usurping the throne. 1954 all over again, they say. A Melbourne-Footscray throwback to a bygone era.

We are losing stars at a rapid rate and those already on the sidelines keep being pushed back. Some prime movers are rusty and others are flat out of form. The kids aren't showing much. The VFL cupboard looks threadbare. Worst of all, our talisman, our hero has concussion and will be nursing his foot when we front up to an undefeated challenger.

Year after year the king of the jungle finds it harder to succeed. 17 other teams have dissected how we play from every conceivable angle. 17 other teams have teased fringe and depth players free as we circle the wagons around the core stars. 17 other teams have poached elite coaching talent we cannot possibly retain within a compromised soft cap. Moreover, every player on the list with a premiership medal must find it within himself to go again. To go with the fanaticism that is necessary to cow belligerent challengers for the crown.

The AFL are not benign patrons for the champ. There are marquee fixtures to arrange, prime time spotlights to fire up. The best teams from years past are lined up in a death gallery, chomping at the bit to bring us down. Meanwhile the worst teams are gifted home games against us, allowing us precious little respite between the brutal blockbusters.

Everyone wants to bring the king down. Once blood is spilled, a frenzy of malicious intent follows. Such is the way of AFL football.

But there are seeds of hope to be found. Maurice Rioli Junior lurks in the emergencies like a deadly dancer waiting to strike. Callum Coleman-Jones looms as the One to bring balance to a sputtering, impermeable forward 50. The attacking zone is where 17 other teams are eying our demise. It makes perfect sense when you think about it. You can't do much about our pressure, our ability to hunt and strip the ball at will. But you *can* squeeze our forward structure, make it difficult for us to plant a flag and keep the ball where we like it to be.

We like to cheat a forward structure, you see. We play -1 down there, sometimes -2 or -3. This is how we look like we have men everywhere in defence and on the outside of packs. The forward line is filled by insanely hard runners in Lambert, Rioli, Castagna, Aarts and McIntosh. Often Jack and Tom are simply required to fight and scrag until the "rest" of the forward line arrives. When we are truly on song, when Nank and Soldo can run a supreme tandem and we win first use more often than not, our forwards can stay at home and provide marking / crumbing / pressure options galore.

This isn't happening at the moment. Opposition teams have gone to work on us and know they can launch their own counters from D50. If our forwards can't retain the ball, our mids are running *long* and lonely sprints from arc to arc. For the first time in years we are blowing up. In short, forward line permeability is critical. Against Melbourne our forward arc was like a sheet of glass - the ball came straight back out with painful regularity. When we have so many players willing to run kamikaze to follow the damn thing, this often means we are caught on the hop if the D50 user (Salem) can find targets.

So, our Achilles heel then. One part of the ground has presented a problem and you can bet the solution will be forthcoming. We could keep our small forwards deeper in transition, taking more risks out of defence. We could change the structure so CCJ, MRJ and Caddy can separate oppo key backs, trusting in our own backs to absorb more oppo entries. We could (if we had one) play a second ruck and bolster the midfield with ball hunters, capitalizing on quick entries.

Hardwick will look at all these things and pick a team based on the strengths of those coming in. I'm tipping we go with a third marking forward to test the Bulldogs' defence, but whatever we do, it will come from a place of elite tactical expertise. I am 100% confident Friday night will be the most Richmond-like game we've ever played.

The problem is both definable and manageable. If our forwards can find their teeth again, the road to September will have begun. All hail the system - I for one am backing us in.
 
  • Like
  • Love
Reactions: 42 users

Coburgtiger

Tiger Champion
May 7, 2012
3,733
2,529
It worries me that this round in 2017 you were calling for a full rebuild.

I was fairly confident until this point.
 
  • Like
  • Haha
Reactions: 9 users

Jonesracing82

Tiger Champion
Sep 30, 2011
3,463
1,414
Brilliant post, time to see what our kids have while the injured stars recover. As with '19 & '20 it could be what sets up our season once again.
 

Carter

Tiger Legend
Nov 14, 2012
6,594
1,933
Brilliant post, time to see what our kids have while the injured stars recover. As with '19 & '20 it could be what sets up our season once again.

Now is the time, Jones.

We may not win this week but we need to bring some excitement back to that forward line.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Coburgtiger

Tiger Champion
May 7, 2012
3,733
2,529
Lol, we hadn’t won any flags yet and I was getting hungry alright?
FWIW, this time I don't disagree with you.

I think if we get there this year it will be from the bottom half of the 8.

And it will be on the back of getting our best 22 fit and firing running into finals.

And it will require some of the up and comers to drop off over a long year.

And I think this year is our last opportunity in this window.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 4 users

AngryAnt

Tiger Legend
Nov 25, 2004
23,116
8,749
Nothing like winning three flags to change a person's outlook.

We know we come home strong after the bye, for various reasons. If we can get to there with an over 50% record we are still in it. Given injuries, rule changes, and maturing teams like Melbourne and Dogs then it's gonna be hard. Geelong still in it, Port also. Maybe Brisbane too.

I still think Dees and Dogs will fall back to the pack eventually.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 4 users

CarnTheTiges

This is a REAL tiger
Mar 8, 2004
21,166
4,210
Victoria
Nothing like winning three flags to change a person's outlook.

We know we come home strong after the bye, for various reasons. If we can get to there with an over 50% record we are still in it. Given injuries, rule changes, and maturing teams like Melbourne and Dogs then it's gonna be hard. Geelong still in it, Port also. Maybe Brisbane too.

I still think Dees and Dogs will fall back to the pack eventually.
Ala #lolnorf in 2016? Amazes me that no one in the media mentions that when the talk of the Dees and the Dogs turns towards flags.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

MD Jazz

Tiger Legend
Feb 3, 2017
7,318
4,497
Already, celebrated doyens in the media landscape have all but written us off. Galaxies of tactical experts are frothing at the idea of someone - anyone - usurping the throne. 1954 all over again, they say. A Melbourne-Footscray throwback to a bygone era.

Who in the media have done that? From what I heard it's the opposite, they are loathe to write us off this year given we have been here before and embarrassed them.

We've played the same way for 5 years, teams have had a chance to dissect us in the past. It didn't matter, eventually we forced the turnover and went to work. Lock the ball in the forward half and grind teams down with pressure. Unfortunately the new rules don't assist that playing style and we haven't adjusted. Our defensive setup hasn't been able to turn it over.

Port play a similar brand to us, its why it was such a good competitive, contested game.

Hopefully those teams up and about now will tire a bit and we get our best 22 out on the park in the second half of the season.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

eZyT

Tiger Legend
Jun 28, 2019
16,343
13,247
good post.

I'd add that our 50 entries look dysfunctional and counter-productive every premiership year April.

Its as predictable as a an infestation of Lindt rabbits in Coles.

I agree, we got a big bucket of ice water in the face on Saturday night and on Friday night,

Dusty watches an exhilarating Richmond in the Papatoe Tavern

these are the times we find players. Some think the cupboard is bare.

I am not one of them.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 6 users

eZyT

Tiger Legend
Jun 28, 2019
16,343
13,247
if we look to history, hawks in '15, Lions in '03.

theres mixed messages.

Hawks started 3:3, then went 4:4. then they were largely indomitable, until Richmond domitabled them.

they won 16, lost a q final on the way to a 3 peat


Brisbane started '03 where they left off in '02 with 8-2-1, and had a concentration lapse in round 12 on the Gabba, going to down to WC by 12 goals.

they won 15, lost the Q final on the way to a 3 peat.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

Brodders17

Tiger Legend
Mar 21, 2008
12,943
2,668
if we look to history, hawks in '15, Lions in '03.

theres mixed messages.

Hawks started 3:3, then went 4:4. then they were largely indomitable, until Richmond domitabled them.

they won 16, lost a q final on the way to a 3 peat


Brisbane started '03 where they left off in '02 with 8-2-1, and had a concentration lapse in round 12 on the Gabba, going to down to WC by 12 goals.

they won 15, lost the Q final on the way to a 3 peat.
i am still confident. the last couple of years we have had games where we were beat all across the ground, where we looked poor, where it looked like age and the opposition had caught up with us. then come Sept (or Nov in 2020) when it really matters our best is still the best.

but was 2020 our Hawks 2015? or will it be 2021, or 2022? or maybe we will be more like to cats? finish winning, but stay near the top?

I am confident we are still good enough to make the top 6, then guys like Cotchin, Houli, Lynch etc will do what they do in finals.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

Carter

Tiger Legend
Nov 14, 2012
6,594
1,933
Who’s betting on MRJ this week? I’d *smile* love it
 
  • Like
Reactions: 4 users

MD Jazz

Tiger Legend
Feb 3, 2017
7,318
4,497
if we look to history, hawks in '15, Lions in '03.

theres mixed messages.

Hawks started 3:3, then went 4:4. then they were largely indomitable, until Richmond domitabled them.

they won 16, lost a q final on the way to a 3 peat


Brisbane started '03 where they left off in '02 with 8-2-1, and had a concentration lapse in round 12 on the Gabba, going to down to WC by 12 goals.

they won 15, lost the Q final on the way to a 3 peat.
LTRTR - what was the ave age of those Hawks/Lions 3-peat sides?
 

eZyT

Tiger Legend
Jun 28, 2019
16,343
13,247
i am still confident. the last couple of years we have had games where we were beat all across the ground, where we looked poor, where it looked like age and the opposition had caught up with us. then come Sept (or Nov in 2020) when it really matters our best is still the best.

but was 2020 our Hawks 2015? or will it be 2021, or 2022? or maybe we will be more like to cats? finish winning, but stay near the top?

I am confident we are still good enough to make the top 6, then guys like Cotchin, Houli, Lynch etc will do what they do in finals.

you'de have to be a cyborg to be able to play at 100% in round 6

after you have won the last 2 flags.

alternatively, how could you not play at 100% in round 6 if you had never won a flag and had a sniff?

I think Dimma will play a joker this week and build it up like Q-final.

I reckon he'll put it on 'em and they'll respond.

Dimma has a throttle, and a finite amount of juice. Part of his genius is when to give it to her (no hub innuendo please), and still have the juice to hit powerband in September. 2018 he ran out of juice and learnt possibly a triple premiership lesson.

Dogs are good, but I reckon even without Dusty, our best will get it done.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 4 users

Carter

Tiger Legend
Nov 14, 2012
6,594
1,933
Who in the media have done that? From what I heard it's the opposite, they are loathe to write us off this year given we have been here before and embarrassed them.

We've played the same way for 5 years, teams have had a chance to dissect us in the past. It didn't matter, eventually we forced the turnover and went to work. Lock the ball in the forward half and grind teams down with pressure. Unfortunately the new rules don't assist that playing style and we haven't adjusted. Our defensive setup hasn't been able to turn it over.

Port play a similar brand to us, its why it was such a good competitive, contested game.

Hopefully those teams up and about now will tire a bit and we get our best 22 out on the park in the second half of the season.

I think we’ve been written off as premiership favourite, if not a strong contender. Barrett, Kingy, Gerard, etc
 

Carter

Tiger Legend
Nov 14, 2012
6,594
1,933
you'de have to be a cyborg to be able to play at 100% in round 6

after you have won the last 2 flags.

alternatively, how could you not play at 100% in round 6 if you had never won a flag and had a sniff?

I think Dimma will play a joker this week and build it up like Q-final.

I reckon he'll put it on 'em and they'll respond.

Dogs are good, but I reckon even without Dusty, our best will get it done.

Plus, we got em at the G. Dogs haven’t been properly tested yet.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

eZyT

Tiger Legend
Jun 28, 2019
16,343
13,247
Who’s betting on MRJ this week? I’d *smile* love it

I'll be astonished if he doesn't debut.

I think we'll get a look at Jamarra too, which is a very different kind of exciting
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

mrposhman

Tiger Legend
Oct 6, 2013
10,651
7,128
LTRTR - what was the ave age of those Hawks/Lions 3-peat sides?

Sam McClure showed something on this on Footy Classified last night. We are around a year and half younger than the Hawks and over 2 years younger than the Lions were at this stage of their dominance. He was highlighting that we still have plenty left in the tank, despite Hutchy trying hard to get people to agree with him to write us off.
 
  • Like
  • Love
Reactions: 8 users