The Road to the Big Dance | PUNT ROAD END | Richmond Tigers Forum
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The Road to the Big Dance

bricci

Tiger Rookie
May 7, 2004
198
214
I was as annoyed as anyone about Friday night (the rules, the umps, our ill discipline, etc.) BUT I really think we are on a familiar upward curve. If you look at all at our two recent premiership years we were almost flawless post bye. We are in a good position regards injuries and are still well in touch with the top 4. The next three games are a perfect test - all teams around about our position on the ladder. I think we need to get a few things sorted in order to be improving right up the the last game of the season - in no particular order.

1. Ill discipline - we have to sort this out. Cheap frees and 50's have to be called out even if it means a holiday in the Magoos as an example. The main offenders should be on notice by now (This is an area that Dimma must act. He has done it before with Caddy!) The desperation of Bakers smothers and the bravery of Cotchin was in stark contrast to the cheap frees conceded. The Nank was bad but a little understandable, The Grimes one was just ridiculous and gave them the lead. Bolton just contines to give away 'arrogant' 50 metre penalties. I firmly believe that cheap goal he gave them in the 2nd quarter kept them in it - otherwise the game was over at half time! He is a wonderful player but his footy IQ is questionable at best!
2. 2nd Ruck - I think we can all agree that the Soldo 'up forward' experiment was a flop. Soldo is a ruckman and needs to get a game as such. I think at his best he gets a game as 2nd Ruck but I think he still has a way to go here. Coming off a reco and so long out of the game, a slow buildup was inevitable and expected. Balta has to be our second ruck. He is servicable in this area and can pinch hit in other areas. Probably dont need him down back if we are fit and healthy. He can be the ultimate utility and used offensively in many ways. This move allows us to play an extra mid, prefer to see us try to get games into the likes of Dow & Sonsie.
3. Forward Line - Lynch is vital if we are going to bomb it in but we have to address the smalls up there. The likes of Riolo, Castagna just don't get the ball enough. George had 2 posessions on Friday night and Rioli only had one big impact (goal late in 2nd quarter). We just have to get more out of these guys.

I think we have improved a lot out of the middle since early in the season. The move of Short has been a master stroke - his kicking into the forwardline and his long range threat on goal is a real weapon.

Interested in everyones thoughts on this; I know there are a lot on here that have written us off for 2022 - I'm definitely not one of them!
 
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MD Jazz

Nuance is hard to find
Feb 3, 2017
9,664
7,982
It comes down to injuries.
We were missing our best key forward and our best key defender and should have beat the swans.
Add Lynch/Balta/Pickett/Lambert to Friday’s side and we are at least the second best side in it. Allow for dusty to regain touch and no one will want to play us in finals.
But we lose 3 or 4 of our best 22 and we will not win it.
Fingers crossed.
 
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Stoobes

Tiger Rookie
May 24, 2005
264
176
I agree, I think you make some really good points. We're playing good footy just not for long enough and we're giving up easy scores.
We're 2nd in Points For but leaking goals and 11th in Points Against.
I think it's a combination of ill discipline but also not having a settled Defence or Midfield all year. Have we even had a game without like 2+ key parts missing?

We've struggled to take heat out of the game when the momentum changes, 4-5 goals up v Blues, Saints, & Swans and lost them all.
2 of those were affected by a key player injury (Prestia Rd1 & Grimes Rd3) and I think all had some really poor discipline momentum swings.
Depth is hurting a bit covering those injuries but it's like we've lost plan B when things aren't going our way. We need find a way to limit the damage.

Our best usually comes after the bye so I'm still hopeful, Port & Carlton are huge now.
Good chance we get Carlton minus McKay, Pittonet, Weitering and we may even have Lynch, Balta, Lambert back for that.
The Sydney loss hurts but it's a big month coming up and we can start to build our season firmly from there.
 
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Carter

Tiger Legend
Nov 14, 2012
7,463
4,035
It comes down to injuries.
We were missing our best key forward and our best key defender and should have beat the swans.
Add Lynch/Balta/Pickett/Lambert to Friday’s side and we are at least the second best side in it. Allow for dusty to regain touch and no one will want to play us in finals.
But we lose 3 or 4 of our best 22 and we will not win it.
Fingers crossed.

Lol it’s not as simple as that, my dear muppet.

Our midfield is showing a worrying tendency to wilt over four quarters of pressure from the better teams, and we lack crumbing class up forward.

The midfield issue is difficult to address in the short term but we have the likes of Stack and Cumberland to bring in for forward bite.

There are deeper problems with our current campaign than just “injuries”
 

mrposhman

Tiger Legend
Oct 6, 2013
13,458
11,881
I was as annoyed as anyone about Friday night (the rules, the umps, our ill discipline, etc.) BUT I really think we are on a familiar upward curve. If you look at all at our two recent premiership years we were almost flawless post bye. We are in a good position regards injuries and are still well in touch with the top 4. The next three games are a perfect test - all teams around about our position on the ladder. I think we need to get a few things sorted in order to be improving right up the the last game of the season - in no particular order.

1. Ill discipline - we have to sort this out. Cheap frees and 50's have to be called out even if it means a holiday in the Magoos as an example. The main offenders should be on notice by now (This is an area that Dimma must act. He has done it before with Caddy!) The desperation of Bakers smothers and the bravery of Cotchin was in stark contrast to the cheap frees conceded. The Nank was bad but a little understandable, The Grimes one was just ridiculous and gave them the lead. Bolton just contines to give away 'arrogant' 50 metre penalties. I firmly believe that cheap goal he gave them in the 2nd quarter kept them in it - otherwise the game was over at half time! He is a wonderful player but his footy IQ is questionable at best!
2. 2nd Ruck - I think we can all agree that the Soldo 'up forward' experiment was a flop. Soldo is a ruckman and needs to get a game as such. I think at his best he gets a game as 2nd Ruck but I think he still has a way to go here. Coming off a reco and so long out of the game, a slow buildup was inevitable and expected. Balta has to be our second ruck. He is servicable in this area and can pinch hit in other areas. Probably dont need him down back if we are fit and healthy. He can be the ultimate utility and used offensively in many ways. This move allows us to play an extra mid, prefer to see us try to get games into the likes of Dow & Sonsie.
3. Forward Line - Lynch is vital if we are going to bomb it in but we have to address the smalls up there. The likes of Riolo, Castagna just don't get the ball enough. George had 2 posessions on Friday night and Rioli only had one big impact (goal late in 2nd quarter). We just have to get more out of these guys.

I think we have improved a lot out of the middle since early in the season. The move of Short has been a master stroke - his kicking into the forwardline and his long range threat on goal is a real weapon.

Interested in everyones thoughts on this; I know there are a lot on here that have written us off for 2022 - I'm definitely not one of them!

I'm in the exact same camp as you.

The other issue with Soldo (and I've mentioned this elsewhere), is our 2nd ruck doesn't play enough TOG because of his inability to impact the game forward, so our other players then lose out on potential recovery minutes on the bench which we can all see our older players need. It may not be huge in terms of minutes, as increasing TOG for our 2nd ruck from 66% to 80% is around 17 minutes, but this is 17 minutes that can be shared around the likes of Cotch, Shedda, Lambert, Prestia etc to ensure that they have more impact through the middle. I'm sure this is at least part of the impact to some of our fade outs in the midfield. As you say, if you could add an extra mid with someone like Sonsie or Dow, this would help with those mid rotations and ensure that fadeouts are managed a lot better than they are. With our older team, I really think Soldo is now a luxury we cannot afford.

I still think we are well in this season. We have lost 5 games, Carlton, Saints and now Sydney we had major fadeouts - see above. We lost to Melbourne and were comfortably beaten that day, and we lost at Adelaide which was a poor result.

Fix the fadeouts, fix the ill discipline and this season is far far from over. Our best I'm certain can still beat anyone.
 
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TigerPort

Tiger Superstar
Jun 29, 2006
2,058
1,635
NSW
Soldo as the 2nd forward was never going to work. Should have gone with Gibcus forward and Miller in the backline.

Soldo gets his goals forward when Lynch and Riewoldt there and Soldo does not have the main defenders on him.
 
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Leysy Days

Tiger Legend
Feb 26, 2004
19,844
2,893
I'm in the exact same camp as you.

The other issue with Soldo (and I've mentioned this elsewhere), is our 2nd ruck doesn't play enough TOG because of his inability to impact the game forward, so our other players then lose out on potential recovery minutes on the bench which we can all see our older players need. It may not be huge in terms of minutes, as increasing TOG for our 2nd ruck from 66% to 80% is around 17 minutes, but this is 17 minutes that can be shared around the likes of Cotch, Shedda, Lambert, Prestia etc to ensure that they have more impact through the middle. I'm sure this is at least part of the impact to some of our fade outs in the midfield. As you say, if you could add an extra mid with someone like Sonsie or Dow, this would help with those mid rotations and ensure that fadeouts are managed a lot better than they are. With our older team, I really think Soldo is now a luxury we cannot afford.

I still think we are well in this season. We have lost 5 games, Carlton, Saints and now Sydney we had major fadeouts - see above. We lost to Melbourne and were comfortably beaten that day, and we lost at Adelaide which was a poor result.

Fix the fadeouts, fix the ill discipline and this season is far far from over. Our best I'm certain can still beat anyone.

Totally agree.

Soldo out for another runner is a tactical move that can make a real structural difference.
 

Harry

Tiger Legend
Mar 2, 2003
23,572
9,328
Totally agree.

Soldo out for another runner is a tactical move that can make a real structural difference.
Yes and no. It would put too much pressure on Nank as the sole ruck. A fresh and healthy Nank is important to us and we need to persist with the 2 rucks IMO. If we're struggling for run then we need to look at replacing the likes of Edwards who isn't offering much in that regard.
 
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bricci

Tiger Rookie
May 7, 2004
198
214
Yes and no. It would put too much pressure on Nank as the sole ruck. A fresh and healthy Nank is important to us and we need to persist with the 2 rucks IMO. If we're struggling for run then we need to look at replacing the likes of Edwards who isn't offering much in that regard.
Good point and we should strategically rest Nank against the Eagles, North and maybe one other - So when Soldo does play he is the 1st ruck.
 
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spook

Tiger Legend
Jun 18, 2007
17,679
15,471
Melbourne
Yes, Soldo is a concern. I love his ruck presence and taps to advantage, and we need him at least some of the time to ensure we don't burn out Nank, but we do lose run and bench flexibility when both play.

If only we could trust Tarrant or Miller to hold down full-back we could use Noah as second ruck. (I also see Noah as a potential smash-and-grab September ruck-rover.)
 
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bricci

Tiger Rookie
May 7, 2004
198
214
Yes, Soldo is a concern. I love his ruck presence and taps to advantage, and we need him at least some of the time to ensure we don't burn out Nank, but we do lose run and bench flexibility when both play.

If only we could trust Tarrant or Miller to hold down full-back we could use Noah as second ruck. (I also see Noah as a potential smash-and-grab September ruck-rover.)
I think we need Balta to be the ultimate swingman - just keep the Oppo guessing. The biggest issue with him, I believe, is his footy smarts - I think he doesn't quite understand where to position himself etc. (gets lost a lot). Would be great to start preparing him for that ruck-rover role as soon as possible. I think Tarrant, like Shedda and even Dusty just need a little patience - all haven't lost ability - just out of form (for various reasons).
 

Brodders17

Tiger Legend
Mar 21, 2008
14,373
5,193
Yes, Soldo is a concern. I love his ruck presence and taps to advantage, and we need him at least some of the time to ensure we don't burn out Nank, but we do lose run and bench flexibility when both play.

If only we could trust Tarrant or Miller to hold down full-back we could use Noah as second ruck. (I also see Noah as a potential smash-and-grab September ruck-rover.)
I dont think the issue with Balta is so much replacing him at full back, the issue is he was that effective playing as a tall forward.
maybe we could trial him taking CBs when Nank rests, then moving back to the backline while Jack or Lynch have a run around the ground. we used Jack and Lynch in this way a few times early in the season when Balta was playing forward. the issues would be covering Balta for the CB bounce, then managing his transition back to defence while the ball is in play.
 

spook

Tiger Legend
Jun 18, 2007
17,679
15,471
Melbourne
I dont think the issue with Balta is so much replacing him at full back, the issue is he was that effective playing as a tall forward.
maybe we could trial him taking CBs when Nank rests, then moving back to the backline while Jack or Lynch have a run around the ground. we used Jack and Lynch in this way a few times early in the season when Balta was playing forward. the issues would be covering Balta for the CB bounce, then managing his transition back to defence while the ball is in play.
Nup.
 
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Leysy Days

Tiger Legend
Feb 26, 2004
19,844
2,893
But who goes in as our second ruck?

Yes and no. It would put too much pressure on Nank as the sole ruck. A fresh and healthy Nank is important to us and we need to persist with the 2 rucks IMO. If we're struggling for run then we need to look at replacing the likes of Edwards who isn't offering much in that regard.

Would go with Pickett or Lynch for the next two weeks.

It's only for 5 minutes a quarter and they will be up against Finlayson/Powell-Pepper/Dixon and Silvagni who are the number 2 rucks for our upcoming opponents.

We don't need the two rucks against most teams and to keep Nank fresh would rather rest him a couple of times a year and have Soldo come in for him.

It is clear as our midfield gets older we are running out of legs late in games.

As Posh said, the extra runner (say a Dow, Sonsie, even Stack in the middle) can make a pretty big difference to help spread the load.
 
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Big Tiger

Tiger Rookie
Jul 15, 2013
192
63
I think Soldo goes OK at the MCG and large grounds, but not as well on the smaller grounds, as when he goes forward there's less space. I think the two things we need to really fix and then we're a genuine flag chance, are our undisciplined acts and our leaders are the main offenders and stopping run ons in second halves. Things like Nank crunching a guy to the ground after he's kicked the ball and they get 50, when he should have gone the smother in the first place, those sorts of things can and must be fixed.
I notice with the run ons, some easy centre square exits have occurred often when we have Edwards and Cotchin in the guts together in second halves. They're too slow and old to chase guys in the middle when they're tired and when we're getting run over, we need the likes of at least two of Prestia/Bolton/Short/Baker in there at those times, not the older slower guys. IMO both Cotchin and Edwards should only play 2 of every 3 weeks and not off short breaks so they're fresher. Edwards' decline this year has been vast and alarming, with only glimpses of his past brilliance. Ross has to go as his disposal and decision making is dreadful, especially under any pressure.
Pickett in for Ross and either Balta or Lynch in on Friday night and we win comfortably, so we're still in this season up to our ears with a clearish injury run and some tinkering.
 

TigerWinner

Tiger Cub
Apr 21, 2022
56
57
59
I tell you who could pinch hit at centre bounces is Gibcus. He has an almighty vertical leap on him.

I am mean we could literally create a new position just for Gibcus. Back/Forward/Ruck/Wing

Swing him wherever we need his skillset. give him freedom to roam. The kid is a potential Finals Matchwinner.

Manage him but try him out.
 
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