Tiger Army finals bound?

The Tiger Army is roaring and for good reason. The Richmond Football Club is sitting with a win-loss record of 8-4 at just past the halfway point of the season. The finals starved football club can sense September within its reach for what would be the first time in over a decade and only the third time in 30 years.

A number of players are having career best seasons at Tigerland. Brett Deledio would be close to leading the best and fairest at this stage of the year and Dustin Martin looks to have matured as a footballer under the guidance of former Port Adelaide coach Mark Williams. Shane Edwards has been playing through the midfield more this season and Brandon Ellis has come on in leaps and bounds after an impressive debut season last year. The return of Nathan Foley bolsters their midfield depth while young star Nick Vlastuin has been a revelation in the early stages of his football career. Jack Riewoldt could be on his way to claiming a third Coleman Medal and the recruitment of Troy Chaplin adds stability to the backline.

One of the negatives so far this season has been the form of newly appointed captain Trent Cotchin. The reigning Jack Dyer medallist started the season with terrific performances in the opening three wins against Carlton, St Kilda and Western Bulldogs. However he appears to be struggling with a knee injury he sustained in the Tigers’ one-point loss to Fremantle in Round Five. His statistics have been down on last season’s form which saw him emerge as one of the best young players in the competition and rank equal second in the Brownlow. Richmond will be hoping for their star player to recapture his form sometime during the second half of the season.

Most of the betting agencies agree on their likelihood of Richmond making the top eight. Although they are far from certainties, the Tigers should head in as favourites in their following three matches against St Kilda, North Melbourne and Gold Coast. Wins in these matches will place them at 11-4 before a tough three weeks against Fremantle, Sydney and Hawthorn. The Tigers have an interesting last month of football as they will go in as hot favourites against Brisbane and Greater Western Sydney, but have important matches against Carlton and Essendon. In what is a competitive season, it is looking as though 13 wins will be the benchmark in order to qualify for the finals.

Time and time again frustrated Richmond supporters have been let down by false hope from their club. However there is a different feel to the Tigers this year. As long as the team wins the games they should win, the Tigers should experience finals football in 2013. And one thing is for sure, the Tigers fans will sure let everyone know about it.

Twitter – @JClark182

About Jackson Clark

Born and bred in Darwin, Northern Territory, I am a young, aspiring football writer that lives and breathes the game of Australian Football. I'm also a keen player and coach.

Comments

  1. Jackson

    I’m nervous. These next few games, whilst all quite winnable and what we need to win if we want to be considered a finals side, are the sort of stuff we’ve mucked up in past years.

    I really want to keep a lid on it. Talk to me again after the next 4 matches and I might be more confident. I think it’s our spot to lose but I’ve been teased like this before.

    How good will those late season games against the Blues and Dons be?

    Sean

  2. The Wrap says:

    Right on Sean, but I reckon we’re back on track. North always play us well – or we play them poorly – and Gold Coast up in Cairns has been a bit of a bogey for us. Get these next three out of the way and we’re sitting 11 & 4 with six matches to go. We play Sydney & Freo well. If we win one of those we’re 12 & 5. Then we’ve got Brissy down here & GWS up there; that’s 14 & 5. That should be enough to get us into September. Then there’s Hawthorn, Essendon & Carlton. It’s getting pretty tight up there, but win one or two of those and we could be looking a home final in week 1 of the September.

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