WHERE: MCG, Saturday, April 8, 12.10am AWST
THE LAST FIVE
R4, 2016: West Coast 18.17 (125) def Richmond 9.3 (57) at Domain Stadium
R12, 2015: West Coast 13.12 (90) def Richmond 10.10 (70) at the MCG
R18, 2014: Richmond 8.11 (59) def West Coast 6.6 (42) at Domain Stadium
R10, 2013: Richmond 16.7 (103) def West Coast 8.14 (62) at Domain Stadium
R5, 2012: West Coast 16.11 (107) def Richmond 14.13 (97) at Etihad Stadium
Am I going crazy, or did Richmond just start the season 2-0? While Richmond fans are already buying their tickets to the grand final after beating Carlton and Collingwood (he said, sarcastically), West Coast fans should be expecting an easy way win.
When it comes to neck tattoos, Dustin Martin is undeniably Richmond’s most important player. When it comes to football, he is also Richmond’s most important player, amassing 58 touches and six goals through the first two games of the season. Now, if only Richmond could find a way to get Dustin to put pen to paper instead of needle to skin.
1. It is not often that West Coast makes the trip over to the MCG, with just two games scheduled at the venue for 2017. While the Eagles’ record at the MCG may be less than flattering, they have won four of their last five against Richmond at the ground.
2. West Coast’s latest ruck duo of Nathan Vardy and Jonathan Giles may have lost the hit-out count 36-44 to Tom Hickey, but both Vardy and Giles managed to hit the scoreboard. While playing well, Toby Nankervis was sounding out rucked by Brody Grundy last week, by a count of 45-18. Could it be possible for West Coast to actually have an advantage in the ruck this week?
3. Alex Rance is an absolute star, but Alex Rance can’t defend everyone. West Coast has kicked 39 goals this year, a mark matched only by Port Adelaide who had a practice match against Fremantle last week. So how does Richmond stop West Coast scoring? Tackle, tackle and tackle some more. The Tigers are second in the league for tackles, averaging 72.5 a game.
4. With a league low 344 total disposal through the first two rounds, it appears as if Damien Hardwick has realised his team is not the most skilled outfit running around, opting for a high-pressure style of play instead. However, averaging a league lowest, 44 clangers per game, West Coast are not going to simply hand Richmond the footy.
5. Out of all current players, only Travis Cloke (329) has played more games at the MCG than Sam Mitchell (325). Look for Mitchell’s insider knowledge to take the Eagles’ MCG play to the next level.
MOST AT STAKE FOR… fans without Foxtel.
If there is one thing worse than watching footy with ads on free-to-air television, it is watching footy with ads on free-to-air television 165 minutes delayed! Yes, Channel 7 has confirmed that the Eagles’ 12.10pm game won’t air until 2.55pm on 7mate. So how do you see the game without a Foxtel subscription? Well, there are two options: go to the pub and watch the game in public like the peasant you are, or locked yourself away for almost three hours without internet, friends or family.
TIP: West Coast by 22.
SECOND TIP: Dustin Martin fends off Richmond by switching clubs next year.