The Tigers will host the Giants on Saturday in a twilight match at the MCG. The Tigers go into the match in season best form having smashed Geelong in Week 1 of the Finals. The Giants lost by a margin against the Crows in Week 1 but bounced back with a big win over the Eagles at home. The Tigers go in as favourites although GWS are certainly capable of causing an upset if they bring their best football.
When: 16:40 | Saturday 23/9/2017
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The Tigers were impressive winners over Geelong in Week 1 of the finals and will go into this match as the overwhelming favourites to make it into the AFL Grand Final.
Richmond did not give the Cats an inch which was evident with Geelong only kicking one goal in the first half of the match, the Cats went on to beat the in-form Swans so the form is looking very good.
The Giants looked much better this weekend thrashing the Eagles at home. Their Week 1 AFL Finals loss to the Crows was pretty poor though so it will be interesting to see which GWS turns up to play in front of what will be a huge crowd.
B: B.Ellis, A.Rance, D.Grimes
HB: B.Houli, D.Astbury, N.Vlastuin
C: K.McIntosh, T.Cotchin, J.Townsend
HF: K.Lambert, D.Martin, J.Caddy
F: D.Butler, J.Riewoldt, D.Rioli
FOLL: T.Nankervis, D.Prestia, S.Grigg
I/C: S.Edward, J.Graham, N.Broad, J.Castagna
EMG: S.Hampson, S.Bolton, C.Ellis
B: Z.Williams, P.Davis, H.Shaw
HB: N.Haynes, A.Tomlinson, N.Wilson
C: D.Shiel, S.Coniglio, T.Taranto
HF: M.de Boer, H.Himmelberg, T.Scully
F: S.Johnson, J.Patton, B.Deledio
FOLL: R.Lobb, J.Hopper, J.Kelly
I/C: A.Corr, L.Whitfield, T.Greene, C.Ward
EMG: D.Smith, H.Perryman, S.Reid
*Odds correct at time of posting. Subject to change
Tigers’ MCG record cause for confidence
If 90,000 screaming fans aren’t enough to give Richmond the mental edge, their formidable record at the MCG might just do it.
The home of football looms as an X-factor for the Tigers when they face Greater Western Sydney in Saturday’s AFL preliminary final.
For all their improvement this year, the Tigers have undoubtedly been a different beast at home.
Including their qualifying final victory over Geelong, Damien Hardwick’s men have a 10-2 record at the MCG this season.
Away from the ‘G, their record falls to 6-5.
The Giants have a 1-10 record at the MCG across six seasons, and like the Cats a fortnight ago, are bracing for a hostile, pro-Tigers crowd tipped to reach 90,000.
“I know that it was an away game last week but teams have to come to the MCG now to beat us,” Richmond defender David Astbury said on Tuesday.
“Obviously it’s a big crowd, and our record there … we think that it sits above other teams in the AFL.
“We don’t buy into it too much (but) it just gives us a little bit of confidence.”
While spirits are high at Punt Road, there’s also no shortage of respect for the Giants after their clinical semi-final demolition of West Coast.
The absence of spearhead Jeremy Cameron proved little impediment as mercurial veteran Steve Johnson (six goals), Toby Greene (three) and Jonathon Patton (two) ran rings around the Eagles’ defenders.
“They’re just stocked with talent,” Astbury said.
“Once they get their game style, particularly offensively, up and going, they can be quite damaging.
“That’ll be a focus for us. We’ve played them twice already this year and I think we’ve done a relatively good job with that.
“Nothing really changes. We’ve got to be on because when they get up and moving, they can be quite damaging.”
With a healthy list to select from, Richmond may be tempted to line up unchanged as they look to extend their deepest finals run in 16 years.
The Tigers will head into Saturday’s clash having played just one game in 27 days, but Astbury – who is likely to get the big job on 197cm Giants forward Patton – was confident in his side’s preparation.
“We’ve designed the program over the last fortnight to make sure that we had a good hitout as if it was game-like intensity,” Astbury said.
“We really enjoyed that on Saturday. We’ve had the weekend off and we think that we’re in really good shape.”