Sunday football kicks off with Hawthorn hosting Richmond at the MCG. Both sides will be full of confidence after picking up impressive victories in round one. We’ll be bringing you a dedicated preview and betting tips for EVERY game in the 2021 season so be sure to check our AFL Betting Tips page regularly for updates.
2021 AFL Round 2: Hawthorn vs Richmond Preview & Betting Tips
MCG, Sunday 28th March, 1:10pm AEDT
The reigning premiers picked up a solid win over the Blues in round one, whilst the Hawks produced a stunning second half to come from forty points down to defeat Essendon.
It’s danger signs early for the rest of the competition, with Dustin Martin dominating in round one, leading the Tigers to victory. The reigning premiers kept almost the same side that won the 2020 premiership together, and their system still looks as strong as ever, allowing them to win games even when they aren’t at their best.
Tom Mitchell led a remarkable second half turnaround last week by the Hawks, racking up 39 disposals, with 17 of them coming in the third quarter. The Hawks also got great run off half back with Will Day (28 disposals) and Changkuoth Jiath (22 disposals) playing crucial roles.
On the selection front, Richmond will welcome Trent Cotchin back into the side who missed last week with an illness, whilst Nick Vlaustin looks set to miss with a knee injury. The Hawks look set to take in an unchanged lineup from last week.
Despite the momentum behind the Hawks, the talent and experience gap in this matchup is massive. The Hawks leaked eight unanswered goals in the second quarter last week and their defence will struggle to handle the Richmond surge.
Richmond’s role players made massive contributions last week with Jack Graham (33 disposals), Kane Lambert (28 disposals) and Shai Botlon (25 disposals, 1 goal) all having a big impact in the win over Carlton.
Richmond has won four of its past five games against the Hawks, with an average winning margin of 27 points. Their MCG record is remarkable, and they have won their past 22 day matches at the MCG.
The Tigers weren’t at their best last week yet still managed to defeat the Blues by 25 points, with the way the Hawks leaked goals against a struggling Essendon forward line, there are massive concerns about how they’ll stop the Tigers elite forward line. With Ben Stratton retired, Hawthorn doesn’t have a great matchup for Dusty when he goes forward.
The Tigers will be looking to send a statement early in the season and they simply have too much talent for the Hawks to handle, especially at the MCG. The line looks a little big, but the Tigers showed last week that they can cover that in a burst.
Richmond -30.5 (1.5 Units)
Jaeger O'Meara got his 2020 campaign off to an excellent start, picking up 30 disposals and 9 clearances in the win over the Bombers. O’Meara’s recent record against the Tigers has been quality, averaging 26 disposals per game in his last four outings against Richmond. With plenty of attention set to come Tom Mitchell’s way, this will open up plenty of opportunities for O’Meara to win the footy. Expect O’Meara to keep his good form going.
O'Meara 30+ Disposals
Jack Graham has been marked to earn more midfield time this season, and he showed why in round one. Graham had 33 disposals and 836 metres gained in a dominant performance against Carlton. With the new rules creating a more open game, Graham’s running power to continually get to the next stoppage was on show, and proved he is going to play a massive role for the Tigers this season. In a midfield featuring the likes of Martin, Cotchin and Prestia, Graham is often an afterthought for opposing sides, which gives him plenty of opportunities to win the footy. After his incredible performance in round one, Graham will be full of confidence he can produce another quality performance against the Hawks.
Graham 30+ Disposals