The mood was no doubt strange around the Richmond camp this week as they lost to Carlton in Round 1 for the first time in many years. It will not get any easier on Sunday as the champion team will face GWS without Brownlow medallist Dustin Martin, rendering the Tigers underdogs.
Regardless, plenty of fans are set to pack out the MCG for this Round 2 clash between two finals fancies.
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Richmond vs GWS Betting Tips
MCG, Sunday 27th March, 3.20pm (AEDT)
Injuries: Dustin Martin (personal leave), Dion Prestia, Jack Riewoldt, Nick Vlastuin, Kane Lambert, Sam Banks
Richmond have been hit by injuries relatively hard early in the season, losing senior stars Dion Prestia and Jack Riewoldt who will both miss a couple of weeks. Vlastuin is also still recovering from a hamstring injury, while Dusty has taken leave from the club.
After plenty of optimism in preseason Richmond were brought back down to earth by Carlton in Round 1. The loss was compounded by injury woes, and the Tigers now have a mountain to climb early in the season. Everything is far from lost at such an early stage, but Richmond will have to rely on their system to get them over the line while the big names sit on the sidelines.
Injuries: Toby Greene (suspension), Brent Daniels, Conor Stone, Zach Sproule, Jack Buckley
The main outs for GWS aren’t totally injury related – Toby Greene is missing due to suspension while Jacob Hopper has been ‘managed’ after just one round.
GWS are also coming off a loss for this one, having fallen to the Swans in a see-saw affair last weekend. Despite this, Coniglio’s return was successful and the key cogs (pardon the pun) of the Giants team appear to be in order. Hitting the road for this weekend’s clash at the MCG, I have no doubt that GWS will see this as a ripe opportunity to knock off a big club on their turf and make a statement to the competition. The return of Jesse Hogan and Nick Haynes will only aid their quest, adding quality to the spine of the team.
GWS have traditionally been hit and miss in Melbourne, while the Tigers always defend their fortress with ferocity. However, this Sunday all of the signs point to an away victory for the healthy, hungry Giants. I think the midfield of Josh Kelly, Coniglio and Callan Ward will be too strong in the centre of the ground and down forward there are genuine targets for the Sydney team, both tall and small.
On the flipside, Richmond will rely heavily on the likes of Tom Lynch, Trent Cotchin, Dylan Grimes and Jayden Short to lead the way in the absence of experience elsewhere. In my opinion, the task will be too tall for the Tigers.
$2.00 (1.5 Units)
Kelly had 27 in Round 1 and will face a far less experienced opposition this week. He racked up 32 against Richmond in one of their encounters last year and historically performs well on the wide open spaces of the MCG.
Josh Kelly 30+ Disposals ($2.25 at TAB)
A bet in a similar vein to my thoughts on Kelly. Coniglio is back to full fitness and should benefit from Richmond’s leakiness to midfielders/lack of quality in that position this week.
Stephen Coniglio 20+ Disposals/GWS win ($2.15 at TAB)
Short has become an ultra-consistent rebounding defender, beginning Richmond’s attacking moves from the back with his hard running and penetrating kicking. The retirement of Bachar Houli has left Short as the central user, and he should see plenty of ball down back this week.
Jayden Short 25+ Disposals ($1.55 at TAB)