Coach – Damien Hardwick
Points For – 8th
Points Against – 3rd
Top 5 Best and Fairest
- Dustin Martin
- Alex Rance
- Kane Lambert
- Trent Cotchin
- Dylan Grimes
2017 Rising Star Noms
Dan Butler (Rnd 11)
Jason Castagna (Rnd 19)
Ins – Jack Higgins, Callum Coleman-Jones, Noah Balta, Patrick Naish, Ben Miller, Liam Baker, Derek Eggmolesse-Smith
Outs – Steven Morris, Taylor Hunt, Todd Elton, Ivan Maric, Chriss Yarran, Ben Lennon, Jake Batchelor
For those who actually read my predictions, I thought I would include my thoughts on Richmond last year;
Richmond are as close to a basketcase list as you can get. They lack quality kids, they are topping up with reasonable older players. They have a solid midfield feeding a below average forward line. The backline is dependant almost solely on one player and they have terrible rucks. I can’t see Hardwick surviving past the halfway mark of the season. I think the Tigers will probably slip this year. 15-16th for mine.
The backline stood up last year. Rance had another good year but he also found some extra support, Grimes and Astbury were suddenly useful players. A lot of it on the back of the pressure from the midfield meaning opposition teams were usually rushing the ball forward allowing for easy spoiling or intercept marking. Houli was good off half back and they Vlastuin actually got on the field.
The midfield is where they got the job done. They carry two elite mids in Martin and Cotchin. Last year the foot soldiers stood up and they will need that again this year. Prestia was solid last year and Grigg continues to be dependable but when you look at the midfield it is really reliant on the top end talent to get the job done. Martin was amazing last year and will need to produce something similar for them to challenge again.
The forward line was largely dysfunctional last year compared to what we would expect from a premiership winning forward line. They were forced to go small after losing Griffiths early in the year and it just seemed to work. Reiwoldt did the team thing and often focused on bringing the ball to ground where the small guys focused on keeping the ball in and pressuring a goal. The only player in their top 10 goals kickers over 190cm was Reiwoldt. I am not sure that can happen again.
Nankervis was a great pick up last year. Any recruit that reduces the reliance on Shaun Hampson is a good one.
Last year will have to go down as one of the great coaching efforts. It cant be easy having a whole team working in the exact same direction for such an extended period. They played amazingly frantic but disciplined football and won a premiership on the back of it. They totally bought into his game plan and deservedly won the big prize. Can they do it again? I don’t think so. I wouldn’t be so daring as to predict them to miss the eight but certainly think they will drop this year. 5-7 looks about the mark.