Coach – Damien Hardwick
Points For – 1st
Points Against – 2nd
Top 5 Best and Fairest
- Jack Reiwoldt
- Kane Lambert
- Dustin Martin
- Shane Edwards
- Dylan Grimes
2018 Rising Star Noms
Jack Higgins (Rnd 18)
Ins – Tom Lynch, Riley Collier-Dawkins, Jack Ross, Fraser Turner, Luke English, Jake Aarts, Sydney Stack
Outs – Reece Conca, Corey Ellis, Sam Lloyd, Anthony Miles, Tyson Stengle, Nathan Drummond, Ben Griffiths, Shaun Hampson
In my head I look at the Richmond list and I have a mental block over them. They look shallow but somehow Hardwick has them all playing at their absolute potential and everyone on the same page. They have taken the highest scoring team of last year and added in Tom Lynch which doesn’t bode well for the rest of the competition.
The backline is set, they have perennial All Australian and the greatest full back to ever play the game in Alex Rance (not to mention his incredibly sensible haircut). He is well supported by Astbury and Grimes. Broad and Houli are handy around half back and I think Vlastuin became very important last year with his marking and setting up play.
The midfield is top heavy with Cotchin and Martin but last year they got some really good play from Edwards and Lambert. Prestia has also been really important and the spells Caddy gets running through the middle gave them support. It is still nowhere near the most talented midfield in the competition but it is probably the most effective. Everyone knows their role and gets the job done.
The forward line was very good last year and they have added in a gun centre half forward. It will be interesting to see what happens with the chemistry up forward as their high pressure game had been a big part of their success with the whole forward line working so hard to keep the ball in and being so regimented around their game plan. Whilst I think Lynch is not as strong defensively, his skillset improves the team and will see them even more effective this year.
The rucks are a genuine concern. They got found out on preliminary final day last year when Collingwood got a run on and they couldn’t stop them in the middle. Nankervis is a serviceable ruck and they need serious minutes from him. I think Lynch may see some minutes in the ruck this year. The coach can do no wrong at this point in time. He is relaxed and knows what his team his doing every week.
Richmond traded away a lot of depth this year. They always seem to find a player when they need one but a bad run with injuries this year would be an interesting challenge. Outside of that, it is hard to see them finishing anywhere other than the top two and more likely than anywhere else, top spot.