Coach – Damien Hardwick
Points For – 1st
Points Against – 9th
Top 5 Best and Fairest
1 – Tom Lynch
2 – Daniel Rioli
3 – Dion Prestia
=4 – Shai Bolton
=4 – Liam Baker
2022 Rising Star Noms
Hugo Ralphsmith (Round 17)
Noah Cumberland (Round 20)
Ins – Tim Taranto, Jacob Hopper, Kaleb Smith, Steely Green, Seth Campbell, Tylar Young
Outs – Josh Caddy, Kane Lambert, Matthew Parker, Shane Edwards, Sydney Stack, Jake Aarts, Riley Collier-Dawkins, Will Martyn
Richmond never looked like it last year. A couple of threatening moment but they seemed to never really be able to string it together. They have gone hard at the trade table though and brought in a couple of very good players although worth mentioning that they lost a couple of handy players as well.
The backline was an issue for them last season and I am not sure they have done a huge amount to solve that problem. They have tried using Balta a bit at both ends but they will need him down back as neither Tarrant nor Grimes are getting any younger or more athletic, they will be hoping Gibcus comes on and fills that rolee. Rioli was a revelation down back and will partner with Broad or Vlastuin who can improve their backline just by staying fit.
The midfield is considerably stronger with the addition of Hopper and Taranto. I am not sure I buy into the Hopper hype in the same way as others and suspect he will be the steak knives in a deal that brought Taranto to the Tigers. Dustin Martin is a year further removed from all the crap of last year and we can probably expect him to improve on last season. What they really need is Prestia to stay on the field although the recruitment of Taranto will take some of the pressure off him.
The highest scoring forward line in the competition last year also remains largely unchanged, Cumberland looked a revelation late last year but he has the smell of a Townsend about him and I suspect he slowly disappears, Lynch and Reiwoldt will do what key forwards are supposed to do, kick goals in large numbers. Bolton will probably rotate with Martin through the midfield but he just keeps getting better and then you have Maurice and Baker doing short people things.
The rucks are skinny, Nankervis is handy if he gets out there but we know with Richmond, the rucks are rarely important and more a case of having one if you need it. They have a midfield that can work with the opposition ruck anyway. Hardwick is a proven championship coach who deserves to be mentioned alongside Sheedy and Clarkson. He knows how to bring a team with him.
I think this year the Tigers have given their champions another year or two at the pointy end with their recruitment. However they have lost some handy players in Edwards and Lambert as well as some depth in Caddy, Aarts and Collier-Dawkins. They don’t bat as deep as they have in the past although they have an annoying habit of just finding someone when they need it. I don’t know if they are a top four team this year. I think 4-7 is about the mark.