Tigers to maul Crows to end the worst season in club’s history
By Tom McLean

Richmond will look to cement a top four finish and a double chance in the finals with a win over Adelaide in the last round of the home and away season. An unlikely fourth win in a row for Adelaide will help them avoid the first wooden spoon in the club’s history. (In any other year, winning three matches in September nearly guarantees you the title of Premier.) Both clubs held their opponents goalless in the first quarter last weekend, to set up convincing wins, Adelaide over Carlton and Richmond too strong for Geelong.

The Crows led by five goals at the first change and while Carlton reduced the final margin to 16 points, they were never a genuine threat. Bryce Gibbs, playing his final game, finished with 27 disposals and no doubt will leave Crows fans questioning why he wasn’t given more opportunities in the tricolours. 

Some green shoots are appearing at West Lakes with Lachie Sholl having the best game of his short career to finish with 24 touches and two goals. Harry Schoenberg (21 disposals) and Andrew McPherson (17) are looking more and more comfortable on the AFL stage. Up forward Elliott Himmelberg, Chayce Jones and Shane McAdam combined to kick four of Adelaide’s goals. These youngsters were supported by in the middle by Matt Crouch (28 possessions) and Rory Laird.

Richmond were clinical in their victory over Geelong, restricting them to only one goal to three-quarter time. The Tigers should have won by more than their 26 point margin, but were inaccurate in front of goal. Jack Riewoldt found some form on the eve of the finals, finishing with four goals. Dustin Martin (19 touches), Shai Bolton (18) and Jayden Short (16) were key contributors in what was a team effort that would have pleased Damien Hardwick.

Heartbreakingly Ivan Soldo ruptured both his anterior cruciate ligament and medial ligament and will miss the next 12 months. Young South Australian Callum Coleman-Jones (Unley Jets) could well have found himself rucking in the finals if he hadn’t been out enjoying the Gold Coast nightlife to earn a 10 game suspension.

Despite Adelaide’s recent improvement, Richmond’s skill and experience will earn them the four points and put them in a strong position to win back to back Premierships. From Adelaide’s perspective, could Taylor Walker be playing his final match before joining Bryce Gibbs in early retirement?

To continued reading please click here to download.