I am as excited about Richmond making the finals again, as I am terrified of what will happen on Sunday. We have made steady progress on 2014, sealing finals to all intents and purposes a few weeks early. Last year we stretched the definition of mathematically to new dimenions to edge West Coast out of the finals. We are now in the Regular Finals Club, have 70,000 members, some first class young players coming through and Cotch, Lids and Jack near career-peak form. We beat the benchmark side twice; Fremantle on their patch and later Hawthorn who had looked to have the rank brown and yellow ribbons on the cup already. We are the duck’s guts.
But having been there when North Melbourne tore us a new air vent in Hobart; I fear and loathe them. In fact I might watch the game on Sunday through the bottom of a Chivas Regal bottle for the full Hunter S. Thompson experience. The patched-together combo they threw out against us on Friday kept us to two goals in the first half. We got serious and belted them in the last quarter but the game was a mixed bag of portents and dry-runs.
Ziebell and Lindsay Thomas are chances to miss, and 3-goal Kayne Turner is sure to be sidelined for a week after concussion; his elbow-to-head + head-to-ground incident looked bloody terrible. Ziebell gives me the willies; he and Goldstein together were driving the bus that ran over Richmond in Hobart. I worry less about Goldy; we have stitched up sides with a dominant ruckman before. Dusty is our barometer; he took too long to click into gear (I am murdering this metaphor) on Friday. Once he was going it was glorious, but I want him going before quarter time on Sunday or he DOESN’T GET AN ORANGE.
Tip for Sunday: Tigers by 11 points. If we can get past the Bananas In Pyjamas then look out, pretenders from the west and the leafy east. Tigers are impatient and unpredictable animals and may not follow anyone’s ‘premiership timetable’.