Match day guide and preview for the AFL Round 9 game between the Giants and Tigers.
Who, when and where?
Richmond Tigers vs GWS Giants
Saturday 15 May 2021 at 7.25pm (AEST)
Marvel Stadium, Melbourne, Victoria
All time head-to-head record: Played 14. Giants 5 wins. Tigers 9 wins.
Ladder position and recent form
GWS Giants 9th – 98.3% | 641 points for |652 points against | 4 wins & 4 losses | WLWWL
The Giants escaped with a narrow two-point win over the Bombers last week to make it four wins from their past five matches.
Despite a lengthy injury list, the Giants have been competitive in all but one of their matches so far in 2021 and are now a genuine chance at playing finals.
Given the Tigers haven’t been at their best lately, this is a great opportunity for the Giants to claim a big scalp.
Richmond Tigers 8th – 102.8% | 654 points for | 636 points against | 4 wins & 4 losses | LWLLW
Many thought the Tigers were back after a tremendous second half against the Bulldogs two weeks ago, but a 63-point smashing at the hands of the Cats in round 8 has cast some doubts over the reigning premiers.
The Cats kicked 18 goals to five after quarter time in the thumping, with the Tigers backline struggling to contain their tall forwards.
Nobody should be willing to write off the Tigers just yet, but another loss here could make a top four finish difficult.
Ins and outs
The Giants have been dealt another blow with fullback Lachlan Keefe suffering an ACL injury in the dying stages of their win over Essendon.
Matt Buntine has recovered from concussion and could come in for Keefe. Jake Riccardi is another option after impressing down back in the VFL two weeks ago with 40 disposals and 19 marks.
Jesse Hogan is expected to return after missing last week with calf tightness and should slot straight back into the forward line.
The club announced 21-year-old ruckman Kieren Briggs will make his AFL debut against the Tigers, meaning Shane Mumford will likely be rested.
The Tigers midfield took a further battering with Shane Edwards ruled out with an ankle while Shai Bolton broke his wrist in a nightclub incident and will miss the next few weeks.
They are already without captain Trent Cotchin, Kane Lambert and Dion Prestia which means they may need to rely on some youngsters to fill the void.
Patrick Naish, Will Martyn and Hugo Ralphsmith are names that have been tossed around to come in, while veteran Josh Caddy could also return.
Star defender Dylan Grimes looks set to return in a huge boost for the Tigers backline that struggled without him.
Last 5 meetings and Marvel Stadium history
- 2020 Round 8 – Giants 9.8 (62) defeated Tigers6.14 (50) at Giants Stadium
- 2019 Grand Final – Tigers 17.12 (114) defeat Giants 3.7 (25) at MCG
- 2019 Round 17 – Tigers 13.16 (94) defeat Giants 9.13 (67) at MCG
- 2019 Round 3 – Giants 19.11 (125) defeated Tigers10.16 (76) at Giants Stadium
- 2018 Round 17 – Giants 11.13 (79) defeat Tigers 10.17 (77) at Giants Stadium
There have been a couple of close encounters between the sides, including the Giants 12-point win last year, but there’s only one result people will remember.
The Tigers 89-point thumping of the Giants in the 2019 Grand Final is the contest that sticks in the minds of all footy fans. It was a rather embarrassing defeat for the Giants and it seemed to influence how they went in 2020, missing finals for the first time since 2015.
There’s a clear pattern over the past five matches with the home side winning every contest. In fact, that pattern extends well beyond five, with the home side winning the last 11 matchups. The Giants have never beaten the Tigers away from Sydney or Canberra while the Tigers only away wins came in the first three matches.
This is their first meeting at Marvel Stadium with all six previous games in Melbourne played at the MCG.
Players to watch
Giants – Josh Kelly
Kelly looked on his way to becoming a top five player in the AFL back in 2017 before constant injuries halted his momentum.
He has finally had a good run over the past 12 months and is getting back to his best football, mixing his time in the midfield, on the wing and across the half forward line.
Kelly was the Giants best with 30 disposals and two goals against the Bombers as he continues to build his good form.
With the Giants inside midfielders playing so well, it has allowed Kelly to play more outside and use his run and classy left foot. He is also averaging a goal a game so the Tigers will need to be wary of his ability to finish goals.
Tigers – Tom Lynch
Lynch copped plenty of flack for his goalless performance against the Demons in Round 7 and responded with a dominant display against the Bulldogs the following week.
He was again well held against the Cats last week, kicking one goal from just seven disposals so will again be looking to respond.
It wasn’t all his fault with the Tigers midfield dominated by Geelong, but Lynch simply could not find a way to influence the game.
With the Giants down on key defenders, this is Lynch’s chance to find some form and kick a bag.
Pre match predictions
The Warden: Callan Ward to have 5 clearances, 5 tackles and a goal in a strong display.
Greene patch: Toby Greene to continue his recent run of form with 3 goals and 20 touches. – Denholm Samaras
Other match details
Saturday night’s match will be shown live on 7mate in the ACT and NSW and Foxtel Channel 503 and Kayo nationally from 7pm.
The Giants will debut a new away strip on Saturday night. The jumper is all orange apart from a charcoal ‘G’ on the front.
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