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    MATCH PREVIEW

    FOLLOW IT LIVE: Tigers v Saints, stats that matter, who wins and why

    St Kilda has a good record against Richmond, will there be another surprise?

    SUMMARY

    St Kilda celebrated its return to the finals with a thrilling victory over the Western Bulldogs last week. Its reward? A semi-final against a side who has won two of the last three premierships, where it will be missing experienced duo Paddy Ryder and Jake Carlisle. The Saints, and Brett Ratten in particular, have a good recent record against the Tigers. Ratten has won 10 of 11 games against Richmond in his coaching career, but victory at Metricon Stadium on Friday night would undoubtedly top all of them. Still, if this season has taught us anything, it's to expect the unexpected. Maybe there's a 'Miracle at Metricon' in the works. 

    TIGERS v SAINTS Follow all the scores and stats LIVE

    WHERE AND WHEN: Metricon Stadium, Friday 9 October, 7.50pm AEDT

    TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide 

    WHAT HAPPENED THIS YEAR?

    Round four: St Kilda 15.3 (93) defeated Richmond 10.7 (67)
    The most significant aspect of St Kilda's victory over Richmond earlier in the season was the control it had over the entire contest. The Saints led at every change in a mature performance, having the measure over the Tigers in most areas of the field. Dan Butler tormented his former side to kick three goals from 14 disposals, while Tim Membrey (seven marks, three goals) and Jack Steele (21 disposals, 10 tackles) were also among the best.

    WHAT TO WATCH FOR

    Richmond
    Will the return of Tom Lynch solve Richmond's issues going inside 50? Throughout the season, the Tigers ranked No.1 in the League for marks inside the forward arc – averaging 10.3 per game. However, in last week's defeat to Brisbane, the reigning premiers took less than half that amount – ranked seventh of the eighth sides playing finals. Richmond needs a reliable option inside 50 to maximise its scoring opportunities. Lynch should be that man.

    St Kilda
    Can the Saints cope without two of their best three performers from last week? According to Champion Data's AFL Player Ratings, Paddy Ryder (24.7 points) and Jake Carlisle (12.9) ranked first and third respectively during last week's narrow elimination final victory over the Western Bulldogs. Young gun Rowan Marshall will now have to shoulder the bulk of the ruck load without Ryder, while Carlisle missing could leave the side undersized down back.

    WHAT THE STATS SAY

    St Kilda scored 15 goals from 38 inside 50s when these sides last played, with its conversion rate of 39.5 percent equating to the club's best return on the season.

    Richmond conceded 55 points from turnovers and 38 points from stoppages when it last played St Kilda, its second-worst differentials in both categories on the entire season.

    Dustin Martin is the key man. In his nine finals since the start of 2017, his AFL Player Ratings average of 19.2 points is the best of any Richmond player throughout that period.

    There could be a lot of stress placed on the Saints backline. Richmond ranks No.1 for time in forward-half differential this season. Meanwhile, St Kilda had a time in forward-half differential of -15.38 minutes last week – the worst of all eight teams playing in the finals.

    There's no wonder Richmond wanted this game at Metricon Stadium. The Tigers have won their last nine games in Gold Coast, with an average winning margin of 46 points. St Kilda also boasts a relatively good record at the venue and is 2-1 there this year.

    Richmond has enjoyed its stay at Metricon Stadium. Picture: AFL Photos

    IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR …

    Richmond
    Toby Nankervis. On paper, one of few Richmond deficiencies can be found in the ruck. But while dual premiership big man Nankervis has played only eight games this year, he enjoyed the best of them back in round four against St Kilda. Making his return to the side – and rucking solo on that occasion – Nankervis had 17 disposals, 26 hitouts, seven tackles and a goal. He was one of Richmond's most important performers, getting the better of youngster Rowan Marshall. Doing similar on Friday night will go a long way to helping his midfielders.

    St Kilda
    Dan Butler. This is a man with a few things to prove. In his first game against his former side, where he was part of their premiership team back in 2017, Butler had 14 disposals and three goals to torch the Tigers. Now, he can do it on the biggest stage of all. Butler was restricted to just 22 games in his final two seasons with Richmond and left for more opportunities. He can continue to prove he was worthy of those chances if he again fires in the semi-final. It would cap a year where he also made the 40-man All-Australian squad. 

    01:00 Mins
    Published on

    Goalsneak shows Tigers what they've lost

    Dan Butler snaps one through for the Saints early against his old side

    Published on

    PREDICTION: Richmond by 20 points. You can't keep a good team down for long and the Tigers have proved over the last four seasons that they are a very, very good team. 

    MATCH REPORT

    Next stop, prelim: Tiger train back on track as Saints' yips return

    Richmond has advanced to a preliminary final against Port Adelaide after ending St Kilda's season

    Dustin Martin celebrates his last-quarter goal. Picture: AFL Photos

    RICHMOND is into a fourth successive preliminary final, making St Kilda pay dearly for a return of its goalkicking yips at Metricon Stadium on Friday night.

    The Tigers won 12.8 (80) to 6.13 (49) and will now face Port Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval next Friday night for the right to play in the Grand Final.

    TIGERS v SAINTS Full match coverage and stats

    What looked like being a comfortable night for Richmond after a five-goal opening quarter blitz was anything but, as St Kilda fought until the death.

    07:16 Mins
    Published on

    Highlights: Richmond v St Kilda

    The Tigers and Saints clash in the Semi Finals

    Published on

    But the inaccuracy around goal that plagued the Saints the previous three seasons came back to bite them.

    After succumbing to a hungry Brisbane outfit seven days earlier, Richmond got back to doing what it does best – pressuring, playing quickly and converting accurately around goal.

    The best team of the past four seasons found some form and still has a chance to defend its premiership.

    With Tom Lynch back from a hamstring injury to straighten up their ball movement they looked like a totally different team.

    00:40 Mins
    Published on

    Welcome back, Tom: Powerful Lynch makes instant impact

    Tom Lynch with a strong mark and goal to give Richmond the quick start

    Published on

    Although he kicked poorly (2.5), Lynch's 17-disposal, six-mark game was a welcome sight for Tigers fans.

    He might come under scrutiny from the Match Review Officer again though after a third-quarter incident where he dropped a knee into Saints defender Dougal Howard.

    00:35 Mins
    Published on

    Is Lynch in MRO trouble after this clash?

    Richmond forward Tom Lynch could face scrutiny for an incident that receives a 50-metre penalty

    Published on

    Dustin Martin (25 disposals, six clearances and a goal), Shai Bolton (three goals from 11 touches) and Shane Edwards (21 and two goals) were all instrumental in the win.

    Not usually reliant on their clearance prowess, the Tigers smashed St Kilda's midfield, winning nine centre clearances to three in the first half and giving their forwards plenty of opportunities.

    FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED Lynch can't stop the brain fades

    Bolton was magnificent, turning two half chances into opening quarter goals, including one twisting and turning effort where he bought just enough time from a pressuring Jack Sinclair to snap from 50m and watch the ball take a kind bounce through.

    00:30 Mins
    Published on

    Two belters in one magical minute for Bolton

    Shai Bolton is in the mood and kicks a brilliant double in the Tigers' charge

    Published on

    It summed up the difference between the two teams.

    After converting at less than 50 percent in front of goal from 2017-2019, St Kilda has been one of the most accurate teams in the competition this season, but it deserted them in their hour of need.

    With Jake Carlisle with his partner awaiting the birth of his third child, the back six looked out of sorts at times, with too many players flying for marks and leaving the Richmond smalls to run unattended.

    Jack Steele (25 disposals and a goal) completed a magnificent season, while Hunter Clark really gave his team a lift when moved into the midfield after half-time.

    RICHMOND   5.1       9.1       10.4     12.8 (80)
    ST KILDA       2.2       3.6       5.11     6.13 (49)

    GOALS
    Richmond: 
    Bolton 3, Lynch 2, Edwards 2, Castagna, Martin, McIntosh, Prestia, Rioli
    St Kilda: Battle, Butler, Kent, Ross, Savage, Steele

    BEST
    Richmond: 
    Houli, Martin, Edwards, Bolton, Lynch, Baker
    St Kilda: Steele, Clark, Ross, Coffield, Marshall

    INJURIES
    Richmond: 
    Nil
    St Kilda: Membrey (ankle)

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