Richmond remarkably had four matches decided by kicks after the siren this season, finishing with three wins and a draw to ensure the Tigers secured a berth in the inaugural Wildcard Round.
BY THE NUMBERS
W-L-D (%): 10-8-1 (94.2%)
Players used: 51
Played every match: 1 – Lachlan Street
AFL players used: 23
Debutants: 16 – Ben Bilston-McGillen, Harry Broderick, Seth Campbell, Matthew Clarkson, Max Clohesy, Billy Cooper, Matt Coulthard, Steely Green, Lewis Hill, Archie May, Charlie Naish, Nathan Philactides, Luke Teal, Beau Tedcastle, James Trezise and Mohammed Yassine
Best and Fairest: 1st: James Trezise, 2nd: Tyler Sonsie and Lachlan Street, 4th: Sam Banks, 5th: Thomson Dow
J.J. Liston Trophy votes: Lachlan Street (8), Bigoa Nyuon (6), Tyler Sonsie (6)
Coaches MVP votes: Thomson Dow (31), Lachlan Street (30), Noah Cumberland (20), James Trezise (20)
VFL Team of the Year representatives: Nil
Goalkickers: Kaelan Bradtke (24), Noah Cumberland (19), Jacob Bauer (15)
(Averages – minimum 6 matches)
Disposals: Tyler Sonsie (24.6), Lachlan Street (23.7), Thomson Dow (22.8)
Kicks: Tyler Sonsie (16.1), Tom Brown (13.7), Garrett McDonagh (13.2)
Handballs: Thomson Dow (13.0), Lachlan Street (11.7), Cam Olden (8.9)
Marks: Jacob Bauer (5.4), James Trezise (5.1), Sam Banks (5.0)
Tackles: Mykelti Lefau (6.4), James Trezise (3.9), Cam Olden (3.8)
Hitouts: Samson Ryan (23.8), Ben Miller (13.2), Bigoa Nyuon (9.7)
Clearances: Thomson Dow (6.3), Lachlan Street (4.7), Tyler Sonsie (3.9)
Inside-50s: Lachlan Street (4.8), Tyler Sonsie (3.7), Brad Melville (3.2)
Rebound-50s: Tom Brown (6.7), Jacob Bauer (5.2), Mutaz El Nour (3.4)
WHAT WENT RIGHT
The final siren was their friend. Richmond remarkably had four matches decided by kicks after the siren this season, winning three and drawing one to ultimately secure its spot in the Wildcard Round. Jacob Bauer was the main hero, twice converting with everything on the line to secure interstate victories over the GWS Giants and Brisbane Lions. The Tigers beat Essendon and drew with Geelong when those teams were unable to kick truly after the final siren. James Trezise was Richmond’s biggest success story, arriving as a VFL-listed player and dominating to the point where he was elevated in the mid-season draft and made his AFL debut in the final round of the season. Captain Lachie Street continued to lead from the front. Going 3-0 interstate is a huge plus.
WHAT WENT WRONG
The Tigers struggled to put scores on the board, only cracking 100 points once for the season – 104 against the Northern Bullants in Round 1. They finished with the lowest points tally of any of the top 10 teams and had the 13th best attack overall. They were also the only team to make the finals kicking more behinds than goals. Tyler Sonsie’s brain snap in Round 22 robbed the Tigers of one of their prime movers in the Wildcard Round against Collingwood, while injuries to Garrett McDonagh and Mykelti Lefau also hurt.
Summary: A middling season for the Tigers that probably ended up being better than it could have been because they were so good at staying in matches to the death and taking their chances when they popped up. Balancing that out was their poor conversion that made some of those games closer than they needed to be. Only six times in 19 games did they kick more goals than behinds and it was only their heart that lifted them into the top 10. They’d be happy ninth now brings a Wildcard Round appearance! Away wins over the Brisbane Lions and Southport Sharks sandwiching a home loss to the Swans sums things up perfectly.