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12:41pm  Jan 18, 2018

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Rioli set to run

Richmond star Daniel Rioli is set to begin running next week after undergoing surgery in October to recover from a broken foot sustained in the Tigers' Grand Final victory over Adelaide.

11:46am  Jan 18, 2018

Midsumma Festival launch

Richmond’s commitment to diversity and inclusion was on show at last Sunday’s Midsumma Festival launch at Alexandra Gardens.

5:14pm  Jan 17, 2018

Tigers in Cardinia

Beaconsfield’s Holm Park Recreation Reserve turned yellow and black yesterday as the Tigers held their first open training session for 2018.

12:55pm  Jan 17, 2018

Welcome to September

Constandinos Bouliopoulos  September 1, 2013 3:35 PM

They’re arguably our biggest rivals.

They made the finals with 11 wins. 

In perspective last year you needed 14 wins to make the top eight.

The last time a football side made the finals with as little as 11 wins was in 2010. When Carlton once again managed to sneak inside the top eight and scare 5th placed Sydney in a ripping elimination final.

This year they play the Richmond Football Club. The side where their last three encounters have been decided by a total of 17 points.

2-1, Carlton’s way.

The Blues would love nothing more than to take this special opportunity of making the finals from 9th and knock out the team that’s even got a song about finishing 9th.

It would be the ultimate irony.

The 9th placed side for the first time ever makes the finals and knocks out Richmond who actually make the top eight for the first time in 12 years.

Carlton is an interesting beast.

They have flaws. A list where even their former captain Chris Judd described as mediocre. Opposition often expose the Blues by shutting down their few stars and sapping the confidence from the first bounce.

Against Richmond however, no matter what the circumstance, where the ladder position stands or even the most recent of form, the Blues have continually managed to get the upper hand.

Brock McLean steps it up a few gears.

Mitch Robinson magically regains form.

Marc Murphy can suddenly break a tag.

Levi Casboult pops up and snags a few.

It seems like the players on the park do not matter. Santa Claus could don the navy blue and if his teammates are in the right frame of mind – which they always seem to be against Richmond, he’ll nail a few solid goals and cause Richmond supporters many headaches.

It could be argued that Richmond were unlucky, began a rebuild or had some seriously unlucky twists of fate. Brock McLeans clanger goal comes to mind.

Carlton doesn’t care though. They will not worry about playing us. Richmond doesn’t hold any psychological advantage against the Blues.

Carlton has won 10 of their last 11 against the Tigers.

None of those victories were a final though.

That’s where things get interesting.

Carlton has won 42 from 60 contests against Richmond since our last successful period. The Blues have their own bogey side too, historically; it’s Richmond during finals.

The Blues have won only 4 of their last 20 finals against the Tigers. That’s an unprecedented statistic.

This rivalry somehow transcends current form and ladder position. It’s a rivalry that’s based on hatred, history and the moment.

Chris Newman may never play a final again, if he’s lucky to play this Sunday. He knows how rare this opportunity is. I expect Newman to play for his life. It may be his first and last final.

Shane Tuck plays with more heart than most elite competitors in the world. He’s like a Rottweiler once he bites he never lets go. Relentless and unforgiving, Shane Tuck is our tiger warrior. He will give everything he has, simply because that’s what he always does.

Brett Deledio, Jake King, Nathan Foley and Daniel Jackson will relish the moment. It’s been so long.

Opposition supporters will argue that maybe, these players will have too much pressure on them.

Maybe they’ll never embrace the moment.

But what I know for sure is that 90,000 fanatics will pack the MCG on Sunday afternoon at 3.20pm.

We’re all ready for this moment. It’s ours too. It’s been 12 years since we have made finals.

Even a loss, just like Brendon Gale once said, we’re running a marathon, not simply a sprint.

This journey is getting interesting now; soon enough, with our change in culture and shift in professionalism, this transformation will be one we can all enjoy for generations.

Everything doesn’t ride on this match. Let’s just enjoy it for what it is.


Constandinos Bouliopoulos

Follow me @conmjj on Twitter.