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Mid-season Tiger talking points

Mid-season moments: 1 Watch the best match moments from the season so far.

Tony Greenberg takes a look at the top Tiger talking points up to the midway mark of season 2018. 

 

Jayden Short shines as a small defender

Short has been a revelation in 2018 across Richmond’s backline after playing 16 senior games last year, but missing out on a place in the Tigers’ premiership team. Averages 19.5 disposals, 4.8 rebounds and 4.1 marks per game. Had an AFL career-high 28 disposals in the Round 11 Dreamtime clash with Essendon. Is ranked third in the competition for metres gained and ninth for rebound-50s. Has generated plenty of drive for the team through his run-and-carry out of defence and superb kicking skills off either foot.

 

Josh Caddy’s major impact up forward

After just eight games this year, Caddy had already surpassed his best goal return for an entire AFL season of 21. He achieved that feat on the back of a league football career-high, powerful six-goal performance against St Kilda at the MCG in Round 10, which earned him the Ian Stewart Medal for being best afield. Has kicked a total of 28 goals for the season at an average of 2.5 per match. Also averages 17.8 disposals, 3.8 inside-50s, 3.7 marks and 3.5 tackles per game, which underlines how significant he’s been within Richmond’s line-up.  

 

Shane Edwards now flying above the radar

It’s almost as if the entire AFL football world has finally caught on to just how talented and influential Edwards is. He’s delivered some dazzling displays this season, with the highlight being his piping-hot form in the Round 11 Dreamtime game against Essendon. Won the Yiooken award that night after racking up an AFL career-high 31 disposals and producing some truly brilliant passages of play. Averages 19.3 disposals, 4.0 inside-50s and 2.9 clearances per game in his high half-forward/midfield role for the Tigers. Is the top-ranked player in the competition for goal assists and seventh for score involvements.

 

Trent Cotchin’s inspirational leadership

Captain Cotchin has picked up where he left off on Grand Final day 2017 with his rousing on-field exploits in 2018. He’s consistently set the tone for the Tigers during games through his fearless attack on the ball, single-minded determination to succeed and excellent leadership qualities. So much so that esteemed veteran AFL football commentator Tim Lane declared him the competition’s best player earlier this season. “He is more capable than anyone in the game, I reckon, at withstanding the heat of a really intense contest now. I think he’s the best player in the game,” Lane said.

 

Jack Riewoldt’s selflessness

AFL premiership coach and now respected football commentator Paul Roos recently described star Richmond key forward Jack Riewoldt as the most selfless player in the competition – and it’s not hard to understand why. As the Tigers’ sole tall forward, Riewoldt’s role largely revolves around competing hard to provide opportunities for the team’s fleet of small forwards. Richmond coach Damien Hardwick concurred with Roos’ comments. “He’s very much on our highlights tape, creating contest through his jumping and getting the ball to ground for those little players . . . That’s why he’s such an important player for us,” Hardwick said. 

 

Nick Vlastuin’s burgeoning reputation

Vlastuin has strengthened his status as one of the competition’s best small defenders throughout the first half of the 2018 season. Has showcased his elite intercept ability, along with poise, courage, toughness and first-class delivery of the ball out of the backline. Is averaging 17.1 disposals, 6.8 marks and 4.0 marks per game. Had an AFL career-high 26 disposals against North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium in Round 8. Ranks 12th in the competition for intercepts per game and 19th for marks per game. 

 

The team’s significant scoring boost

Having scored 100 points or more eight times during its 2017 premiership year, Richmond has already equalled that number of century scores after just 13 games in season 2018. The Tigers are ranked No. 2 competition-wide in points for and they have an impressive spread of goalkickers with seven players that have booted 10 goals or more to this stage of the season – Jack Riewoldt (30), Josh Caddy (28), Jason Castagna (19), Dustin Martin (17), Dan Butler (15), Kane Lambert (11) and Jacob Townsend (10).  

 

Powerful finishes

Richmond has won 10 of 13 last quarters this season, outscoring its rivals by a whopping 208 points in those 10 games – 49.33 (327) to 17.17 (119). The Tigers’ ability to finish games full of running and overpower their opposition is a key reason why they currently sit on top of the league ladder with the best percentage of any team in the competition.

 

The MCG fortress

Nine consecutive wins at the MCG in 2018 has taken Richmond’s overall winning streak at the home of AFL football to 16, which is just one away from the all-time record of 17 in-a-row at the ground set by Melbourne back in the 1950s. The Tigers have an average MCG winning margin this season of 46 points.