Tigers looking good BUT!

Tigers looking good BUT!
By Penny Dredfell
Added 13 March 2018

This year you will only have me now and then as well. I may not be putting stuff in for every round.  The Herald-Sun had a season preview before the 2017 and lots of experts made their tips; not one of about 18 of them tipped the Tigers.

Longggey had them 10th and does get some credit for this comment:  Tigers get a great recruit in Neil Balme; plus Toby Nankervis looks to be an excellent recruit

One journo even tipped Hardwick to be sacked during the season; and nobody poo-pooed him (oops! I’ve given it away that it was a male journo).

Let’s look at the Tigers’ path to glory: Damien Hardwick took over as coach of Richmond before the 2010 season; they gradually improved until they made finals in 2013.

They also made finals in 2014 and 2015 – but failed to win a final in that 3 years period.

Then followed the annus horribilis – 13th in 2016 and the sky was apparently falling.  But the Tigers resisted all pleas to get a new coach and the rest is hysteria – a flag in 2017.  They also won the big one by a huge 48 points.

The general public wondered how the Tigers would respond in 2018. After all, the Dogs had a dog of a year following their unexpected premiership.  The JLT “ladder” sees the Tigers undefeated and with the best percentage.  Their list is healthy and they currently are playing like back to back is on the cards.

That’s the good news.  For Tiger fans who just missed out on the 1980 flag, they began 2017 wondering if they would ever live to see another one.  Most would be happy with just one in their lifetime.  The 7yo fans are probably expecting Richmond to win the next 10!

Their pattern is similar to that of Geelong in 2007/2008.  The Cats won the 2007 by a record margin (119 points – not a nail-biter). It should be noted that they did bomb out of the NAB Cup which was then an actual competition with a trophy in March 2008.  They then proceeded to win the first 8 games of 2008.

After a shock loss to the Pies by 86 points, the Cats went through undefeated until losing the big one to the Hawks.

The Tigers in 2017, like the Cats 10 years earlier, won big in the big one; this is a bad sign. see:
Teams that win by over 6 goals have either missed the Grand Final the next year of lost the last half (and usually the game).  The one exception in the past 50 years was Hawthorn in 2015 who managed to roar away from the Eagles in the second half to record their two-peat (= three flags in a row).

The 7 year olds will be totally devastated at the thought of not winning the big one this year. But the odds are stacked against Richmond – ACCORDING to the technical analysis.

The other similarity between Richmond and Geelong was Geelong’s path to its first success in decades.  The Cats built from a low base under Mark Thompson, making finals in 2004 and 2005; then the absolute shocker in 2006 (10th, but it seemed worse).  There was a review which could possibly have led to the coach being sacked.  But the club stuck with Bomber.

Going back to the patterns of teams winning grand finals BIG; I reckon the Tigers look set to do extremely well this year; but I won’t go so far as to lock in a Grand Final berth just yet.