Fri, May 24, 12:22am by Clarinda Campbell
Match: Richmond Tigers vs Essendon Bombers
When/Where: 7:45pm, Saturday 25 May 2013 at the MCG
Where to Bet: www.IASbet.com
This match is the centrepiece of the Indigenous Round and is known as ‘Dreamtime at the G’. It is expected to be the best match since the concept started in 2005. For the first time, both Richmond and the Bombers are in the top 8 heading into Indigenous Round.
Richmond have moved into the top 8 and are now 7th on the ladder whilst the early season leaders, Essendon, have dropped a few notches to third. Essendon are coming off two straight losses against the Cats and the Lions. The Tigers head into this foray with two straight victories over Port Adelaide and Melbourne. They appear to be playing in the rich vein of form that seen them open their 2013 season with much success. Meanwhile, Essendon appear to be on a slight downer. They were unbeaten up until two weeks ago and last week’s loss to the Lions would have bruised a few egos. The match is expected to be played before an 80,000 strong crowd. Let’s hope it lives up to expectations.
Last round, Richmond defeated the Demons by 34 points. The match was closer than expected as Richmond only pulled away in the final quarter. They scored 8 of the final 12 goals after half time. Brett Deledio (27 possessions), Shaun Grigg (25), Trent Cotchin (26 and Nick Vlastuin (25) won plenty of ball. Dustin Martin and Jack Riewoldt snapped off three goals apiece up front. Early in the game, Richmond dominated the inside 50 count (15-6) but squandered many goal opportunities that allowed the game to be close.
In their last round loss, it appeared that Essendon lacked intensity. Both the Essendon coach and captain blamed the performance on a poor training session during the week. The Bombers had more disposals, clearance and inside 50s but did not make the most of their opportunities.
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Essendon’s key to victory will be whether the forward line can get on top of Richmond’s average defense. But Richmond’s midfield is flying and always worries Essendon. The Bombers will be planning to shut down the Tigers young guns Brandon
Ellis and Nick Vlastuin, who gathered 39 and 25 possessions respectively against Melbourne last week.
Statistics for the match-up between Richmond Tigers and Essendon Bombers
The drugs shroud continues to envelop the Bombers. Essendon chief executive Ian Robson has just stepped down in the wake of the doping scandal. In a separate state of affairs, Essendon player Nathan Lovett-Murray was stabbed in the arm during a domestic dispute and will miss this game. Essendon are coming off consecutive defeats to Geelong and the Lions. It appears as though Essendon are entering the same mid season slump they have suffered from in the past two seasons.
With all this drama and the very real threat of a mid-season form slump, Essendon will be feeling some pressure coming into this match. Richmond appear to have their mojo back with two consecutive wins and they will be full of confidence coming into this match. On this basis, I am tipping Richmond in a tight one.
The bookies predict a tight one here as the line sits at 4.5 (Richmond +4.5 and Essendon -4.5). Essendon are the favourites to win at $1.78 whilst Richmond are at $2.05. In the margins market, the odds are as follows:
– Richmond by 1-20: $4.50
– Richmond by 20+: $3.60
– Essendon by 1-20: $4.00
– Essendon by 21+: $2.75
Given my prediction of a Tigers win, an outright bet on the head to head market is a must at $2.05 with IASbet.com. The $4.50 on offer for a Richmond victory by 1-20 is also hard to knock back.
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