Richmond favourites for 2019 Grand Final success

AFL Rd 1 - Richmond v Carlton

 

Richmond have been installed as the early favourites to regroup and seize Grand Final glory in 2019. The Tigers romped to the premiership last year and looked on course to defend their crown after topping the ladder and surging into the preliminary finals with a classy win over Hawthorn. But they suffered one of the biggest upsets of all time as Collingwood ended their 22-game winning streak at the MCG with 15.7 (97) to 8.10 (58) win. Yet Richmond have wasted no time wallowing in misery as they snapped up Tom Lynch during the trade period and they look poised for another strong tilt at the premiership in 2019.
The Tigers have retained every single player from their best 22 and bolstered the team with the arrival of Lynch. He should form a devastating forward line alongside Coleman medallist Jack Riewoldt, and Richmond could be unstoppable if it works out. Lynch was one of the hottest players in the AFL and Tigers fans are celebrating after the club tied him down to a mammoth seven-year deal. “From the outside looking in, Richmond have something very special, so it’s great to be a part of it,” said Lynch, who grew up in Mornington Peninsula. “I know we’re in a footy-mad state and it’s great to be part of it.”

Richmond odds shrink after exciting arrival.

Leading betting sites responded to the news by installing Richmond as the heavy favourites for Grand Final success next year. They are just $5 with the main bookmakers, while Collingwood are out at $7 and West Coast – who beat the Magpies in the Grand Final – are priced at $8. That is a pretty emphatic endorsement of the Tigers’ ability to shrug off their preliminary finals disappointment and mount a full-on assault on the 2019 campaign.
The All-Australian forward Lynch underwent surgery in July, but he expects to be fit in time for the start of the season against Carlton at the MCG. “I’m probably a month away from running but I think I will be well and truly right to go for round one,” he said. The prospect of Lynch linking up with Riewoldt is positively mouth-watering, and Lynch says he is keen to learn from the triple Coleman Medallist. It is a dream come true for coach Damien Hardwick, who has always been keen to operate with duel forwards.

Flexibility and options at Richmond.

Lynch will provide flexibility to the forward line, giving options among the tall stocks alongside exciting, small talents such as Daniel Rioli, Jason Castagna, Jack Higgins and Dan Butler. The new arrival will ease the pressure of inside-50 targets on Riewoldt, and it should allow the Tigers to wreak havoc. It should lead to more conventional scores throughout the 2019 season, and fans have every right to be excited.
Then there is Dustin Martin, who may not have taken too kindly to Riewoldt beating him to the Jack Dyer Medal. The 2017 Brownlow Medallist had arguably the best individual season ever seen last year. He was hampered by niggling injuries in the preliminary finals, and could not reach his full potential, but Dusty should re-emerge hungrier than ever next year. There will always be a sideshow with his father, who has suffered several visa issues due to a criminal record and links to a biker gang. But he is a magnificent player and he is more than capable of leading his team to further glory.

Optimism abounds among Richmond fans.

His father Shane will have to continue to content himself with watching on from New Zealand, where AFL betting is becoming more popular thanks to the noise around Dusty and his father. Online casinos and pokies are huge in New Zealand, as well as Australia, thanks to the wide range of exciting games on offer, and sites like https://www.bestcasinos.nz/ are really helpful as they guide punters to the best places and offer independent advice. Sports betting is also soaring in popularity in both countries, and that is helping to boost the general appeal of the AFL. Colourful characters like Martin, who are blessed with outrageous talent, can only help to boost its appeal, and he has an even greater chance of success when playing in the same team as Lynch next season, so optimism abounds among Richmond fans and rightly so. They are the team to beat in 2019 and it will be fascinating to see if anyone can topple them.

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