Sweet honeymoon: Round 12A wrap (Saturday)

Richmond got Jade Rawling’s coaching career off to an ideal start with a win against the hapless Eagles.

AFL Rd 7 - Richmond v Sydney SwansRichmond burst out of the blocks with Richard Tambling providing great drive from the back half and Mitch Morton having a purple patch in the first quarter. The Eagles fought back hard for rest of the game, but could not take advantage of their opportunities and overhaul the Tigers. Under a new coach, Richmond still racked up 400+ possessions but played on more and had fewer wasteful handballs. The reality check may come in two weeks time against an undefeated St Kilda.

The Tigers lost Will Thursfield to injury in the first quarter and Trent Cotchin struggled on despite carrying a leg injury through most of the game. Tambling (DT122/SC133) racked up 21 disposals and 90 DT points in the first half before fading in the second half. Morton (131/156) stepped up to kick goals at important times in the game and proved to be the most influential player on the ground. Ben Cousins, despite clearly lacking full fitness, provided inspiration, leadership and 28 possessions.

For the Eagles, Matt Priddis (136/128) racked up the disposals as per usual. Mark LeCras (105/90) and Josh J. Kennedy (79/83) provided 7 goals between them and gave Eagles fans some hope for the future.

The game was also notable for the debut of two top 10 draft picks, ruckmen Tyrone Vickery (43/50) and Nick Naitanui (42/39). Both provided glimpses of what we can expect over the next ten years, and almost 27,000 fantasy coaches will be relieved to finally have Nick Nat as a playing member of their team.

Meanwhile in Darwin, the Western Bulldogs thrashed a deplorable Port Adelaide by a record 93 points. Port were definitely the most inconsistent team in the top 8 at the half way point of the season and fell out of the top 8 courtesy of their percentage dropping from 97 to 90. For the second week in a row, Port played in game which was more notable for its fantasy football potential than the actual result.

The Doggies scored a massive 1879 in DT and 1985 in SC, with 8 tons in each, moving them into the top 10 team fantasy scores of the year. You know something unusual is happening when Will Minson has a fantasy ton! 23 disposals and 3 goals were his numbers.

The Bulldogs would be pleased with their even team performance, having 13 goal kickers. Callan Ward (118/129) had a massive break out game after showing promise in recent weeks. Daniel Cross (129/152) finally returned to form with 37 disposals including 30 handballs. Lindsay Gilbee (114/129) and Ryan Hargrave (114/138) did as they wished racking up disposals, while Liam Picken (58/58) claimed another scalp, by tagging Danyle Pearce completing out of the game.

For Port, Kane Cornes (130/90) did a good job of limited Mathew Boyd while having 36 disposals himself. Toby Thurstans (86/117) seems to have morphed into Chad Cornes Lite, racking up his second SC ton in succession. Thurstans’ average after three games for the season now stands at 88 in DT and 100 in SC!

Has Tambling finally arrived as a fantasy force? How much will Richmond’s fantasy scores drop by against St.Kilda? Could you admit to anyone that you were secretly thinking about Thurstans as an upgrade in your back line? Will Bulldogs fantasy premiums be looked at closely now for upgrades? Can Port still make the top 8 with a favourable draw?

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