Long-term injuries and form slumps by several senior players open the door for Tiger tyros.
If you saw the story in the Age today claiming that Robin Nahas had been elevated for Graham Polak, that’s only half the story. Yes, Kayne Pettifer is still on the long-term injury (LTI) list, but that’s only until round 3, and he has regained enough fitness for him to be reinstated to the senior list. Polak (whose first name the Age couldn’t even get right) is not on the LTI list, and the Richmond hierarchy have said all along so far that they wouldn’t put him on there, if only for his own confidence and recovery. The player Nahas replaces, however, is Kane Johnson who has been placed on the LTI list today, as reported in this thread on Punt Road End.
The multiple errors in the Age story puts into question their claims that Jordan McMahon and Will Thursfield will be scapegoated for the loss to Carlton in round 1. It is certainly true that one of Thursfield, Kelvin Moore or Luke McGuane would have to be dropped for Rance to be able to fit into the tall back structure at Richmond. McGuane didn’t do much wrong guarding Brendan Fevola, while Thursfield only touched the ball five times with no marks to Moore’s nine and three and McGuane’s 14 and seven, so he’s low man on the totem pole. As for McMahon, it’s hard to see both he and Shane Edwards in the same team as they play much the same role, though I would have thought Edwards would be last man in and first man out in that timeshare. Someone has to be sacrificed whose name isn’t Wallace, however, so those two names are as believable as anyone’s.
Past and present owners of Joel Bowden will remember his four-week holiday at Coburg early last season as Wallace was under a similar high-pressure situation and took his frustrations out on senior players. Is McMahon going to be this year’s Tiger pariah, sent out into the footy wilderness to pay for the Richmond hierarchy’s sins? Tell me how you think this is going to play out in the comments.