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How Richmond can still make the finals

Tyrone Vickery will be back for Richmond's clash against Sydney in round 23.

Tyrone Vickery will be back for Richmond's clash against Sydney in round 23. Photo: Getty Images

The equation was relatively straightforward for Richmond heading into its round-15 game against St Kilda. All the Tigers needed to do was win their next 13 games and hope a couple of other results were accommodating, and a long-awaited premiership would be theirs.

Richmond had entered that clash sitting at 3-10, possessing the same record as the Saints. It meant the Tigers (16th on the ladder) were only percentage (admittedly a hefty 33 per cent) clear of bottom spot.

Captain Trent Cotchin starred that afternoon at Etihad Stadium, with five goals and 31 disposals, catapulting the Tigers to a 44-point win. Three days later, a new financial year began, and since then it's been all boom (at least in the win-loss assessment) for the mob from Punt Road.

Might it just be bad news for Magpies fans?

Might it just be bad news for Magpies fans? Photo: Pat Scala

Even if the victories over the Saints, the Brisbane Lions, and last Saturday's painstaking struggle against Greater Western Sydney were not cause for jubilation, when combined with gutsy wins against Port Adelaide and West Coast, Richmond has kept that exceptionally remote finals push alive heading into the final month of the regular season.

Here is the situation, inclusive of all teams Richmond could mathematically displace, and their respective runs home:

5th Port Adelaide, 48 pts, 130.2 per cent

Can the Tigers replicate the efforts of Steven Bradbury?

Can the Tigers replicate the efforts of Steven Bradbury? Photo: Digitally altered image

Sydney (AO), Gold Coast (MS), Carlton, (AO), Fremantle (PS)

6th North Melbourne, 40pts, 109.3 per cent

GWS (SO), Western Bulldogs (ES), Adelaide (BA), Melbourne (ES)

7th Essendon, 40pts, 107.7 per cent

Richmond (MCG), West Coast (ES), Gold Coast (ES), Carlton (MCG)

8th Collingwood, 40pts, 105.1 per cent

West Coast (PS), Brisbane Lions (MCG), GWS (Spotless), Hawthorn (MCG)

*******************************

9th Gold Coast, 40pts, 99.4 per cent

Carlton (ES), Port Adelaide (MS), Essendon, (ES), West Coast (MS)

10th Adelaide, 36pts, 106.3 per cent

Brisbane Lions (G), Richmond (AO), North Melbourne (ES), St Kilda (AO)

11th West Coast, 32pts, 108.2 per cent 

Collingwood (PS), Essendon (ES), Melbourne (PS), Gold Coast (MS)

12th Richmond, 32pts, 103.1 per cent

Essendon (MCG), Adelaide (AO), St Kilda (MCG), Sydney (ANZ)

So, just how can the Tigers shuffle their way through the traffic? Well, it will be next to impossible if they don't win all of their remaining matches. That will be a major stretch, but there is always hope that Sydney has locked in a home final in week one by the time the Tigers travel north in round 23.

Four wins would leave Richmond with 48 points, and potentially an improved percentage. It would need to overtake at least one of the four sides in the eight, and also hope that none of the teams placed 9th to 11th overhaul it.

Even considering Port Adelaide's drop in form, it is still hard to envisage the Power not winning at least one game in the run home, or losing enough percentage that the Tigers could usurp the early pacesetter.

Likewise, if North Melbourne can even slightly overcome its personality disorder and account for a couple of the competition's weaklings, it too should be safe.

The most vulnerable sides in the eight would seem to be Collingwood and Essendon (and how sweet it would be for the Tiger faithful should their team knock one of those two out at the 11th hour).

Working in Richmond's favour is that two of its remaining matches are against opponents in the hunt for the eight - Essendon and Adelaide. Likewise, there is a fair collection of games played between the other finals aspirants. Of course, it works both ways, though, because when West Coast and Collingwood (as an example) meet on Sunday at Patersons Stadium, the four points have to go somewhere.

Essendon's fixture is fascinating in the sense that none of its four games would appear to be absolute gimmes given Carlton and West Coast's solid form, although conversely Essendon could conceivably win all four games without a major upset. But its recent football has been strong enough to lead it to favouritism against the final three sides.

The best bet is probably Collingwood. Not withstanding two likely triumphs against the Giants and Lions, the Tigers can rest their hopes on the prospect of a thrashing at the hands of Hawthorn (hopefully still with something to play for), and defeat this week in Perth against West Coast.

So, the easiest (and it's not easy) way for Richmond to make the finals is:

  • Richmond wins all four of its games and ends on 48 points, but gains a major percentage boost by thumping St Kilda
  • Collingwood wins two of its final four, finishes on 48 points, but cops a last-round shellacking against Hawthorn, and only narrowly beats the Lions and Giants, meaning the Magpies fall below Richmond on percentage.
  • Gold Coast loses a couple of its games, and regardless of whether it finishes on 48 points, is shaded by the Tigers on percentage.
  • Adelaide loses to Richmond and probably North, so it cannot match the yellow and black surge.
  • West Coast downs Collingwood, Gold Coast and Melbourne, but loses to Essendon (a defeat the Eagles rue after Richmond barnstorms its way through August

From there Richmond, on the back of an irrepressible bolt of momentum, careers its way through September, defeating Port Adelaide, Geelong, Sydney (again) and Hawthorn. There's your 13 in a row.

Forget Kiwi and Steven Bradbury, this will be the greatest from the clouds job of all time.

Oh, we're from...

Odds to make the top eight (Sportsbet):

North Melbourne $1.14
Essendon $1.33
Collingwood $1.55
Adelaide $2
Gold Coast $5
West Coast $9
Richmond $16 (and $501 for the flag if you are now getting excited).

37 comments so far

  • Only from a Richmond supporter. Pies will win all three and possibly beat Hawthorn.....

    Commenter
    Go Pies
    Date and time
    August 04, 2014, 4:43PM
    • No, thankfully they won't. Dream on! Like Richmond, even if Collingwood manages to make the finals, they won't get far. Suffer Eddie and co.

      Commenter
      Lupa
      Date and time
      August 04, 2014, 8:53PM
  • Lol. Love this......it would be the SWEETEST thing ever if this happened. Go Tiges.

    Commenter
    TinyT
    Date and time
    August 04, 2014, 4:46PM
    • Yes, Richmond can still make the finals. Although what's the point considering they can't even put GWS away at home? Really just demonstrates the ridiculousness of having a final 8. Teams 7 and 8 really have no business being there.

      Commenter
      Fred P
      Date and time
      August 04, 2014, 4:55PM
      • Harsh. Richmond put GWS away to the tune of more than 100 points at THEIR home ground earlier this season. How did your team go against them, Fred?

        Commenter
        Glenn of Blackburn
        Date and time
        August 04, 2014, 5:20PM
      • Don't know what game you were watching. Richmond jogged around in 2nd gear and were comfortably in front for the whole match

        Commenter
        Mick
        Date and time
        August 04, 2014, 5:36PM
      • I'd go further, teams 6, 7 and 8 should never play Finals

        Commenter
        Go Blues
        Date and time
        August 04, 2014, 6:54PM
      • Mick, for a team in desperate need of lifting their percentage 'jogging around in second gear' just ain't gonna cut it.
        In danger of finishing ninth...at best.

        Commenter
        Makadalu
        Date and time
        August 04, 2014, 11:39PM
    • Thanks for the heads up Daniel, but as a Richmond fan the most frustrating thing of all is that we are in this position due to such a pathetic first half of the season. Even if we come close, this will have been the most disappointing season for years. But of course we are all hoping beyond hope that Richmond can pull it off,because no matter how often they break our hearts we will always love them! Without a doubt our team has the most loyal fans of all. Why else would we still be here after three finals series in 32 years? Go Tigers!!

      Commenter
      Cheryl
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      August 04, 2014, 4:57PM
      • What a wasted article about a wasted club!

        Commenter
        Blueboy
        Location
        Lygon St
        Date and time
        August 04, 2014, 5:00PM

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        AFL 2015

        Round 1
        Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
        CAR 78vs RIC 105 Report Stats
        Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
        MEL 115vs GCF 89 Stats
        SYD 72vs ESS 60 Stats
        BRI 74vs COL 86 Stats
        WBU 97vs WCE 87 Stats
        Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
        STK 78vs GWS 87 Stats
        ADE 140vs NTH 63 Stats
        FRE 75vs PTA 68 Stats
        Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
        HAW 123vs GEE 61 Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 2
        Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
        WCE 131vs CAR 62 Stats
        Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
        RIC 66vs WBU 85 Report Stats
        GWS 101vs MEL 56 Stats
        COL 63vs ADE 90 Report Stats
        GCF 76vs STK 104 Stats
        PTA 44vs SYD 92 Stats
        Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
        GEE 60vs FRE 104 Stats
        ESS 78vs HAW 76 Stats
        NTH 133vs BRI 51 Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 3
        Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
        COL 140vs STK 66 Stats
        Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
        CAR 84vs ESS 105 Stats
        ADE 80vs MEL 55 Stats
        SYD 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
        NTH 105vs PTA 113 Stats
        BRI 58vs RIC 137 Stats
        Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
        HAW 127vs WBU 57 Stats
        GEE 105vs GCF 96 Stats
        WCE 81vs FRE 111 Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 4
        Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
        RIC 51vs MEL 83 Stats
        Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
        STK 81vs CAR 121 Report Report Stats
        ESS 49vs COL 69 Report Stats
        GWS 119vs GCF 53 Stats
        PTA 99vs HAW 91 Stats
        FRE 74vs SYD 60 Stats
        Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
        BRI 65vs WCE 118 Stats
        GEE 67vs NTH 83 Stats
        WBU 125vs ADE 68 Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 5
        Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
        CAR 45vs COL 120 Stats
        Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
        RIC 76vs GEE 85 Stats
        SYD 73vs WBU 77 Stats
        GCF 118vs BRI 54 Stats
        NTH 70vs HAW 130 Stats
        WCE 120vs GWS 33 Stats
        Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
        MEL 50vs FRE 118 Stats
        STK 80vs ESS 82 Stats
        ADE 91vs PTA 115 Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 6
        Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
        COL 59vs GEE 100 Stats
        Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
        NTH 109vs RIC 74 Stats
        WBU 87vs STK 94 Stats
        GWS 108vs HAW 98 Stats
        GCF 78vs ADE 119 Stats
        MEL 50vs SYD 88 Stats
        FRE 80vs ESS 52 Stats
        Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
        CAR 75vs BRI 84 Report Stats
        PTA 68vs WCE 78 Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 7
        Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
        ESS 82vs NTH 93 Stats
        Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
        ADE 119vs STK 73 Stats
        HAW 155vs MEL 50 Stats
        CAR 57vs GWS 135 Stats
        SYD 120vs GEE 77 Stats
        WCE 135vs GCF 43 Stats
        Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
        WBU 88vs FRE 101 Stats
        RIC 105vs COL 100 Report Stats
        BRI 102vs PTA 65 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 8
        Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
        GEE 140vs CAR 63 Report Stats
        Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
        STK 78vs WCE 131 Report Stats
        GWS 108vs ADE 84 Report Stats
        GCF 63vs COL 132 Report Stats
        HAW 69vs SYD 73 Report Stats
        FRE 115vs NTH 42 Report Stats
        Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
        ESS 136vs BRI 78 Report Stats
        MEL 103vs WBU 64 Report Stats
        PTA 43vs RIC 76 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 9
        Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
        SYD 122vs CAR 62 Report Stats
        Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
        HAW 93vs GCF 40 Report Stats
        MEL 54vs PTA 115 Report Stats
        WBU 113vs GWS 68 Report Stats
        RIC 72vs ESS 59 Report Stats
        ADE 57vs FRE 68 Report Stats
        Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
        BRI 86vs STK 108 Report Stats
        COL 112vs NTH 95 Report Stats
        WCE 120vs GEE 64 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 10
        Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
        FRE 70vs RIC 97 Report Stats
        Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
        CAR 90vs ADE 99 Report Stats
        GCF 41vs SYD 93 Report Stats
        ESS 53vs GEE 122 Report Stats
        PTA 100vs WBU 62 Report Stats
        Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
        GWS 97vs BRI 67 Report Stats
        NTH 85vs WCE 75 Report Stats
        STK 69vs HAW 132 Report Stats
        Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
        MEL 85vs COL 110 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 11
        Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
        PTA 69vs GEE 92 Report Stats
        Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
        GCF 46vs FRE 53 Report Stats
        WCE 96vs ESS 46 Report Stats
        NTH 75vs SYD 91 Report Report Stats
        Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
        COL 119vs GWS 77 Report Stats
        STK 85vs MEL 83 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 12
        Thu, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
        ADE 85vs HAW 114 Report Stats
        Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
        RIC 70vs WCE 90 Report Stats
        Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
        CAR 110vs PTA 106 Report Stats
        GWS 61vs NTH 117 Report Stats
        WBU 146vs BRI 74 Report Stats
        Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
        GEE 89vs MEL 113 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 13
        Thu, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
        FRE 80vs COL 73 Report Stats
        Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
        SYD 77vs RIC 95 Report Stats
        Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
        HAW 114vs ESS 76 Report Stats
        BRI 69vs ADE 82 Report Stats
        STK 56vs WBU 62 Report Stats
        Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
        CAR 103vs GCF 69 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 14
        Thu, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
        SYD 94vs PTA 84 Report Stats
        Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
        COL 91vs HAW 101 Report Stats
        Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
        RIC 78vs GWS 69 Report Stats
        GCF 125vs NTH 70 Report Stats
        WBU 64vs CAR 53 Report Stats
        MEL 60vs WCE 114 Report Stats
        Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
        ESS 52vs STK 162 Stats
        ADE vs GEE 15:20Adelaide Oval
        FRE 84vs BRI 48 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 15
        Thu, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
        PTA 66vs COL 63 Report Stats
        Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
        RIC 71vs CAR 41 Report Stats
        Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
        ESS 69vs MEL 60 Report Stats
        WBU 95vs GCF 73 Report Stats
        NTH 120vs GEE 79 Report Stats
        WCE 147vs ADE 91 Report Stats
        Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
        GWS 84vs STK 49 Report Stats
        HAW 115vs FRE 43 Report Stats
        BRI 49vs SYD 70 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 16
        Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
        NTH 93vs ESS 68 Report Stats
        Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
        GEE 72vs WBU 64 Report Stats
        GCF 79vs GWS 94 Report Stats
        COL 56vs WCE 87 Report Stats
        SYD 57vs HAW 146 Report Stats
        FRE 95vs CAR 53 Report Stats
        Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
        MEL 60vs BRI 36 Report Stats
        PTA 113vs ADE 116 Report Stats
        STK 73vs RIC 89 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 17
        Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
        CAR 35vs HAW 173 Report Stats
        Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
        GWS 42vs GEE 69 Stats
        ADE 125vs GCF 80 Stats
        RIC 78vs FRE 82 Stats
        ESS 116vs PTA 129 Stats
        BRI 38vs NTH 110 Report Stats
        Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
        WBU 104vs COL 86 Report Stats
        MEL 46vs STK 83 Report Stats
        WCE 103vs SYD 51 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 18
        Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
        HAW 53vs RIC 71 Report Stats
        Sat, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
        GEE 113vs BRI 57 Stats
        COL 54vs MEL 91 Report Stats
        SYD 117vs ADE 65 Report Stats
        CAR 54vs NTH 118 Report Stats
        GCF 83vs WCE 83 Report Stats
        Sun, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
        PTA 112vs STK 49 Report Stats
        ESS 40vs WBU 127 Report Stats
        FRE 84vs GWS 63 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 19
        Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
        ADE ($2.15)vs RIC ($1.70) 19:50Adelaide Oval
        Sat, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
        COL ($1.22)vs CAR ($4.35) 13:45MCG
        WBU ($1.73)vs PTA ($2.10) 14:10ES
        BRI ($2.45)vs GCF ($1.55) 16:35G
        GEE ($2.15)vs SYD ($1.70) 19:20SS
        WCE ($2.20)vs HAW ($1.67) 19:40Domain Stadium
        Sun, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
        MEL ($3.80)vs NTH ($1.27) 13:10MCG
        GWS ($1.33)vs ESS ($3.35) 15:20Spotless Stadium
        STK ($3.70)vs FRE ($1.28) 16:40ES
        View All Fixtures
        Round 20
        Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
        SYD ($1.25)vs COL ($3.70) 19:50SCG
        Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
        ESS ($2.50)vs ADE ($1.50) 13:45ES
        NTH ($1.28)vs STK ($3.50) 14:10BA
        PTA ($1.25)vs GWS ($3.70) 16:35Adelaide Oval
        GEE ($4.30)vs HAW ($1.20) 19:20MCG
        BRI ($1.70)vs CAR ($2.10) 19:20G
        Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
        RIC ($1.15)vs GCF ($5.00) 13:10MCG
        WBU ($1.33)vs MEL ($3.15) 15:20ES
        FRE ($1.87)vs WCE ($1.87) 16:40Domain Stadium
        View All Fixtures
        Round 21
        Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
        HAW ($1.18)vs PTA ($4.60) 19:50ES
        Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
        COL ($2.35)vs RIC ($1.55) 13:45MCG
        GWS ($3.50)vs SYD ($1.28) 14:10Spotless Stadium
        GCF ($1.40)vs ESS ($2.95) 16:35MS
        STK ($2.80)vs GEE ($1.40) 19:20ES
        ADE ($1.08)vs BRI ($6.75) 19:40Adelaide Oval
        Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
        NTH ($2.00)vs FRE ($1.75) 13:10ES
        CAR ($2.25)vs MEL ($1.60) 15:20MCG
        WCE ($1.18)vs WBU ($4.60) 16:40Domain Stadium
        View All Fixtures
        Round 22
        Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
        GEE ($1.50)vs COL ($2.50) 19:50MCG
        Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
        GWS ($1.22)vs CAR ($3.70) 13:45Spotless Stadium
        HAW ($1.01)vs BRI ($13.00) 14:10AS
        NTH ($1.70)vs WBU ($2.10) 16:35ES
        ESS ($5.00)vs RIC ($1.15) 19:20MCG
        GCF ($2.50)vs PTA ($1.50) 19:20MS
        Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
        ADE ($2.95)vs WCE ($1.38) 13:10Adelaide Oval
        STK ($3.80)vs SYD ($1.25) 15:20ES
        FRE ($1.07)vs MEL ($7.50) 16:40Domain Stadium
        View All Fixtures
        Round 23
        Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
        COL ($1.50)vs ESS ($2.50) 00:00MCG
        RIC ($1.70)vs NTH ($2.10) 00:00ES
        HAW ($1.01)vs CAR ($13.00) 00:00MCG
        GEE ($1.50)vs ADE ($2.50) 00:00SS
        SYD ($1.05)vs GCF ($8.00) 00:00SCG
        MEL ($1.87)vs GWS ($1.87) 00:00ES
        BRI ($3.05)vs WBU ($1.35) 00:00G
        PTA ($2.15)vs FRE ($1.65) 00:30Adelaide Oval
        WCE ($1.06)vs STK ($8.00) 02:00Domain Stadium
        View All Fixtures
        AFL 2015
        Overall standings
        Team P W L D % Pts
        Fremantle 17 15 2 0 127.06 60
        West Coast Eagles 17 13 3 1 154.43 54
        Hawthorn 17 12 5 0 164.23 48
        Sydney Swans 17 12 5 0 115.86 48
        Western Bulldogs 17 11 6 0 113.12 44
        Richmond 17 11 6 0 112.43 44
        North Melbourne 17 10 7 0 107.19 40
        Geelong Cats 16 9 7 0 102.42 38
        View all
         

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