Tigers keen to end season on a high
If any club can botch an encouraging end to the AFL season, it's Richmond.
After a three-game losing streak cruelled their finals hopes, the Tigers readjusted their sights and aimed to finish the year strongly by winning at least four out of five games.
They are on the verge of achieving that and will start strong favourites on Sunday against Port Adelaide at the MCG.
If they win, Richmond end the season with an 11-11 record - their best performance in four years.
But after a season of near-misses, Tigers defender Bachar Houli insisted they could not take the Power lightly.
"We had a look at the line-up earlier this morning and they have a lot of talent," Houli said.
"For some reasons, their structures haven't been consistent over the four quarters.
"We have to consider that, because if we take it easy obviously it can backfire in our face - as it did earlier in the year.
"Our intensity has to be A1 and ready to go, we want to finish off with one more win and 11-11."
Houli has mixed feelings about Richmond's encouraging finish, as they were fuming over so many close losses, including three in succession to Gold Coast, North Melbourne and Carlton - each by less than a goal.
One obvious positive is the form of midfielder Trent Cotchin, who is a Brownlow Medal favourite.
The last player to miss the finals and win the award was Hawthorn's Shane Crawford in 1999.
"I'm always in his ear, saying 'is your speech prepared? you might have to delay your Bali trip'," Houli said.
"He deserves the best and whether he gets it or not, I'm sure he'd definitely prefer a premiership medal (to) a Brownlow Medal.
"You think 'how much better can he become' and he's definitely taken that next step."
RICHMOND’S AFL SEASON A CASE OF SO CLOSE, YET SO FAR
- Richmond are 12th on 10-11, three games outside the top eight
- Biggest losing margin 34 points (round one, Carlton)
- Have lost seven games by 19 points or less
- From rounds 16-18 they lost to Gold Coast by two points (a goal to Karmichael Hunt after the siren), to North Melbourne by four points and to Carlton by four points
- It will be their best season since 2008, when they were ninth with an 11-10-1 record
- Last made the finals in 2001