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Match Preview: v Richmond

Michael Whiting,  April 12, 2017 4:52 PM

AFL 2015 Rd 03 - Brisbane v Richmond

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 18: Rohan Bewick of the Lions handballs during the round three AFL match between the Brisbane Lions and the Richmond Tigers at The Gabba on April 18, 2015 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)


Richmond has a golden opportunity to continue its unbeaten start to the season on Easter Sunday. The Tigers have been the early season surprise packets, taking care of Carlton, Collingwood and, most impressively, West Coast at the weekend to be joint competition leaders. Led by white-hot Dustin Martin and Trent Cotchin, they're getting contributions from all over the ground and have shown an ability to grind out wins. The Lions have also turned a few heads to start 2017 despite their 1-2 record. In the past fortnight against Essendon and St Kilda they've run down big deficits to hit the lead before fading in the final quarter. Dayne Beams has been spectacular in his return from chronic knee problems, while young defender Harris Andrews looks a good match-up for Jack Riewoldt. The Lions have shown they'll be competitive this year, but if the Tigers are serious about playing finals, they'll get the job done here – just.

WHERE AND WHEN: The Gabba, Sunday, April 16, 4.40pm AEST

TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide 

R14, 2016, Richmond 17.15 (117) d Brisbane Lions 11.9 (75) at the MCG
R3, 2015, Richmond 21.11 (137) d Brisbane Lions 8.10 (58) at the Gabba
R16, 2014, Richmond 12.7 (79) d Brisbane Lions 7.12 (54) at the MCG
R5, 2014, Richmond 15.16 (106) d Brisbane Lions 9.9 (63) at the Gabba
R20, 2013, Richmond 14.13 (97) d Brisbane Lions 11.8 (74) at the MCG 

1. Richmond controlled the contest from start to finish when these teams last played. They had 40 more disposals, 32 more marks, 25 more inside 50s and won the scoring shots 32-20. Jack Riewoldt starred with 21 disposals, 10 marks and four goals.

2. The Tigers have been strong in contested possessions this season, ranked equal fourth with an average of 151 a game. The Lions are ranked 11th. In contrast the teams are ranked 17th and 18th respectively for uncontested possessions.

5. Another win and it will be the first time since 1995 Richmond has won its opening four games of a season. The Tigers reached the preliminary final that season.

6. Dustin Martin's brilliant start to the season has been reflected in the Schick AFL Player Ratings. Following his 40 disposals and two goals against West Coast last week, Martin vaulted six places to a career-high 15th overall.