Trending topics

Select your station

We'll remember your choice for next time

The “serious questions” casting doubt over Richmond’s contender status


Two-time premiership Kangaroo David King remains unconvinced that Richmond are premiership material.

Despite their 4-4 record, top-eight position and dominant Round 8 win over rivals Collingwood, confusion reigns over what Richmond can do in 2022 given their rocky form in the last 12 months.

Their midfield appears thin on paper and the club's defence has conceded three 100+ scores this season, but the Tigers have won their last two in smart fashion to spark hopes in September.

However, King compared Damien Hardwick’s side to Essendon’s run in the 2021 season that netted no more than an Elimination Final.

“If you swap the sash, I think they’re Essendon of last year,” King told SEN’s Whateley.

“I think they’re brilliant with the footy, serious questions without it.

“Okay, they’ve had to leave Robbie Tarrant out, they’ve put Noah Balta back, we’ll have to see that for another block of three or four weeks and assess that.

“And they’re gettable at stoppage, so they’re still a long way from the version we know, and most of it is without the ball, they don’t win the ball back as much, intercepting the ball between the arcs as much as the previous five years.”

All things considered, he doesn’t believe they will be contending for their fourth flag in six years in 2022.

“So I don’t think they are (contenders). I’m going to love watching them play because it’s aggressive, they want the game to be fast, they want the game to be basketball because they are seriously dangerous.

“But for me, again, they are just another dangerous team.

“I understand the euphoria and excitement, but that’s not contender-type excitement for me.”

It’s an opinion shared by former AFL forward Josh Jenkins.

While admitting the Tigers play a dangerous brand of football, as evidenced by their strong 27-point win over the Magpies, he says there are too many unknowns surrounding Hardwick’s men to declare them in the race.

“We just don’t know (the Tigers),” he told SEN’s The Run Home.

“I still think a lot of us still think there is enough of those premiership stars that they can be dangerous, whether they can be any more than dangerous I’m not sure, whether they can be a contender or consistent contender, I’m not sure.

“But on their day they’re dangerous, they handled Collingwood on the weekend.”

Richmond’s percentage of 116.5 is some 11.6 per cent higher than ninth placed Collingwood, and the Tigers will look to lock in their place in the top eight when taking on Hawthorn on Saturday.


More in AFL