After yet another loss in an interstate ‘home’ game for the Tigers, their quest for a finals birth has taken a severe detour, however blaming the loss on the Richmond executives for taking a game up to Cairns is a cop out and is unacceptable.
The reality of it is that for the second year in a row, Richmond has lost to the Gold Coast at Cazaly’s Stadium in Cairns.
This game was a Richmond home game, and would have been played at the MCG if they didn’t sell this home game to North Queensland. It can be argued that Richmond gave away the home field advantage to chase the cash, rumoured to be around $400k-$500k, but it still doesn’t make up for the insipid display by the Tigers last Saturday.
The Gold Coast also had to jump on a plane and play on a ground that is unfamiliar to them. The conditions were equal for both teams, so no excuses should be made by the coaches, players and supporters.
Most can agree that Richmond is a better team than Gold Coast, and they had to win this game to give themselves a shot at making finals. To let the winless Suns go out to a 36-point lead late in the second quarter is unforgivable. They showed a lack of effort and intensity, and let the young Suns run rings around them in the first half. They managed to regroup and gain a comfortable lead of 18 points with just 7 minutes left in the game, but to then go on and fold like a pack of cards and lose after the siren shows the Tigers aren’t legitimate finals contenders.
Richmond also rested their number one ruckman Ivan Maric, possibly an act of complacency by the Tigers coaching staff in hindsight.
With this loss, Richmond have now given themselves very little chance of making the finals. The next two games will be crucial, against two other top eight fancies in North Melbourne and Carlton. It will most likely take 12 or 13 wins to make the eight, which means Richmond can only afford to drop two games at the most for the rest of the season. After losing to the Suns, no match can be taken for granted.
As soon as the decision is made to play a home game in Cairns, they need to go up there and get the job done. Clearly they are not capable to do this just yet, and the coaching staff and players have noone else to blame but themselves, not the executives.