WHERE AND WHEN: MCG, Thursday, March 21, 2019, 7:20pm
Last time they met: MCG, round one, 2018: Richmond 17.19 (121) defeated Carlton 15.5 (95)
The Blues stunned the Tigers when they kicked the first five goals of last year’s season-opener, only to be overrun. Richmond led by just four points at the final change, but eventually put the game to bed in the last term. Charlie Curnow earned the three Brownlow votes after kicking five goals.
What it means for Carlton: After a two-win season last year, this could set the tempo for Carlton’s improvement. While a win would appear unlikely on the surface, a greater sense of competitiveness could bring about some optimism for the year ahead.
What it means for Richmond: The Tigers were stunned in last year’s preliminary final and must respond in round one. A lethargic performance could spell some concern among fans. But should they produce an emphatic performance, 2019 could bring more dominance.
How Carlton wins: The Blues always get up for the season-opener. If they can ride the wave of positivity stemming from their JLT campaign, maybe they can shock the Tigers.
How Richmond wins: The Tigers beat their young opponents with their forward pressure. Should they get the game on their terms early, it could spell bad news for the Blues.
The stat: The streak is dead, long live the streak. The Tigers have won seven straight games against the Blues. But before that, the Blues had won 11 of the previous 12 against the Tigers.
The match-up: Patrick Cripps v Dustin Martin
Two of the best midfielders in the competition. Martin is still ranked as the No.1 player in the game by AFL Player Ratings, while Cripps is ranked No.19. Both are bulls out of the centre, and both can also have a massive impact moving forward.
Mottsy’s Tip: Blues by a goal (you didn’t think I was going to tip against my boys did you?)
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