AFL News

Tigers aim to blunt revamped Cats attack

Tigers aim to blunt revamped Cats attack

RICHMOND is wary of the threat posed by a “vastly different” Geelong attack in Saturday night’s AFL grand final compared to the one they blunted six weeks ago.

When the teams last met, in round 17, the Tigers held their opponents to just four goals from 11 scoring shots and won by 26 points.

But the Cats have since been bolstered by the inclusion of dangerous forwards Gary Ablett and Gary Rohan, and used superstar Patrick Dangerfield predominantly in attack to great effect.

“Their forward line is probably the part of the ground that’s vastly different to last time we played,” Richmond’s backline coach Justin Leppitsch told reporters on Thursday.

“The types of players that are playing (there now) are far more dynamic and dangerous, no disrespect to the others that aren’t.

“They’ve definitely got more potency in that part of the ground but we like to think our defence is a system as much as an individual match-up type thing.”

Leppitsch said Richmond wouldn’t change anything about their defensive approach this week, with key backman David Astbury to continue aiding Toby Nankervis in the ruck.

Selection shapes as a relatively straightforward affair, with Josh Caddy and Jake Aarts unlikely to force their way back into the side.

Kane Lambert, Josh Caddy and Marlion Pickett were all on light duties early in the week but took part in Thursday’s training session next to Metricon Stadium.

“They’re just knocks,” Leppitsch said.

“Whenever we have guys with little knocks we just give them the Tuesday off to get over them before the main training session, so nothing really of any note.”

Defender Noah Balta is the only player in Richmond’s best 22 without a premiership to his name, while Geelong will likely field 15 players – including superstar Dangerfield – in their maiden grand finals.

But the Cats will field the oldest team in grand final history with a host of senior players aiming to lead them to their first flag since 2011.

“You’d like to think experience counts for something, but they’re probably more experienced than us,” Leppitsch said.

“Maybe not on this stage, but their group as a whole is far more experienced than ours.

“I don’t think that’s going to be an advantage for us this week.”

Leppitsch will step away from his assistant coaching role after the grand final, having spent the past 28 years as an AFL player and coach.

(C) AAP 2020