Tigers expecting sharper Saints - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tigers expecting sharper Saints

Roger Vaughan 31/03/2011 07:33:51 PM Comments (0)

Anyone who saw the dour AFL struggle between Geelong and St Kilda last Friday night would agree it only had to be watched once.

Richmond have also spent little time going over the Cats' one-point win, but for much more strategic reasons.

They expect the St Kilda they will face on Friday night at the MCG is likely to be a much different proposition to the team that struggled to find system against the Cats, especially during the first half.

"It was a weird game, obviously St Kilda are a terrific side who've played in three grand finals - they were probably 20 seconds away from winning a premiership," said Tigers assistant coach Danny Daly.

"What we've been trying to talk to the players about this week is what you saw last week isn't the real St Kilda.

"They've been toying with a few things that probably haven't worked for them.

"A lot of our time has been spent more on what they've been doing over pre-season and last year, how we played against them and troubled them a little bit."

While St Kilda have a 13-game winning streak against Richmond, they only beat the Tigers by 21 points in round 21 last year.

The two teams made one change apiece for the match, with the Saints opting against recalling ruckman Justin Koschitzke.

There was speculation that Koschitzke might play his first game this year, but instead they promoted key position player Daniel Archer for his senior debut and dropped Andrew McQualter.

The Tigers recalled Jake King from suspension as Alex Rance starts his three-game ban.

King is 178cm and now playing as a small forward, while Rance is a key defender.

So Richmond also named Will Thursfield as an emergency, no doubt as a contingency in case Koschitzke was picked.

But the Saints big man is nowhere on their team sheet, plus showers are forecast for Friday night.

King reinvented himself last year as a defensive forward when it appeared his AFL career was on the brink.

He kicked 11 goals in his last five games and Daly, Richmond's forward coach, wants him to build on that scoring potential.

One of the strong themes of the Tigers' season is trying to become less reliant on Coleman Medallist Jack Riewoldt.

While Riewoldt kicked six goals in round one, Richmond only managed 13 in total as they lost to Carlton.

"He's probably one of the most hated blokes in the AFL, I would have thought, but within the club we rate him very highly," Daly said of the fiery King.

"I've given him a hard time over the pre-season, just reminding him he's probably cost us round one by not being there.

"That's the next challenge for him, just to remain focussed and disciplined, not do silly things that will see him suspended, because he's becoming too important to the side."

Saints small forward Stephen Milne is also one of the league's less popular players, but Daly would love King to develop his scoring ability.

"I will take that any day of the week," Daly said.

"If he (King) can kick 40-50 goals for the year, we'd be very happy."

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