The game of the week in Round 2 of the Toyota 2018 AFL Premiership competition has to be the Grand Final rematch between the Adelaide Crows and the Richmond Tigers tonight at the Adelaide Oval.
The rest of the Round 2 fixture looks decidedly mundane by comparison, with the possible exception of the game between the other Adelaide side and the Sydney Swans in Sydney.
The Crows will have Captain Taylor Walker back in kit for his first game of the home-and-away season, provided that is, that Taylor keeps his thumbs away from his phone and avoids causing himself and the club further embarrassment. They will be without onballer Richard Douglas, who is suspended for one game, and Curtly Hampton is out with a groin injury.
Tom Lynch is out due to a virus. Lynch has yet to play this season, missing the loss to the Bombers with a side strain.
Tigers’ Captain Trent Cotchin will mark the 200-game milestone, even though he overnighted in hospital Sunday night past due a severe migraine headache.
The big news on the Tigers’ side is that Bachar Houli will be back in action due to the absence of Nick Vlastuin, who is dealing with concussion symptoms.
The Crows hope to gain redemption for the Grand Final loss to the Tigers last year, something that would serve to at least partially quell the tabloid news of the bizarre training camp procedures some of the Crows underwent and the lead of a text from Walker to some of his teammates asking for the others to remain mum about the goings on at Gold Coast.
The Crows may get a boost from having home ground, as compared to the Grand Final last year at MCG, but they also need to find the boots that had them leading the league in percentage last season, where they routinely broke the century mark in scoring.
The Tigers are coming off their Round 1 win over the Carlton Blues, but the Blues did not surrender meekly to the premiers and actually had some advantages in key statistical categories, which could have resulted in a win if they had been able to convert their marks or kept up with Richmond on inside 50s.