With the JLT Community Series moving us closer to actual premiership points play in the Toyota 2018 Premiership competition, news reaches us that the 2017 premiership winning Richmond Tigers will be near full-strength when they have their final pre-season hitout before starting the home-and-away season with a Round 1 game against the Carlton Blues on March 22.
At the game, they plan to unfurl the championship flag, as is traditional.
We ourselves have unfurled a flag or two to commemorate one patriotic occasion or another, but we cannot recall ever having furled a flag after, although that must be what we were doing. It is simply that no one ever told us, “Go furl that flag.”
The Tigers will take on the Kangaroos for the final preparatory match and they will use 19 of the Grand Final 22, holding back only Bachar Houli, Daniel Rioli and Dion Prestia, all of whom are nursing minor niggles to their lower extremities.
After beating Essendon first up in JLT play, they will bring in Nathan Broad, Callum Moore, Ivan Soldo and Nathan Broad to fill in for the limping wounded.
The Roos will return Mason Wood and rookie Tom Murphy will receive an opportunity to make his argument for more time on ground. Jy Simpkin, who recently walked away from a near catastrophe when he stepped into the path of a motorcycle following a late night of adult beverage-fueled revelry, should also see some time and a chance to show that he has learned his lesson.
The clock is ticking toward the long-awaited return of AFL Premiership footy. For their opening game of the season, the Tigers have drawn the hapless Carlton Blues. The bookies have made Richmond heavy favourites for that Round 1 game and many of those bookies already have multiple markets open in what figures to be a big chance to plunder the pockets of punters of all stripes.