It would be hard to imagine a more favourable draw for the final four weeks of the run home in the Toyota 2018 AFL Premiership competition than that handed to the Richmond Tigers.
Three of their final four games are at MCG and the only possible blip on the radar is the Geelong Cats in the upcoming round. Following that, they have the Gold Coast Suns at Metricon Stadium, followed by a home match with Essendon and a concluder with the woeful Western Bulldogs. A clean sweep and a home qualifying final seem to be all but assured.
Richmond has an astronomical lead in percentage and could well finish the home-and-away season on 18 wins and have the minor premiership when they start playing finals.
If the season were to conclude today, they would have Port as their first finals opponent, which does supply a possible blip on the radar, as the Power beat Richmond in Round 12 in Adelaide, but it is hard to imagine a similar outcome during finals at MCG.
The Power also figures in the fate of the number two West Coast Eagles, as the Eagles have to play that one at the Adelaide Oval. They also will have to deal with Melbourne, which is striving to make a return to the finals, but that one is at Optus. We are willing to give the Eagles this week’s game in the battle of Optus with the Dockers and the final game of the season with the Lions, even if they do have to endure a trip to Brisbane.
The Eagles’ run home is the slightly more challenging of the two by comparison to the Tigers’, but it would seem that it will take some confluence of coincidence for the Collingwood Magpies to overtake the Eagles and snatch the number two spot away, especially given that the Pies have to deal with the Swans in Sydney before a breather with Brisbane, followed by Port at MCG before concluding in Perth with the Dockers.