Need more: the Western Bulldogs tried and failed to get the better of the Tigers last round. Photo: MARCEL BERENS/ SPORTS MEDIA

New rules, new season, same old Richmond

May 6, 2021 BY

DESPITE the flurry of rule changes brought over the off-season, the ultimate litmus test in AFL remains that if you can beat the Tigers you can contend for the flag.

It was a test that fellow challengers the Demons and Power passed with flying colours, but for the Bulldogs last round, they were unable to stop the pressure after half time.

Speaking on SEN’s Crunch Time, Gerard Whateley said the Dogs received “that Richmond” in the second half, the one that is normally asleep until the back end of the season.

“That Bulldogs provoked that Richmond, and they didn’t stack up against it,” he said.

The Bulldogs failure has now raised questions over whether they are true contenders, with Daisy Pearce adding they have “a few vulnerabilities”.

“That’s not always a bad thing to have a loss like that (as it) exposes a few things that you need to work on,” she said.

“When they come up against sides that are really good in the contest, and they don’t have to rely on sending mass numbers in like the Dogs often do, they’re vulnerable if they lose that contest.”

The inability of the Dogs to quell the Tigers momentum was also something that concerned Pearce.

“We’ve seen them just be irresistible all year with their handball game, that fast style,” she said.

“Last night, that was subdued, because Richmond were really good, what did they do next?

“It was like they were just waiting for it to come back; they didn’t have a plan B.”

The lack of a ‘plan B’ is something that will concern coach Luke Beveridge and his team, as they lick their wounds and look to bounce back next week against Carlton.