Why the bookies still fancy Richmond
2021-06-30 13:34:28 GMT
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A look at why the bookies still fancy Richmond to turn it around
It has been a season to forget for Richmond so far with the reigning Grand Final winners looking hopelessly out of sorts. Unsurprisingly, this was not what was initially predicted for the Tigers at the start of the campaign with most experts reasonably confident that they could make it a hat-trick of premiership titles. In most other circumstances that would sound like quite an audacious claim given how hard it is to win an AFL premiership, but Richmond had built one of the greatest dynasties ever seen in Aussie Rules; a third title in a row was more than a distinct possibility.
Fourteen games into the season and Richmond's dynasty is shaking and threatening to crumble to the floor. It hasn't fallen just yet but a devastating 40-point loss to St Kilda suggests that the walls will come tumbling down any minute now. Indeed, the Tigers' points tally of 22 against St Kilda was their lowest since 1961.
Interestingly, that isn't the opinion of the bookies though. Indeed, the latest Aussie Rules betting odds price
the Tigers at just 7/1 to win the 2021 Grand Final. Naturally, those odds are in stark contrast to what has been going on on the field of play but they do give a clue as to how the Tigers might finish the season.
As things stand, the Melbourne club does resemble the walking wounded with Dion Prestia the latest to join the ever-increasing injury list
. Although only Noah Balta and Nathan Broad are currently ruled out for the long term with most of those on the treatment table at Richmond expected to return sooner rather than later.
The return of key personnel for Richmond will undoubtedly boost their chances of finishing in the top eight and finding a path to the finals. History tells us that any outfit unable to finish in the top four is almost never going to win a Grand Final but this isn't an ordinary team. Far from it, in fact. Indeed, with key players set to begin training again soon, there's every chance that the Tigers will click once more.
In reality, given how prolific this team has been over the last four years, they will still carry a fear factor that should unsettle the opposition if they are able to string a few wins together. The truth is that the scar tissue around the rest of the league still runs deep after Richmond were able to win three premierships in four years. Basically, regardless of how poor the Tigers' form is at the moment, the rest of the league will still be looking over their shoulders worryingly until it is mathematically impossible for them to qualify.
Admittedly, a bounce in performance is far from guaranteed and it is quite conceivable that this season peters out for the Tigers. But at just 7/1 to win the Grand Final whilst sitting in eighth position in the table, the feeling amongst the experts is that a Richmond revival is very much on the cards during the second half of the season.