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Match preview: Tigers v Hawks

Last time we met: Richmond R18, 2016 Watch highlights from Hawthorn's Round 18 loss against Richmond.
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 10: Jordan Lewis of the Hawks in action during the 2016 AFL Round 03 match between the Western Bulldogs and the Hawthorn Hawks at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne on April 10, 2016. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Jordan Lewis will be looking for a big performance against Richmond.

The Changes

Hawthorn

In: Brand, Langford, Hartung
Out: Hodge (inj), Frawley (inj), Lovell

Richmond

In: McIntosh, Griffiths, Vlastuin, Short
Out: Cotchin (inj), Lambert (inj), Maric, Astbury

The Form

The pressure mounting on Punt Road has been immense over the last couple of weeks, with a 35-point loss to Port Adelaide last week and a 33-point loss the week before against Melbourne, meaning Richmond currently sit at 1-5 after six rounds.

The Tigers registered 54 inside 50s last week, but only managed eight goals, and although they won the hitouts by 40, only had six more clearances than the Power.

After more intense media scrutiny this week, Richmond will be fired up to produce a better performance than they did last week.

Hawthorn didn’t have it all their own way last week either, and were comprehensively beaten by GWS to the tune of 75 points at Spotless Stadium.

A loss had perhaps been on the horizon for the Hawks, after a number of close games, and Luke Hodge was also a casualty from that match. He will now miss four-to-six weeks after having knee surgery, and key defender James Frawley is also under an injury cloud after being concussed against the Giants.

The Hawks will be looking to bounce back against the Tigers, and rectify some of the problems from last week’s match.

Stats That Matter

Although the Hawks kicked 12 goals last week, they only had five goal kickers for the night against the Giants, with Jack Gunston the main focal point with five goals. The Hawks will need to find more avenues to goal against the Tigers this week.

It’s A Big Week For…

Kaiden Brand, who will debut in the brown and gold after earning a call up to the senior side. Having missed all of last year after two shoulder injuries, Hawks fans will be hoping this is the start of a long career for the key defender at Hawthorn.

Key Player

Jordan Lewis was quiet by his standards last week, collecting just 15 disposals against GWS. Lewis will captain the side in the absence of Luke Hodge against Richmond, hopefully sparking a big game from the midfielder.

Odd Fact

Despite Hawthorn’s success in recent years, it hasn’t translated into success against Richmond. Hawthorn have won only one of the last four encounters between both sides, and will be out to rectify that this week.

Final Thoughts

Although the Tigers are coming off five straight losses, they can’t be underestimated. With both sides looking to return to form, there’s plenty on the line for the Hawks and Tigers.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs