Richmond and Brisbane clash at the MCG, with Tigers midfielder Dan Jackson returning and keen for the Tigers to fire in the final third of the AFL season.
Richmond have a point to prove in the final two months of the AFL season – to fans, outsiders and themselves.
Finals remain a highly unrealistic goal, given the Tigers’ last-start 44-point triumph over St Kilda was only their fourth win of the season.
But with eight games remaining in a campaign that promised much and has delivered little, Damien Hardwick’s men are far more interested in wins than the order of November’s draft.
“We’ve had a lot of pretty confronting and up-front discussions about what we want to achieve as individuals and as a team,” midfielder Dan Jackson said of how his side planned to attack the rest of the season, starting with Saturday’s clash with Brisbane at the MCG.
“Last month has probably been our best month of the year so far, so we need to continue that momentum.
“In a lot of ways it’s just showing the outside world we’re a lot better than how we performed at the start of the year.”
Tigers star Brett Deledio suggested football had become fun again in recent weeks.
“The way we’re playing is a lot more enjoyable than the crap we were serving up in that middle part of the year,” Deledio said on the club website.
Jackson missed the Tigers’ past four games due to a hip injury, but returns on the weekend, along with youngsters Brett O’Hanlon and Matt Arnot.
Jackson told radio station SEN he had been impressed with Richmond’s form during that stretch, but that players and supporters “need wins”.
“Our momentum was non-existent at the start of the year, so hopefully we can build something on what we’ve got going now,” he said.
“We’ve showed over the last month that we’ve made some improvements … most importantly we’re defending with a bit of aggression and intensity.”
Richmond needed to make three changes for the match against the Lions, with Nick Vlastuin (leg), Steven Morris (suspension), Matt Thomas (achilles) all out.
Brisbane made only one forced change to the side which edged out North Melbourne last weekend, with Darcy Gardiner replacing influential midfielder Jack Redden (leg).