x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Richmond are suddenly in form

Round 12, so big that it had to be held over two weekends, has confirmed so many truths about this season.

Round 12, so big that it had to be held over two weekends, has confirmed so many truths about this season. For instance, Hawthorn were last year the biggest over-achievers since Port Adelaide took the flag in 2004. The way Brisbane ran over the hapless Hawks in the second half of their meeting in Tasmania - when the premier went from 14-point leaders to 42-point losers - pointed to a team who were not quite ready to stake their claim to an era of supremacy.

One goal and four points in a half of football from one of the most feared sets of goal-kickers in the league must be a little disappointing. Richmond have a new coach. Must have. How else could you explain their win over West Coast as anything other than an attempt to impress him? And would not the legendary Captain Blood, Jack Dyer, be turning in his grave at the thought of his beloved Tigers being led by a man named Jade?

There is still a little spirit left in the Dockers. Fremantle gave Geelong the scare of the round when they drew level at the last break for a final-quarter showdown. In the end class told and the Cats ran out to win by 19 points. Port Adelaide cannot handle the heat. Their 93-point loss to the Western Bulldogs in Darwin showed they also cannot handle pressure. From here it will be interesting to see if the coach of the inconsistent Power, Mark "Choco" Williams, can stand the pressure to join Terry Wallace and Dean Laidley on the dole queue.

pstafford@thenational.ae