There will be absolutely no excuses for Richmond if Gold Coast are able to extend their unlikely hoodoo over the Tigers at the MCG on Sunday.
The Suns have had the wood over Richmond for much of their short existence in the AFL, winning three of their previous four encounters.
The most famous – or most infamous from the Tigers’ perspective – of those victories came in Cairns back in 2012, when code-hopper Karmichael Hunt kicked a goal after the siren to give Gold Coast the unlikeliest of triumphs.
The Suns also got the points against Richmond in their most recent clash in round one last year on the back of a best-afield display from Gary Ablett.
The Tigers can at least console themselves that neither Hunt or Ablett can reprise those heroics on Sunday – with the former having long since returned to rugby, while Ablett is done for the year due to a knee injury.
With David Swallow, Jaegar O’Meara and Dion Prestia also on the injured list, the Gold Coast midfield has a distinctively threadbare look about it ahead of the club’s first-ever match against Richmond in Victoria.
Long-kicking defender Trent McKenzie is another absentee, having strained a hamstring at training on Friday.
Seventh-placed Richmond have their injury concerns too, with important backman Dylan Grimes and onballer Reece Conca both suffering hamstring complaints in last weekend’s hammering at the hands of Adelaide.
But their absence is more than offset by the return of talismanic forward Brett Deledio, who missed the trip to the Adelaide Oval due to a dose of the `flu.
“The stats have proven if (Deledio) plays they generally win, or the percentages are high that they win,” said Suns coach Rodney Eade.
“It’s like having Ablett in the side, isn’t it? You can’t replace class.”
Richmond need to win at least two of their remaining four matches to lock down a finals berth for the third straight year.
Road victories over Fremantle and Sydney and the clinical dismantling of Hawthorn in their previous match at the MCG prove they can beat anyone on their day.
But slip-ups such as an early-season loss to Melbourne and last weekend’s capitulation against the Crows shows there is still an alarmingly large gap between Richmond’s best and worst football.