Richmond’s three-pronged tall attack may never get a better chance to spear West Coast than in Friday night’s big AFL clash.
Having combined for seven goals in the Tigers’ impressive last-start win over Fremantle, Jack Riewoldt, Ty Vickery and Ben Griffiths take excellent recent form into the MCG clash against an injury-ravaged Eagles defence.
Fast-improving young Eagle Jeremy McGovern is likely to miss the match with a corked thigh, joining fellow key defenders Eric Mackenzie and Mitch Brown on the sidelines, with teenager Tom Barass in contention to make his senior debut.
Form and fitness issues have meant the big three Richmond forwards have only played together twice this year – the recent victories over Port Adelaide and the Dockers.
“The three of us have always wanted it,” the 200cm-Griffiths said on Tuesday.
“We feel like we’re a bit more damaging like that and we provide a lot.
“It’s awesome to be playing the three of us and for it to be working.
“There’s always room for improvement and I think the three of us all bring something different to the table.
“The more time we can spend playing together we can really identify those strengths and play to them.”
The ability of two-time Coleman medallist Riewoldt to push further up the ground has opened up more opportunities for Vickery and Griffiths to be more damaging close to goal.
The next challenge for the 23-year-old Griffiths, who has never kicked more than three goals or had more than 19 possessions in a senior match, is to turn tantalising cameos into dominant four-quarter performances.
“I feel like I have let myself down at times with my finishing although I don’t think I’m far away,” said the long-kicking Griffiths.
“It’s just taking my chances when they come and kicking straight.”
West Coast will also fancy their chances of stretching Richmond’s defence on Friday night, with Jack Darling having made a successful return from injury in last week’s big home win over Essendon.
Darling, Coleman Medal pacesetter Josh Kennedy, Mark LeCras and Josh Hill are also a potent forward unit.
The third-placed Eagles are coming off two successive six-day breaks, while Richmond enjoyed the bye in round 11.