Tigers don’t fear Crows energetic attack

Richmond star Alex Rance going head-to-head with Adelaide skipper Taylor Walker is a tantalising AFL grand final prospect.


The Tigers backman was coy on the prospect of the megastar match-up when he spoke to reporters on Monday.

But he at least conceded he has a plan in place should the pair cross paths at the MCG.

“Do you want me to give him a call and tell him how I will play him? I know how I’ll play him but I’m not going to tell him,” Rance laughed when pressed on the potential match-up on Monday.

The Crows’ larger-than-life leader has kicked 52 goals this year, scoring in every match, but his influence extends further than his individual output.

Walker creates plenty of scoring opportunities for his teammates, leading the league in goal assists.

“I feel like he’s in a very similar mould to Matthew Pavlich,” Rance continued.

“He’s a true centre half-forward who is a double threat … can go forward or back; take a strong mark and is a bit of conduit as well.

“He doesn’t really have too many weaknesses, but it’s just about a little bit of help up field. A little bit of pressure, a few dirty balls and me just trying to limit his effectiveness.”

Richmond will need to blunt the most potent attack in the AFL if they are to beat Adelaide in Saturday’s grand final.

The Crows scored the most points this season by a wide margin and didn’t lose any games, where they scored more than 100 points.

But Rance says his side’s third-ranked defence is capable of stifling Adelaide’s array of attacking weapons.

“I think systems are prevailing more than match-ups,” he said.

“I know footy fans want to see Buddy Franklin v myself or Jack Riewoldt v Phil Davis but systems do prevail.

“There will be a few match-ups like Grimesy (Dylan Grimes) might play on (Eddie) Betts or David Astbury might play on Tex (Walker), but the way we work as a team is making sure that we support each other.

“I won’t be on Tex the whole game and Dave won’t be on Tex the whole game – it’s a system.”

Rance said the players will continue to embrace the hype that has engulfed the club even before they won through to their first grand final since 1982.

Star teammate Jack Riewoldt admitted he had despaired he would never play in a Richmond grand final team at the end of last season.

Rance isn’t the sort to get too hung up on such things, but he admits he’s glad he didn’t walk away from the game when he considered retirement in 2015.

“If I had finished up with football a few years ago – it’s a sliding doors moment – I would have hated to have missed out on this feeling,” he said.

“(To experience) this amount of enjoyment and to see the smiles on the faces of fans and support staff.”