Shane Edwards provides the Tigers with an extra number around the ball. Picture: AAP
Shane Edwards provides the Tigers with an extra number around the ball. Picture: AAP

Tigers tap into 2017 premiership fever

RICHMOND will cast its mind back to last year's premiership glory as inspiration for tonight's colossal MCG preliminary final against Collingwood.

All-Australian forward Shane Edwards said the Tigers would not ignore their historic premiership - the club's first in 37 years - when trying to book their place in a second consecutive Grand Final.

"It would be hard not to look back on what happened last year. It's an advantage we have over Collingwood, that we were there last year," Edwards said yesterday.

"So we can reflect back individually as well; we know what the moments are going to be like.

"That's something individually we're going to look at … to see how you prepared and how you came out last year."

Edwards said the "butterflies" were still there and tonight's game would be decided by which team could stay strongest for longest.

Brothers Archie Sideridis, 6, and Marcus, 5, were two of hundreds of supporters who turned out at Punt Road on Thursday. Picture: Michael Klein
Brothers Archie Sideridis, 6, and Marcus, 5, were two of hundreds of supporters who turned out at Punt Road on Thursday. Picture: Michael Klein

"They're a system-based team and so are we, so it's who sticks to their structure the longest and who keeps the intensity up for the longest," he said.

"We can be stronger in some areas, they can be stronger in some areas, but whoever is stronger for the longest amount of time will win the game."

He was adamant premiership teammate Dustin Martin would be running at full ­capacity.

Martin, 27, has been battling what coach Damien Hardwick this week described as a "significant corkie" that had bled into his knee. The club opted against having it drained.

"He's all right," Edwards said. "He just had a corkie. He trained fine today, so he's ­raring to go. No doubt."

 

Dustin Martin has been given the all-clear to play Collingwood Picture: Michael Klein
Dustin Martin has been given the all-clear to play Collingwood Picture: Michael Klein

Martin was the only player to train in compression tights, fuelling speculation that he might have been hiding some strapping on his thigh or knee.

But Edwards laughed that he had never taken much notice of the superstar's training attire.

"I haven't had a mental check on whether he's trained in (them) much, but I think he's done it every now and then," he said.

"I'll make sure I'll look from now on."

He joked that Martin would have largely ignored the intense spotlight on his injury, and said that the midfield beast would not require any extra protection from his teammates.

"I'm not sure he even knows what's going on," Edwards said.

"He'll be going out there with a fresh mind and he'll be ready to go.

"He's a big boy. It'll be the same as usual (the protection we provide), whether he's wearing (leggings) or not."



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