Riewoldt talks down AFL flag comparison

Star forward Jack Riewoldt is poised to return from injury, bolstering the Tigers' attack.
Star forward Jack Riewoldt is poised to return from injury, bolstering the Tigers' attack.

Star Richmond forward Jack Riewoldt has warned against comparisons with their historic 2017 AFL premiership season, noting there are key differences.

At round 17 the Tigers have the same 9-6 record as two seasons ago.

Then, Richmond were coming off a Saturday night hiding at Docklands, when St Kilda mauled them with 14 goals to one in the first half.

It proved a turning point for the Tigers and a false dawn for the Saints.

Richmond only lost one more game two years ago on the way to breaking their 37-year premiership drought, while the Saints remain in the wilderness.

Last Saturday, the Tigers piled on 16 goals to three in the first half against Gold Coast.

Riewoldt is about to return from injury, bolstering their attack, and their remaining seven regular-season games are all at the MCG.

That run of games at their home ground starts with Sunday's massive game against GWS, who have dropped out of the top four.

The Giants have lost their last two games and star onballer Josh Kelly is injured.

But as promising as it looks, Riewoldt is wary.

"You have to be very careful drawing on past history because every season is very different and we're not comfortable with where we're at," Riewoldt said.

"There are some games we thought were winnable and have dropped."

Richmond also have endured a much worse injury toll than 2017's dream run.

For example, Riewoldt has only managed three games so far this year and Alex Rance is doubtful to return from the knee reconstruction he needed after round one.

In 2017, Rance was among nine Richmond players to play all 25 games and Riewoldt managed 23.

The Tigers have used 38 players in their AFL team this season - already the same as 2017 - and only three have played every game so far.

But amid the challenges, there have been positives.

"Our journey has been completely different to 2017," Riewoldt said.

"We've had more than a few injuries but we've unearthed some guys we're really excited about, so for us it's been really good.

"We've found guys we know will be good players into the future and we've still been able to win and put ourselves in a decent position."

Australian Associated Press