Best On Ground: More questions than answers as AFL heats up

SOARING: Essendon coach-in-waiting Ben Rutten. The Bombers are unbeaten in 2020. Picture: Morgan Hancock
SOARING: Essendon coach-in-waiting Ben Rutten. The Bombers are unbeaten in 2020. Picture: Morgan Hancock

Footy is back from its COVID-19 slumber but we have more questions than answers after an 11-week break.

Can finals fancy West Coast actually get its legs moving this week? Eagles coach Adam Simpson revealed midweek his side ran harder in its intra-club game than it did in its shock loss to Gold Coast.

Can Port Adelaide, North Melbourne and Essendon extend their unbeaten streaks to a third-straight round?

Will Richmond get the job done without superstar Dustin Martin, who is nursing rib soreness and has been ruled out of the Tigers' Thursday night bout with Hawthorn?

Forward Liam Baker will join Martin on the sidelines, who will miss one match after returning home to Perth for a funeral.

Reigning premier Richmond played out a bore draw against fellow flag favourite Collingwood last week. Both sides could only manage 5.6 (36).

Tigers coach Damien Hardwick said on Wednesday he wasn't concerned about his side's inability to score, instead putting it down to two defensive units ruling the roost.

"You talk about two of the best defensive units in the competition as of last year and the one thing that is always going to suffer is a little bit is offense," he said.

"I expect both Richmond and Collingwood to be a bit better at going across the arc this week.

"We had pretty much the same amount of inside 50s as everyone else last week, we just couldn't score because we were both against two of the best defensive sides in the AFL.

"We did a fair bit of work on that this week, it would be fair to say, and hopefully we come out with a better result. More goals is always good."

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This story The Tigers minus Dusty, what happens next? first appeared on The Standard.