A massive test awaits the Western Bulldogs over the next three weeks, starting with a prime-time clash against the reigning premiers on Wednesday night.
Star midfielder Jack Macrae is under no illusions as to the challenge Richmond presents, despite missing a number of premiership stars.
Skipper Trent Cotchin is set to return for the Tigers, who could also regain important defender David Astbury. They will be without the likes of Dion Prestia, Bachar Houli, Shane Edwards, Toby Nankervis and Josh Caddy.
But that hasn’t stopped them from winning three of their four games this month.
“I don’t think you can think like that,” Macrae said, when asked if the Bulldogs had drawn the Tigers at a vulnerable time.
“They’ve won some great games and they’ve obviously got some great players.
“We’ve got a few (players) out too.
“Throughout the whole season things go different ways and all that matters is the 22 that’s on the field.”
The Bulldogs and Tigers both sit inside the top eight, ahead of the start of a condensed block of fixtures.
Over the next three weeks, the Bulldogs will need to contend with the Tigers and the competition’s top two teams, Port Adelaide and Brisbane.
“They’re three teams that are right up at the top of the ladder, you can’t ask for a bigger challenge over the next four weeks,” Macrae said.
“It’s obviously going to be pretty taxing for all the clubs and how each club manages it is going to be different.
“We’ve won five of the last six and we’re building form really well.
“We’ve had a few disappointing games, but individually and as a team I feel like we’re building some strong form and hopefully we can carry that on for Wednesday.
“We’re really just focused on Richmond this week and then we’ll shift our minds to the other games.”
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