McKay and Curnow
Carlton's deadly duo of Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay is giving Tigers coach Adem Yze a headache. Image by Richard Wainwright/AAP PHOTOS
  • Australian rules football

Tigers bracing for Blues’ McKay-Curnow dynamic duo

Anna Harrington March 14, 2024

Pondering how to keep red-hot Carlton duo Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay quiet is keeping Richmond coach Adem Yze up at night.

The pair of Coleman Medallists are clearly the biggest challenge facing Yze’s Tigers in Thursday night’s blockbuster at the MCG.

McKay kicked Carlton’s dramatic match winner among three majors against Brisbane, while Curnow booted four.

Five days after Ben King and Jack Lukosius put Tylar Young and Josh Gibcus to the sword in Richmond’s opening-round loss to Gold Coast, the inexperienced key defenders face a monster task containing Carlton’s dynamic duo.

“It looks exciting,” Yze said.

“We’ve got Tylar Young and some younger defenders, Josh Gibcus, to link with obviously our older guys down there in (Dylan) Grimes and (Nathan Broad).

“We’ve got some options but I think that’s gonna keep me up at night, the two big forwards for the Blues.

“They’re two amazing players and an awesome opportunity for some young players, hopefully.”

The Tigers are determined not to let the Blues get a run-on after they conceded 11 consecutive goals against the Suns.

“We’re learning that, whether we’ve got it (momentum), how to obviously maintain that, but if we are struggling how to just stem the flow a bit,” Yze said.

“We can’t give up 11 goals in a row, that’s not good enough.

“But on the flip side, kicking seven in a row’s a terrific way of gaining momentum and maintaining it.

“So we’ve worked a fair bit on that this week.”

At the other end of the ground, Richmond have regained spearhead Tom Lynch who will be on limited minutes after close to a year out with a foot injury.

 Dustin Martin will divide his time between midfield and the forward line when Richmond meet Carlton. Image by Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS 

Dustin Martin will return from a corked calf and balance his time between the midfield and forward line.

“He’ll get an opportunity to do both again,” Yze said.”

“Having him and Shai (Bolton) having the flexibility to play midfield and forward is a blessing for us.”

The Tigers have regained skipper Toby Nankervis from plantar fasciitis ahead of a match-up with athletic Blue Tom De Koning.

Rhyan Mansell is also back in the side, with Yze axing Jacob Koschitzke, Sam Banks, Sam Naismith and Samson Ryan.

After the high of their stirring comeback win over Brisbane, Carlton were brought back down to earth by news popular veteran Sam Docherty had suffered a third season-ending knee injury.

The Blues have named Corey Durdin on the interchange bench after he recovered from his pre-season syndesmosis injury.