during the round seven AFL match between the Richmond Tigers and the Fremantle Dockers at Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 6, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia.

After breaking a 37-year drought by winning the 2017 premiership, the Tigers have continued the 2018 season in the same vein of form, winning six of their opening seven games to sit first on the ladder.

However, the Tigers have only played one side who finished in the top eight last year in Adelaide, and were beaten by them in round two, their only loss of the season.

Richmond’s draw has been favourable so far this season to say the least, given the Tigers have beaten Carlton (18th on the ladder), Brisbane (17th) and Fremantle (12th), all at the MCG.

Despite the stats, Garry Lyon believes the Tigers have well and truly earned their spot at the top of the ladder.

“A lot of people are piling in, trust me. The Tigers are the real deal,” Lyon told SEN Breakfast.

“Don’t worry about who they’re playing.

“They’ve played seven of their first eight at the MCG, they go and play North Melbourne at Etihad on the weekend and that’ll be an absolute cracker so we’ll find out a bit about the Kangaroos and a bit about the Tigers.

“If you’re a Richmond supporter just sit back, get your pipe out and relax.”

Richmond go to Etihad Stadium for the first time this season to face North Melbourne on Sunday, before a potential top-of-the-table clash against West Coast in two weeks’ time at Optus Stadium.