Throughout the first 10 minutes of the game, it was as if something had clicked at Richmond after four straight losses – the Tigers had kicked the first two goals of the game and had five of the first six inside 50s. Port Adelaide meanwhile, looked every bit the fumbly, hesitant and indecisive mess that had been humiliated in the past fortnight.
It was the most perfect occasion for Richmond to snag a win and snap a four-game losing streak, with Port Adelaide being undermanned. Instead as the Power’s confidence grew, the Tigers’ appeared to do the exact opposite. Richmond did push Port Adelaide at various stages throughout, but as soon as Richmond was within a sniff, Port Adelaide would kick two unanswered goals at times.
Damien Hardwick’s post match assessment, whereby he spoke of his Club “embarrassing ourselves” was hard to disagree with. The puzzling part though is that Richmond squandered countless opportunities, but were strong in contested ball (+16) and clearances (+6); though the possession and subsequent decision-making was questionable.
The effort, want and desire is still there; but kicks are being missed so too are handballs and tackles. Hardwick even went so far as to say the fundamentals are lacking...that Richmond are failing to do what a local football side should be doing. The Tigers had a plan in place pre-match, but it was devoid of such a plan in the actual game. When Richmond has possession, they were besieged and when they didn’t Port Adelaide went coast to coast with ease.
Richmond is now staring down the barrel with matches against Hawthorn and Sydney to come in the next fortnight. The task of grinding out a second win of the season has been further impacted by injuries to key midfielders in Kane Lambert and Trent Cotchin. It does however open the door for the likes of a Ben Lennon or Jayden Short to reappear in the senior team. Though, as Hardwick said in his post match press conference on Saturday night, Richmond is not good enough at the moment. How a team that is demoralised and without confidence fronts up next Friday night is anyone’s guess, but one thing is assured; they will be giving it everything.
Final Score: Port Adelaide 13. 16. 94 to Richmond 8. 11. 59
TOP 3 TIGERS:
1. SHAUN GRIGG: Absolutely tried to do all he could through the midfield. He finished with 32 disposals (10 of which came in the first quarter and another 10 came in the last quarter), four marks, nine clearances, six tackles, 15 pressure acts and nine score involvements; he also kicked two goals.
2. DUSTIN MARTIN: Rediscovered his spark through the midfield and up forward. He finished with 31 disposals, two intercepts, five marks, six clearances, four tackles, 15 pressure acts and six score involvements; he also kicked a goal.
3. BACHAR HOULI: The shining light in defence for a half. He finished with 34 disposals, seven marks, three tackles and 17 pressure acts.
What were your thoughts on the game?