AFL 1 year ago

Round 6: The Wash Up

  • Round 6: The Wash Up

    MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 30: Damien Hardwick, coach of the Tigers speaks to his team during the round six AFL match between the Richmond Tigers and the Port Adelaide Power at Melbourne Cricket Ground on April 30, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

With every round that passes by that Richmond fails to secure the win, the heat is on the playing group to perform. If you take a look at the first six rounds, Richmond has been thereabouts aside from the drumming they got served by West Coast at Domain Stadium. The issue though is that Richmond is supposed to be a side the travels well and really should have been able to beat Melbourne and Port Adelaide in the past fortnight.

The days of saying the Tigers succumbed to opposition pressure are over. Richmond has faced facts this week, after losing to a hapless Power last Saturday night when the game was within their grasp more than once. The sobering reality is that the Tigers aren’t good enough at current. One needs to remember though, that in recent years, Richmond has been forced to make do with the draft because of the rise of the expansion clubs. It is by no means an excuse, but something that is all too easily overlooked by many. On the other hand, you can’t predict that the young kids currently still plying their trade at Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney; would have performed at Richmond.

You can view Richmond’s recruiting since the expansion teams entered the competition as something of a stop gap; that it would work for a period of time but possibly not long term. There is one school of thought that says the Tigers should get senior games into the youngsters, but the inner sanctum at Richmond doesn’t subscribe to that way of thinking. The other school of thought meanwhile, is that they will be picking the best available side for the majority of what’s left of the season, Damien Hardwick said as much in recent days. Upon getting those players back, the Tigers will be able to put in a more Richmond-like performance. Just who are these players? One can think its Reece Conca, Nick Vlastuin, Dylan Grimes and Ben Griffiths that would be atop that list; not to mention Alex Rance, Trent Cotchin, Kane Lambert and Kamdyn McIntosh. What needs to happen is something very simplistic at the end of the day, that Leigh Matthews said on Channel 7’s ‘Game Day’ program on Sunday morning – the top six – Rance, Cotchin, Deledio, Martin, Riewoldt and Maric need to all be playing to the same level at the same time on a consistent basis.

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