Damien Hardwick lamented in the post-match press conference after the Essendon game last Saturday that Richmond still had a lot of work to do. Those deficiencies were shown up against a ferocious North Melbourne on Friday night in Hobart. The Kangaroos started fast, jumped the Tigers and they simply never recovered.
It was staggering to watch for the Tiger faithful, as the boys in Yellow and Black were outclassed by the ladder leaders. The Tigers struggled to stay on their feet, couldn’t find a target coming out of defence or going forward, were outnumbered at the contest and couldn’t stick a tackle. At the first break, North led the inside-50 count (20-7) and kicked six of the first seven goals. The Tigers, in an effort to stop the onslaught, ended with misses from Ty Vickery, Kane Lambert and Corey Ellis; languishing at 1.5 when it could have so easily been 5.1 if the chances had been taken.
Injuries at either end of the ground – Dylan Grimes (hamstring, pre-game), Steven Morris (knee), Nick Vlastuin (concussion) and Ben Griffiths (ankle) – didn’t help Richmond’s cause, but it wasn’t the reason for the 70-point loss. The effort and desire was trounced and players were devoid of confidence and that made a significant impact. It was frenzied and frenetic, with Richmond Captain Trent Cotchin conceding that they failed to play a single quarter, speaking in the rooms after the game. Given Richmond’s mini resurgence, having won their past three games, were seemingly well-placed to take on North but the all-too-familiar tale of the Kangaroos having the wood over the Tigers was clear for all to see.
A stoic Hardwick said he would continue to back his team in to get the job done, in his post-match press conference on Friday night. They needed to do better though, instead of resembling a team of schoolboys. Talk of finals appears gone now, but the Tigers will still be striving to do so, Hardwick said as much on SEN’s Crunch Time program on Saturday morning. The Tigers next play Gold Coast at the MCG next Sunday afternoon. It is a match they will be expected to win.
Final Score: NM 18.16.124 to RICH 7.12.54.
TOP 3 TIGERS:
1. SHAUN GRIGG: The midfielder did all he could to help his team. He netted 38 disposals (12 in the third quarter and 12 in the fourth quarter), four intercepts, three marks, nine clearances, four tackles, 22 pressure acts and nine score involvements.
2. TRENT COTCHIN: The Captain led from the front and never gave up. He netted 34 disposals (10 in the fourth quarter), four intercepts, three marks, seven clearances, five tackles, 24 pressure acts, and five score involvements.
3. ANTHONY MILES: Another midfielder that did all he could to help his team. He netted 31 disposals (12 in the second quarter), two intercepts, three marks, nine clearances, four tackles, 18 pressure acts, six score involvements and one goal.
What were your thoughts on the game?