Tigers AFL trio must lift against 'Pies - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tigers AFL trio must lift against 'Pies

By Adam Cooper 05/04/2008 12:36:03 PM Comments (0)

Richmond have challenged key trio Brett Deledio, Nathan Foley and Nathan Brown to produce their best football more often before Sunday's AFL game against Collingwood at the MCG.

The three Tigers can be match-winners on their day but their starts to the season have been sporadic after patchy performances in the opening win over Carlton and the seven-goal defeat to North Melbourne.

Brown booted three goals against the Blues but gathered only 24 disposals in the first two games, Deledio was quiet against Carlton but gained a career-high 27 touches last week and Foley began well but was subdued against the Kangaroos.

Ahead of a game against an old rival, Richmond assistant coach David King said the Tigers needed more output from the skilful threesome.

"You just feel if we can get Nathan Brown, we can get Nathan Foley and Brett Deledio to fire or to go somewhere near their best - and they don't have to be best on ground but if they can just lift at parts of the game - it gives us an opportunity to win," King said.

"Without those guys firing it probably leaves too much to too few and unfortunately where we are at the moment, we can't go with that."

Foley's work clearing the ball from stoppages was instrumental in the Tigers' win over Collingwood last season and King said Richmond wanted more of the same from the young onballer.

"If he can produce something like that, you're not going to ask for that every week, but if he can hold his own and be the normal Nathan Foley we know at stoppages then we're on our way," he said.

Similarly, Deledio also starred in the win over the Pies last time with five goals, but has been unable to match that form positioned in the forward line at the start of 2008.

"At the end of last year he had a fantastic patch, being able to (have an) impact (on) games as a full-forward," King said.

"We've probably targeted that role for him this season but he probably hasn't started the way we wanted, he's probably had more impact when he's been released into midfield.

"Our challenge is to get him into the game and his challenge is to fire in all areas no matter where we put him.

"If he's going to become a top-line player in this competition he needs to be able to stand up and play a number of different roles for us because that's what good players do."

King nominated the evenness of Collingwood's midfield as the major area Richmond had to focus on, but conceded small Magpie forwards Alan Didak, Leon Davis and Paul Medhurst could be damaging if left unchecked.

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