Tigers want to be competitive: Wallace - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tigers want to be competitive: Wallace

03/04/2009 07:02:15 PM Comments (0)

Don't expect anything pretty.

That's been the message from Geelong and Richmond this week as the Tigers aim to salvage some pride in Saturday's AFL clash at Skilled Stadium, where wintry weather will assist them turning the game into a scrap.

Richmond's pitiful first-up offering against Carlton leaves them needing to produce an epic turnaround to beat the Cats in Geelong, where the Tigers have won just once since 1990.

On the face of it, having his players match the likes of Cat stars Gary Ablett, Jimmy Bartel and Paul Chapman in their attack on the ball and high possession rate would be a win of sorts for Richmond coach Terry Wallace given the first-round debacle.

"Probably the biggest thing for me is matching them in the competitive areas of the game, that's been the key note for them (the Cats) over a period of time," Wallace said on Friday.

"We were very, very good at that last year, not so good at it in round one, so that's probably our first starting point."

Forecast showers and wind should also play a part in making the game tight and scrappy, and the redevelopment work on one of the ground's stands is expected to make goal kicking difficult at one end.

Richmond's emphasis on winning the hard ball was underlined by their inclusions, as Jake King, former Bomber Tom Hislop and debutant Alex Rance were all included for their attack on the ball - something so badly lacking in the 83-point defeat to the Blues.

But the Tigers' injury woes continued this week, as former captain Kane Johnson has been put on the club's long-term injury list.

The midfielder injured a knee during the pre-season competition and is not expected to play for two months.

Ben Cousins is progressing well after his latest hamstring injury, but Andrew Raines (knee) is also at least a month away.

Richmond's nightmare start heaped the pressure on Wallace, who needs to guide his side to the finals to secure another contract.

But he said he had not had time to reflect on the speculation surrounding his position, or the Cats' recent domination of the Tigers.

Geelong boast an average winning margin of 80 points from their past four games against Richmond, and have won 18 games of 20 at home the past two years.

"That's out of our control, but what our supporters do expect is blokes to have a red hot dip and get out and represent the colours the way that should be," Wallace said.

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