Tigers can still roar, say Lions - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tigers can still roar, say Lions

By Laine Clark 07/05/2009 07:08:21 PM Comments (0)

Despite the loss of Matthew Richardson, Richmond are a better team than in 2004 - the year Brisbane last beat the Tigers - according to the Lions.

But Lions assistant coach Adrian Fletcher hinted that only a win would do at the MCG on Saturday if they were to "go forward" this season.

Following last round's 43-point demolition of Essendon, Lions coach Michael Voss on Thursday named an unchanged line-up for the first time this season for the Tigers showdown.

While buoyed with the way the team bounced back from an embarrassing 93-point shellacking at Geelong, Fletcher said the Lions must start beating teams of Richmond's calibre - especially away from home.

Easier said than done.

Apart from their five-year winning drought against the Tigers, the Lions also rarely taste victory away.

Their last road win was in round eight, 2008.

Voss said this week that they must start turning around their away woes if they wanted to contemplate finals football.

But Fletcher said the Lions would not be taking Richmond for granted despite the lengthy injury to their talisman Richardson.

"They have deficiencies, we have deficiencies. They are a better team than they were in 2004," he said on Thursday.

"(But) we have to beat these teams if we want to go forward.

"We want to make sure that we can win on the road.

Fletcher conceded Richardson would be "sadly missed" by Richmond.

"No doubt. He an important player," Fletcher said.

"He's a big key forward up there that they don't have, he attracts a couple of defenders, he can get up the ground and get back into defence.

"(But) I don't think it effects their group. They will be pumped, they will want to win - we realise we are up against it."

The return of Brownlow Medallist Ben Cousins will also help the Tigers' cause.

"We realise he's an elite athlete but we are not going to let him have the space and time that he would like," Fletcher said.

"We have got to make sure we close him down....but we've got to put time into everybody."

Livewire forward Rhan Hooper will make his return from a month long ankle injury through the reserves after the Lions opted against changes.

"We've got to reward the people who did the right thing by us last week," Fletcher said.

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