Tigers aiming to upset rivals' plans - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tigers aiming to upset rivals' plans

By Adam Cooper 10/07/2009 04:11:25 PM Comments (0)

They won't be there when it matters, but Richmond hope to have a say on the shape of the AFL's top eight.

Saturday's opponents Carlton are one of five aspiring finalists the Tigers play in the remaining eight rounds and acting coach Jade Rawlings said it was important Richmond kept motivation levels high over the last third of the season.

"We've got seven games at the MCG and then we finish up with West Coast at Subiaco and we've got some teams who we think we're a big chance to compete heavily against and hopefully win," he said.

"If that means unravelling a couple of finals plans for a few teams along the way, I think that would be good.

"We've got to hang our hat on something the last eight games and hopefully that can be part of it."

Veteran forward Matthew Richardson, who resumed skills training on Friday, said the Tigers owed Carlton given the Blues set Richmond on their dreadful path in 2009, through the 83-point hammering in the first game of the season.

But his brother-in-law and coach said the Tigers, in 14th spot, had not discussed the round-one result this week because it was history.

"It's been 14 or 15 weeks and there's been plenty of water go under the bridge and there's eight different players in both sides," Rawlings said.

"I don't think there's a mental hurdle our players need to overcome this week."

The form of Carlton's midfield means the Blues, needing a win to strengthen their hold of seventh spot, will enter the match as warm favourites.

But Rawlings was hopeful Richmond could match Carlton in the middle of the ground and draw on the rivalry between the clubs to produce a boilover.

"I've been at this club for three years and every Carlton-Richmond game, irrespective of where we are on the ladder, has always drawn a good crowd and there is a healthy rivalry between the two clubs," he said.

"I hope that hasn't been lost, we certainly like pushing that to our group and hopefully tomorrow we put on a good display."

Richardson joined in skills training for the first time since May, when he underwent surgery to repair his hamstring tendon, and Rawlings said the forward was on track for a return in either round 18 or 19.

Fellow forward Nathan Brown has overcome groin soreness and will make his comeback in the VFL this weekend, although Rawlings said the Tigers were not sure when he could return to the AFL.

Before he trained, Richardson told radio station Vega that Richmond owed Carlton for the round-one debacle.

"We need revenge for round one, it's where everything started this year, the bad vibe, so we need to come back," he said.

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