Tigers caretaker shrugs off tank talk - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tigers caretaker shrugs off tank talk

By Guy Hand 23/07/2009 12:53:52 PM Comments (0)

Richmond coach Jade Rawlings has dismissed any notion of the Tigers "tanking" AFL matches following recent claims by his predecessor Terry Wallace.

Rawlings refused to buy into the debate on whether lowly-placed clubs purposely tried not to win late-season matches to gain access to a priority draft pick.

But he promised the Tigers would not be doing so on his watch, and the team would be doing everything possible to beat Essendon in their clash on Sunday.

"I don't buy into the tanking thing. Anyone who's watched us play, we've been in positions the last five weeks where we could have won and should have won," Rawlings said.

"After the way (Essendon) got us earlier this year, my priority is picking a team that can knock them over on Sunday."

Wallace admitted he and his coaching staff let their final match of the 2007 season against St Kilda run its natural course with minimal input.

Richmond lost the match, ensuring they would get pick two in that year's national draft, with which they selected star midfielder Trent Cotchin.

The Tigers also got a priority second-round pick in 2007 which was used on tall utility Alex Rance.

Rawlings said Cotchin and fellow midfield gun Ben Cousins would return for Sunday's match after missing last weekend's draw with North Melbourne because of illness.

Rawlings is also attempting to strengthen his claims to take the Richmond coaching job on a fulltime basis from next season.

He is currently caretaker until the end of this year.

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