Bowden's AFL farewell to inspire Tigers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bowden's AFL farewell to inspire Tigers

By Sam Lienert 14/08/2009 02:31:14 PM Comments (0)

Richmond caretaker coach Jade Rawlings hopes his players learnt several lessons from last Sunday's thrashing by Sydney, not least how to lift for a much-admired teammate.

Rawlings was scathing of the Tigers' culture after their sloppy performance against a Swans' side determined to win for 300-gamer Michael O'Loughlin.

He wants his own team to follow Sydney's example and harness the emotion of two-time best and fairest Joel Bowden playing his final AFL game to cause an upset against Collingwood at the MCG on Saturday.

"You'd like to think our group have a similar thought process about how they'd like to respect Joel and how they'll perform tomorrow," Rawlings said on Friday.

"Collingwood are an outstanding footy club and really good team, they're in great form, they've won 10 of the last 11, so it's a pretty difficult encounter for us.

"But we have a reasonable record against them and Saturday afternoon at the `G in front of a big crowd for Joel's game.

"I hope that our players can deal with the emotion of it but also carry out the process that we think's going to be able to put us in good stead to match it against Collingwood."

Bowden, 31, has been out of the side since Rawlings took over ahead of round 12, but has been recalled for a farewell game, his 265th, against the Magpies.

"He's been an outstanding contributor to the footy club and he's Richmond through and through," Rawlings said.

"The players hold him in high regard, as does the whole footy club, so we'll go about it in a reasonable way internally and acknowledge what he's done and then he has his testimonial to follow up tomorrow night.

"It would be good to go to that function after a win."

Rawlings also wants to see his players' respond to consecutive poor performances - just scraping past Melbourne in round 18, then the belting from Sydney.

The interim coach was brutally frank about their mental shortcomings after the Swans match, saying too many players had a habit of going missing under pressure.

"They're in no uncertain terms about where we sit as a team at the moment," Rawlings said.

"We've been trying to make some changes to how they approach their footy and how they actually perform on match day.

"It's a work in progress, there was probably going to be that type of fallout game, as much as you don't want it, it was probably going to be there.

"Unfortunately it was really poor and it's a matter of how you bounce back, that's the opportunity you get in footy, to be able to do something about it the next week."

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