Blues expect Tigers to come out swinging - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Blues expect Tigers to come out swinging

By Sam Lienert 20/03/2010 04:34:07 PM Comments (0)

Carlton coach Brett Ratten has warned his team to brace for an ultra-aggressive Richmond when the two clubs clash in Thursday night's AFL season-opener at the MCG.

Ratten said new Tigers coach Damien Hardwick's combativeness had been his hallmark as a player and that would be mirrored in his team.

"They'll be coming out swinging, I know Damien very well through playing days ... they'll be hellbent on every possession and making us fight for everything," the Blues coach said.

Carlton burst Richmond's bubble in the opening round of last season, inflicting an 83-point belting to spark a chain of losses which led to the eventual dismissal of then-coach Terry Wallace and ultimately Hardwick's appointment.

Ratten forecast this year's Tigers would be out to prove from the outset they were up for the fight.

"They'll be in our face, I'd say, straight from the first bounce," he said.

"Every play will be a contest and nothing will change from probably the way (Hardwick) played to the team that he coaches."

Ratten will also be urging his own charges to quickly stamp themselves on the game physically.

"If you sit out and think you can just run round the edges and hopefully get a possession, I think when you get in it and roll your sleeves up and cop a bump or a tackle you feel a part of the game," he said.

Stars Jarrad Waite and Marc Murphy will both play, after finalising their build-ups by playing half of a practice match with VFL affiliate the Northern Bullants on Friday.

It will be Waite's first senior game since badly injuring his knee in round nine last year, while Murphy has been working his way back from a hip operation in January.

"Murph looked like he was running over the top of the ground really well and Jarrad's second and third efforts were fantastic in the game, so they'll both play," Ratten said.

With captain Chris Judd missing through suspension for the first three rounds, the coach said the Blues were still tossing up whether to nominate one player to act as skipper over that period, or rotate it.

Andrew Carrazzo and Kade Simpson led for a game each during the pre-season.

Experienced recruits Brock McLean, Lachie Henderson and Robert Warnock - who did not play last season in his first year with the club because of injury - are in line for their first Blues matches, while draftee Kane Lucas is in contention for his AFL debut.

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