Richmond not afraid of mighty Cats - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Richmond not afraid of mighty Cats

By Justin Chadwick 26/04/2010 01:31:31 PM Comments (0)

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick admits his youthful Tigers face a "bloody daunting" task in trying to match defending AFL premiers Geelong head on when the teams clash at Skilled Stadium on Sunday.

The Tigers slumped to their fifth straight loss of the season on Sunday when Fremantle overcame a 27-point deficit to post an easy 39-point triumph at Subiaco Oval, 15.22 (112) to 11.7 (73).

Hardwick urged Richmond fans to remain patient while his young outfit builds experience but declared his team wouldn't shy away from the challenge of taking on Geelong at their own game.

"If you try to shut down Geelong who do you shut down? Ablett, Chapman, Bartel - you take your pick," Hardwick said.

"It's too hard, they're such a quality side.

"We just want our blokes to play on them and see how they go.

"It's another learning process for our players.

"We don't run away from a challenge, we approach it head on.

"So from our point of view it's a chance for Dustin Martin to go against a Joel Selwood to learn a few things off his game.

"It is bloody daunting at the same time, don't get me wrong, but it's an exciting period for our club where we can put those players against the best in the competition."

Hardwick said his side were trying to emulate the feats of Melbourne, who entered this season on the back of two consecutive wooden spoons but have shot into top-eight contention following three wins on the trot.

"From our point of view they are very much what we are endeavouring to do," Hardwick said.

"We are trying to get as many games as we can into our young talent to get them up and experience the rigours of AFL footy."

Richmond are almost certain to be without midfielder Richard Tambling (hamstring) and youngster Troy Taylor (knee) for several weeks after the pair picked up injuries against the Dockers.

Hardwick said he had seen some encouraging signs from his team despite the winless start to the season.

"There's been signs in all our games that we're actually moving forward," he said.

"A lot of our KPI (key performance indicators) data says we are competing reasonably well.

"What's hurting us is our inability to put scoreboard pressure on the opposition.

"I think we went inside 50 three or four times less than Freo but unfortunately we've got a young and developing forward line.

"I think Jack Riewoldt's our oldest forward at the age of 21, so we've got six blokes in there under the age of 21, which is always going to take time.

"But we've just got to keep getting games into these young kids. There's some real exciting times ahead for us, we've just got to be patient."

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