That kid Riewoldt's good: Richmond coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

That kid Riewoldt's good: Richmond coach

By Roger Vaughan 23/05/2010 03:12:10 PM Comments (0)

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick has compared key forward Jack Riewoldt to Hawthorn stars Lance Franklin and Jarryd Roughead at the same point in their AFL careers.

Riewoldt stood out in Saturday night's 35-point loss to the Bombers, equalling his personal best in a game with six goals.

After a bad start, where he had a free kick before the opening bounce and could only manage a behind, Riewoldt grew in confidence.

Veteran Bombers defender Dustin Fletcher had Riewoldt's measure, but the young Tiger was too good for Tayte Pears.

Hardwick was an assistant coach at Hawthorn before becoming Richmond coach this year and saw Franklin and Roughead start their careers.

"He's going to be a good player, that kid. He's 21, he's kicked a number of goals, the most important thing is, I think he's leading the league in inside-50 tackles, which for us is an outstanding achievement," Hardwick said.

"I've been lucky enough to see a couple of young key forwards going around at Hawthorn and he's right up there at this stage.

"He competes really well, he uses his body probably as well as anyone I've seen for his age.

"The key with Jack is he just has to develop that consistency ... we're still waiting for a couple of other key forwards to step up, to help him out, we'll hopefully get that over time."

Hardwick noted Riewoldt was comparing favourably to other key forwards in the league despite Richmond's winless start to the season.

"I can't remember when Roughead and Franklin went nuts (in) that year, but Jack's only 21," he said.

"I think he's had as many shots on goal as Brendan Fevola and Jonathan Brown.

"(Being in) a side that at the moment is down the wrong end of the ladder, he's competing really, really well - probably against the premier defenders as well."

Hardwick said Essendon's fast start - seven goals in 15 minutes during the first term - meant his young team had no chance.

But he praised the Tigers for not dropping their heads and running out the game better than the Bombes.

"For our group, we're just trying to remain as positive as we can, learn a lesson from every game," Hardwick said.

"We'll look at that first 15 minutes, see what we can do better.

"The wins at some stage will come - we hope it's next week."

Hardwick said veteran midfielder Ben Cousins had "an okay game" after returning from a back injury.

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