Tigers graduate after winning close game - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tigers graduate after winning close game

By Darren Cartwright 20/06/2010 11:21:35 AM Comments (0)

For the first nine weeks of the season, Richmond coach Damien Hardwick was trying to teach his then winless side to be competitive.

But following three wins from their past four matches, including a 20-point upset over Brisbane at the Gabba on Saturday night, Tigers coach Damien Hardwick says it's time to advance their education.

Richmond's next lesson will be how to run down the clock in a close finish, after they found themselves in the rare position of having to protect a two goal lead in the dying stages against the Lions.

"We haven't done a lot of situational training like how to ice a clock, so that's something we will address," Hardwick said.

"There's so much to be learnt at present.

"I've seen sides try and ice the clock and they usually end up getting scored against, so it's something we have a few strategies in place, but it will cost you a game if you don't train enough.

"We knew we had to maintain possession and find the free bloke, but in all honesty we were out on our feet there in the last quarter."

Brisbane coach Michael Voss has his own educational demands and wants it known that no-one is exempt from being axed, especially full forward Brendan Fevola whose 200th AFL match was lamentable.

Besides a one-goal return from a dubious free kick, he had an air kick, tried to take one-handed marks and failed even to kick the ball 40 metres from a set shot.

"I don't believe in giving reasons or excuses for performances like that," Voss told reporters.

"I'd consider dropping anyone who doesn't get to the standards that we're after.

"Don't worry; no one is immune in our system."

One thing Hardwick will not have to teach is how to act and feel confident.

His side has matured on the back of three hard-earned victories, with their win over the Lions arguably the sweetest, as it suggested they can respond under pressure.

"Confidence in an AFL player is paramount," Hardwick said.

"You get that in a player and anything is achievable. Look at Fremantle this year. Their personnel has not changed a great deal.

"What's grown is their belief in each other and that's what we are trying to implement.

"We encourage them to make mistakes because they will learn from their experience, that's just what we're trying to do."

Voss was hopeful defender Ashley McGrath and James Polkinghorn would return from injury for the round 14 clash with Carlton at Etihad Stadium on July 1.

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