We can beat leaders, says Tigers coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

We can beat leaders, says Tigers coach

By Robert Grant 22/07/2010 04:07:59 PM Comments (0)

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick has tipped Collingwood to win the AFL premiership this year, but still believes his young Tigers can upset the ladder leaders on Saturday.

The Tigers received a double blow last weekend, being belted by 50 points by North Melbourne and losing gun midfielder Trent Cotchin to a four-week suspension.

With fellow onballers Daniel Jackson (suspended) and Nathan Foley (injured), the Magpies hold a clear advantage in the engine room.

But Hardwick, who has been so impressive in his first year in charge, still believes his young Tigers can put one over their traditional rivals at the MCG.

"I think so," Hardwick said.

"We were really disappointed in our effort and our general intensity last week.

"To the boys' credit they were pretty flat at their effort last week. Taking nothing away from North Melbourne, I think that's the best I've seen them play this year.

"It's a massive challenge any time playing Collingwood - they're a great side and they're in terrific form, sitting on top of the ladder.

"We've got to regroup, get our game up and going and become the hunter again.

"Last week we took our foot off the pedal a little bit and paid the price."

The young Richmond lineup have repeatedly paid tribute to Hardwick and the way his message and preferred playing style have been unchanged in 2010.

"Probably the one thing we back ourselves in with is we play a system of football we think actually gives us a chance," said the coach.

"That system broke down last week obviously but from our point of view if we get that system right and a couple of things stick in place we're a fair chance of winning.'

While on paper Collingwood looks classier across the board than Richmond, Hardwick said ability alone does not always necessarily win out.

"Talent alone is not going to get you over the line - there's a lot of things that go into a football match these days ," he said.

However, Hardwick said the Tigers would not be as consistently good as Collingwood for some time.

"Collingwood have been together a long time, they're one of the more experienced sides in the competition.

"We're probably one of the more inexperienced. We've got to get as many games as possible into our 22 years and younger players and at this stage of the year we lead that, with AFL clubs.

"You look at sides like Collingwood, St Kilda and Geelong and they've given us an ideal blueprint about how to do that."

One of the Tigers' main problems this weekend will be how to deal with Collingwood midfielder Dane Swan, who was best afield again in last weekend's big win over St Kilda.

"As funny as it is, I think he's almost untaggable," Hardwick said.

"Even when you tag him he still gets 30 (possessions). He's a terrific player and a guy who seems to get better every year.

"From our point of view it will be a huge challenge for whoever picks him up - hopefully we can keep him to a reasonable number."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news