Stirring Tigers silenced in first hitout - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Stirring Tigers silenced in first hitout

Roger Vaughan 13/02/2011 07:05:42 PM Comments (0)

The Tigers say they are stirring, but Richmond could not maintain the snarl in their first effort this year against AFL opposition.

Nevertheless, coach Damien Hardwick saw good signs in Saturday night's NAB Cup losses to Carlton and Collingwood.

After leading the Blues by 15 points at halftime in their mini game, the undermanned Tigers could only manage one more behind in the second half and lost by three goals.

They also started the Collingwood match with one behind in the first half on the way to a 43-point loss against the AFL premiers.

The Tigers finished second-last again last season, but showed marked improvement as the season progressed.

That has prompted the season's slogan, The Tiger Is Stirring.

Richmond had plenty of key players missing on Saturday night - captain Chris Newman, Jack Riewoldt, Dustin Martin and Nathan Foley among them.

That meant a stern test of their depth against two entrenched finalists.

"We've got 10 to 12 blokes who could walk straight back into our side," Hardwick said.

"We came in with the philosophy in this campaign we just wanted to find out if a few players would put up their hand for round one.

"Although the results indicate otherwise, we came out of it with what we wanted."

Ruckman Tom Derickx and defender Jake Batchelor were two Richmond newcomers who impressed in Saturday night's games.

"To find out about those players, and there were some guys who put their hands up for round one, (it) is really pleasing for us," Hardwick said.

Turnovers were a glaring problem for Richmond against Carlton and Collingwood, especially when they were trying to clear the ball out of defence.

But again, Hardwick was optimistic that would tighten up ahead of the regular season.

"I think you'll see that across the competition," he said.

"You've got to remember this is our first hit-out and it's still seven weeks before round one.

"It's an extremely long time ... we're asking our guys in essence to play a fifth of the season before we actually start our season so it is a very long time.

"They'll sharpen up."

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