Hardwick gutted by big Tigers loss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hardwick gutted by big Tigers loss

By Guy Hand 11/03/2011 09:21:33 PM Comments (0)

Soul-destroying, disappointing, as bad as Richmond have played for a long time.

Not the words of a long-suffering Richmond fan, but their coach Damien Hardwick after a 68-point AFL practice match loss to Adelaide which left him frantically searching for answers less than a fortnight out from their season opener.

Forward Taylor Walker starred with seven goals as the Crows crushed the outclassed Tigers 18.14 (122) to 8.6 (54) at Princes Park on Friday.

The Crows held sway throughout, apart from a brief Tigers third quarter rally when Richmond closed to within 25 points and took momentum into the final change.

But that was followed by abject capitulation in a final quarter in which the Crows ran riot to hold the Tigers scoreless.

Hardwick was visibly disappointed post-match and looking to schedule an intra-club game next week to shape up his slumping side ahead of their round one clash with Carlton on March 24.

"We've got to get a hell of a lot better if we want to get to a reasonable level round one," Hardwick said.

"We thought we'd been in some reasonable form up until this week ... the worrying thing at this stage is we've run out of games to tinker with.

"For them to kick seven goals in the last quarter was soul-destroying.

"We can play a lot better than that. That's as disappointing as we've played for a long time."

Only midfielder Nathan Foley - with 23 telling touches and eight tackles - produced a top-quality showing for the Tigers to prove he is over the injuries which have dogged him for two years.

Jack Riewoldt and Jayden Post booted two goals apiece for the Tigers.

Adelaide coach Neil Craig was far happier with a performance where the Crows dominated the midfield, centre clearances, hitouts and every other statistic that mattered.

They led by as much as 44 points early in the third term after Walker booted his fifth goal - by then on his third Richmond opponent.

And after being challenged, the Crows lifted markedly - Chris Knights booting all three of his goals and Walker adding two in the final term.

"Overall the four weeks that we've had have been the best preparation we've had since I've been there," Craig said.

Skipper Nathan van Berlo was outstanding, while new Crow Richard Tambling also performed well against his former side.

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