Tigers worried after pre-season shocker - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tigers worried after pre-season shocker

Roger Vaughan 20/03/2011 05:36:17 PM Comments (0)

The alarm bells continue to ring loud at Punt Rd after the disastrous end to Richmond's AFL pre-season.

Four days out from their round-one blockbuster against Carlton at the MCG on Thursday night, Richmond's reigning Coleman Medallist Jack Riewoldt said there were major concerns after the 68-point thrashing from Adelaide.

Coach Damien Hardwick savaged his players immediately after the March 11 practice match, saying the Crows' seven unanswered goals in the last term "was soul destroying in a way".

Riewoldt agreed with his coach's blunt assessment.

"Definitely it was - I suppose it's not great preparation going into probably the biggest game of the year for our club, the membership and all that sort of stuff, on the back of a 60-point loss," Riewoldt said on Channel Seven's AFL Game Day.

"It's something we've addressed over the last week since the game, we're going to take measures ... into the round-one game and hopefully we can put a better performance together than that."

The Tigers badly need a strong start as they try to build on some promising signs last year.

While they finished second-last again, they rallied from an 0-9 start to win six matches.

On the flip side of that optimism, Richmond managed only one win in their last seven matches.

Off-field, the Tigers are making progress, with their new Fighting Tiger Fund already stripping about $2.5 million off the club's crippling debt.

A fundraising dinner last Thursday night at their new Punt Rd headquarters was a rallying point for the Tigers, who have not won a premiership since 1980 and last made the finals a decade ago.

But on field, the Blues will again be tough opponents, having won their past five matches against Richmond.

Carlton v Richmond has been a round-one fixture since 2007 and the Blues have won three of the four high-profile clashes.

They nearly doubled Richmond's score this time last year to win by 56 points.

In 2009, Ben Cousins tore a hamstring during his Richmond debut as Carlton won the opener by 83 points.

That thrashing set the tone for a disastrous year, with coach Terry Wallace leaving midway through the season.

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