Tigers wary of Port threat in Darwin - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tigers wary of Port threat in Darwin

Larine Statham and Sam Lienert 27/05/2011 06:29:08 PM Comments (0)

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick says Saturday night's AFL opponents Port Adelaide have the potential to be a much greater threat than recent form suggests.

The Tigers, coming off four wins in five games, including last Saturday night's hard-fought victory over Essendon, will be in unfamiliar territory on two fronts for the Darwin clash.

One of those is the venue.

The match is nominally Richmond's home game, but the Power are regular visitors to TIO Stadium, while the Tigers have never before played a home and away game there.

The other is Richmond's short-priced favouritism.

That is a very rare experience for a youthful side that notched just six wins in Hardwick's first season in charge last year and has finished 15th for the past two years.

And it is a status the coach is paying scant regard to, despite the Power's season being seemingly in free-fall on the back of five straight losses.

"They've got some young talent, which is always a danger and we're a young developing side also," Hardwick told reporters on Friday.

"So I think you're going to see two sides over the course of the next two to three years that are going to be pretty formidable come the future.

"So we've come up here prepared to play and looking for another win."

After Richmond were buoyed by a home crowd of more than 80,000 against the Bombers last weekend, a partisan Tigers crowd would likely have helped their cause if Saturday night's game was in Melbourne.

Richmond's unfamiliarity with the Darwin venue was not helped when a scheduled pre-season clash against the Indigenous All-Stars at the ground had to be scrapped because of bad weather.

But Hardwick said he did not expect Richmond's decision to host the game in the Northern Territory to work against them.

"Not really. There's no doubt we'd love to have 50,000 supporters here," he said.

"But, look, I'm sure we'll get a great crowd up here tomorrow night. There's a massive Tiger contingent up here. I think it's going to be a terrific atmosphere.

"I've played here once before and it's been a real carnival-type atmosphere."

Richmond will be without young defender Dylan Grimes, who is expected to miss several months with a major hamstring injury.

Matt White was recalled, while key forward Brad Miller returns from illness at the expense of Jayden Post.

The Power made one change, dropping Steven Salopek in favour of Cameron Hitchcock.

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