AFL bye a drag for angry Tigers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL bye a drag for angry Tigers

Sam Lienert And Lucy Buhr 29/05/2011 02:38:36 PM Comments (0)

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick says a 15-day break between AFL games will be more of a curse than a blessing as the Tigers stew over a missed chance against Port Adelaide in Darwin.

Richmond entered Saturday night's clash against the struggling Power as hot favourites and in good form, but fell 13.11 (89) to 10.14 (74).

The loss stopped them from moving into the top eight for the first time in Hardwick's reign.

In what was nominally a Tigers home game, Richmond did not handle the slippery, humid top-end conditions as well as regular Northern Territory visitors Port.

But Hardwick said that was more due to the Power's superior defensive pressure and he was severely disappointed by Richmond's performance.

"It's probably the poorest we've played for quite some time. It is disappointing. And I think the thing that really hurts is we got to wait two weeks to have another crack at it."

The Tigers have the bye next round, then play Sydney at the SCG on Sunday week.

"I wish we were playing next week to be perfectly honest," Hardwick said.

"We have to stew on this loss for two weeks. We'll give the guys a couple of days off and then train them pretty hard."

Richmond fumbled regularly, missed targets by foot, over-used the ball by hand and did not have a dangerous forward target.

Reigning Coleman Medallist Jack Riewoldt was flattered by his tally of three goals, as two of them came late in the game, when the contest was decided.

Hardwick refused to blame the club's decision to host the game in Darwin - which comes with a financial gain - rather than Melbourne, for the loss.

"You can't use where you play as an excuse for a poor effort, I would have thought," he said.

"At the end of the day you play at a footy ground with four sticks at either ends and the ball's round."

He said Richmond's inferior ball-handling was partly a consequence of a lopsided 89-61 tackle count in Port's favour.

"It was uncharacteristic of our guys and, look, it's a real let down. We sort of set ourselves up for a game and thought we came in with good preparation but didn't play anywhere near well enough."

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