Old Lions a danger for Tigers: Hardwick - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Old Lions a danger for Tigers: Hardwick

Sam Lienert 17/06/2011 05:00:30 PM Comments (0)

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick knows from recent experience the damage Brisbane's two oldest players, Simon Black and Luke Power, remain capable of inflicting.

The Tigers face their third interstate AFL match in succession when they take on the Lions at the Gabba on Saturday night.

Losses in the previous two - against Port Adelaide and Sydney, either side of a bye - have Richmond in danger of falling almost out of finals contention if they lose.

Hardwick is confident, but said preventing Black and Power having the impact they did when the sides met most recently in round six, was crucial.

Black had a season-high 34 touches, while Power kicked four goals, his equal-best haul this year.

Hardwick said the presence of tagger Daniel Jackson, who missed the round six clash through suspension, should help Richmond curtail Black.

"He'll obviously come back and hopefully do a job on him," Hardwick said on Friday.

"Luke Power kicked four goals last time, so both guys got under our guard last time and we'll be making sure that doesn't happen again."

Skipper Jonathan Brown was out injured that night, when Richmond won by 26 points at the MCG, and is yet to play the Tigers in Hardwick's time at the helm.

Brown's most recent appearance against Richmond, in 2009, was also the Lions' most recent win over the Tigers, when the star forward tallied 11 marks and four goals.

Hardwick said an injury-depleted Richmond defence faced a major challenge.

"We've got a number of plans to try to quell his influence, but the great thing about champion players is when the game's there to be won, they'll lift," Hardwick said.

"We've got no doubt he'll be up and going and obviously (Alex) Rance and (Luke) McGuane and those types of players will get a fair crack at him.

"But it's going to be a team defence on Jonathan."

Hardwick said the Tigers remained upbeat despite not having won a match, or played in Melbourne, for almost a month.

Their travel time was increased when they had to catch a bus back from Sydney on Monday, after a flight cancellation.

But Hardwick said his young squad was emotionally resilient.

"The one thing about our group and (captain) Chris Newman's a real leader in this, is the enthusiasm in our group can never be questioned," he said.

"We've had a couple of narrow losses in the last couple of weeks, but we feel we're just a smidgin away from turning that around.

"Our guys are really well driven, they're enthusiastic."

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