Vickery is Tigers' new danger man: Ratten - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Vickery is Tigers' new danger man: Ratten

By Sam Lienert 29/06/2011 04:08:52 PM Comments (0)

Emerging Richmond tall forward Tyrone Vickery will make Carlton pay if they focus too heavily on AFL Coleman medallist Jack Riewoldt, coach Brett Ratten believes.

Riewoldt starred in a losing side, booting six goals, when the two clubs met most recently in round one this year.

But Ratten said recent statistics showed the Tigers were just as likely to direct their attacking moves through 21-year-old, 200cm Vickery, and the youngster was repaying them in goals.

"What Richmond have done, moving Jack out a little bit further and allowing Vickery to play out of the goal square has allowed him to grow as a player," Ratten said on Wednesday, ahead of Saturday's MCG clash.

"He's playing really good football and the balance seems really good for them.

"So if you put too many eggs in the basket of stopping Jack, does Vickery get out and start to hit the scoreboard."

Ratten's assessment comes after Tigers coach Damien Hardwick defended Riewoldt against perceptions of a form drop-off in a message to Richmond members this week.

Hardwick said while Riewoldt was kicking fewer goals, that was to the benefit of Vickery and the team overall, and Riewoldt had vastly increased his rate of goal assists this season.

"People say his scoreboard impact has gone down, but from an overall point of view it's a lot better than this time last year," Hardwick said, although he noted Riewoldt needed to lift the defensive aspects of his game.

Vickery has booted 25 goals in a breakout season, while Riewoldt has 41, although he has tailed off in recent weeks.

Carlton fullback Michael Jamison, who would have been the club's main option for combating either Richmond tall target, is out with a knee injury.

Ratten said Jamison's leadership in defence would be missed as much as his ability to nullify a dangerous opponent.

"I'm really excited to see who does step up and who takes control of that back six now," the Blues coach said, nominating Jordan Russell, Bryce Gibbs and Bret Thornton as possibilities.

Significantly, Carlton will regain key forward Jarrad Waite from a hamstring injury and midfielder Mitch Robinson, out with soreness against West Coast last weekend.

Waite's return allows Carlton the option of using fellow tall Lachie Henderson in defence.

Ratten said Robinson's physical approach was sorely missed in the loss to the Eagles, which he labelled Carlton's worst performance this season.

"It was very unlike us, how we played and we got beaten in so many areas."

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