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Tigers 'to soar like Eagles' against Blues

Sam Lienert 30/06/2011 05:27:00 PM Comments (0)

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick believes West Coast have provided some good pointers on how to beat Carlton, but the question is whether the Tigers can emulate them.

The Blues, who meet Richmond at the MCG on Saturday, had their worst loss of the AFL season - by 36 points - to the Eagles on Sunday.

Hardwick said the defensive pressure the Eagles applied to restrict Carlton's ball movement and the dominance of their tall players were notable features.

"There's certainly some things we learnt from that game and we'll take into this game as well," Hardwick said.

The Tigers' coach said the big influence of West Coast ruckmen Dean Cox and Nic Naitanui is something Richmond cannot hope to copy, with Richmond counterpart Andrew Browne more an honest battler than AFL star.

But Hardwick is hoping Richmond's tall forwards can have a similar impact to their Eagles' equivalents, particularly with Carlton's best tall defender, Michael Jamison, missing through injury.

"He's a huge loss for Carlton. He's an outstanding player and he didn't play against us (when the sides last met) in round one," Hardwick said.

Richmond seem set to go with a three-pronged tall attack, with Ben Griffiths included for his first game of 2011 alongside Jack Riewoldt and Tyrone Vickery.

Restricting Blues' skipper Chris Judd to a second straight quiet game, after West Coast's Scott Selwood blanketed him last weekend, will also be a challenge.

Hardwick said the Tigers' match committee are weighing up how much defensive attention to apply to Judd and fellow midfield star Marc Murphy, as opposed to backing their own exciting, but less-experienced midfield to go on the attack.

"Do you try to lock them down or do you try to go head-to-head with them with our midfield?" he said.

"It's an interesting challenge and one which will give us a few headaches."

The Blues have won the past six clashes between the two clubs, although Richmond led at the last change in round one and Hardwick believes his developing side is steadily making ground.

He said there are some key areas they have to improve on from last round's loss to Melbourne, most notably their disposal coming out of defence, as the Demons scored heavily from turnovers.

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