Tiger rucks to turn taggers against Eagles - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tiger rucks to turn taggers against Eagles

Sam Lienert 04/08/2011 08:02:45 PM Comments (0)

Richmond's ruckmen will become taggers at Patersons Stadium on Sunday as the Tigers try to nullify talented West Coast pair Dean Cox and Nic Naitanui.

The super-athletic Naitanui is expected to return after soreness kept him out of last weekend's AFL win over the Western Bulldogs, a match in which Cox was best afield.

Tigers coach Damien Hardwick said the main job for his own side's ruck brigade would be to stop the Eagles' pair wreaking too much damage.

"Most clubs these days it's not often you tag a ruckman, but you're generally trying to tag two against those blokes, they're so impressive," Hardwick told reporters on Thursday.

"They're just impressive athletes. Naitanui, every time he's around the ball, offensively he's OK, but defensively he's outstanding and it's something our players can learn from."

Hardwick said Richmond's Angus Graham had shown in the past he was capable of nullifying Cox.

"It's a great opportunity.

"Angus has played really well against Cox, I think about two years ago from memory. We throw the challenge open to him again and hopefully he can get the job done."

While the Tigers are in a late-season slump and the in-form Eagles are closing on a top-four berth, Hardwick believes his side can pull off an upset.

He said while Richmond would use their remaining five games to give players opportunities, with an eye to next season, it was important for their confidence that they also posted some victories, having not won for seven weeks.

Hardwick said coming off the bye would help, as it had given them an opportunity to correct some recent deficiencies.

"We went back to school a bit over the course of the break and worked on a number of areas that we'd fallen away in," he said.

"Like most sides at this time of the year, the training schedule for players is dramatically hindered by their bodies.

"But the great thing about the bye is it gives you a chance to reboot a little bit and get two or three sessions that you wouldn't normally have."

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