Tigers torch Swans in form reversal - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tigers torch Swans in form reversal

By Guy Hand 14/08/2011 06:26:02 PM Comments (0)

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick, relishing a spirit-lifting AFL win over Sydney, sees similarities between his side and Hawthorn as they built towards the 2008 premiership.

The Tigers snapped a six-match losing streak in style, stunning the Swans by 43 points at the MCG on Sunday.

Inspired by superb performances from Trent Cotchin and Brett Deledio, the Tigers sent the Swans plummeting towards the top eight trapdoor with the 14.15 (99) to 7.14 (56) win.

While the Tigers won't play finals this season, Hardwick was thrilled with the massive form reversal after a poor mid-season patch.

They had lost to competition whipping boys Port Adelaide, Gold Coast and Melbourne as well as copping 10-goal plus defeats from Carlton and Geelong.

Hardwick, a former assistant coach at Hawthorn, said inconsistency was part and parcel of young teams learning.

Ironing that out was the key to the Tigers eventually having success like the Hawks did two seasons after being roundly smacked.

"I've been through it before with the Hawthorn experiment, and Hawthorn in 2006 went through a similar season to what we've had thus far," Hardwick said.

"Through the middle part of the year they had a really down patch but that happens with young groups as a whole.

"The overriding factor is the playing group has never dropped in its enthusiasm, its intensity at training.

"You're just glad you get some reward for effort."

The victory gave the Tigers their sixth win for the season - equalling their 2010 effort with three matches remaining to better it.

Cotchin, the silky Deledio and running defender Bachar Houli did most of the damage for Richmond as they left the Swans in serious danger of missing the finals and taught them a lesson in intensity and effort.

The Tigers trailed early, before the tireless Cotchin won a host of ball to drag them back into a scrappy contest in the second term.

With Houli streaming off half-back and the Swans making uncharacteristic errors as their best players were kept quiet, the Tigers took an 11-point lead to halftime.

Sydney threatened to overrun Richmond in the third term, booting two successive early goals - the latter after Tiger Nathan Foley conceded a 50-metre penalty - to trail by just four points.

But goals to Deledio, who had nine touches for the quarter, and Robin Nahas' third late in the term helped the Tigers to a 19-point lead at the final break as the Swans fell away badly.

Richmond then lifted their rating again with three successive goals to open the quarter - fittingly one to Cotchin to seal victory.

The Swans now slip to eighth place - just half a win above ninth-placed Fremantle with three home-and-away matches remaining.

Swans coach John Longmire was seething afterwards and at a loss to explain his side's dismal effort.

"You'd probably go a long way to see us put in a poorer performance at a crucial time than what we did today," he said.

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