Roos climb to equal-second on AFL ladder - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Roos climb to equal-second on AFL ladder

By Roger Vaughan 08/07/2007 09:20:40 PM Comments (0)

Richmond's assistant coaches have apparently become the latest AFL pundits to be stunned by the Kangaroos.

The Kangaroos' 20-point win over the Tigers at Telstra Dome meant they are equal-second with three other teams after 14 rounds, sitting fifth on percentage after their 14.20 (104) to 11.13 (79) success at Telstra dome.

Kangaroos coach Dean Laidley made a point after the game of noting that the word during the week from Richmond's assistants, who include his former 'Roos team-mate David King, was that the Tigers thought they had an opponent ripe for an upset.

Richmond had shown considerable improvement over their last six matches, while the Kangaroos were coming off the emotion of Glenn Archer's 300th game.

"I was really pleased, I know the opposition assistant coaches were pretty confident during the week and thought perhaps we weren't going to be ready to go," Laidley said.

"That's what I'm pointing to, I suppose - we kept getting told that.

"We like to think we're a bit better than that."

Laidley spoke to his players twice last week about the need to be mentally strong.

He also made the team take note of Saturday night's shock Brisbane win over West Coast in Perth.

"History is a great teacher and I suppose it happened last night with the West Coast and Brisbane game," Laidley said.

"I just pointed that out to the boys, that perhaps West Coast weren't in the moment, they were elsewhere.

"We needed to make sure today we were in the moment and I thought we were there."

The need to be "in the moment" means Laidley will not entertain any notion of top four or even a finals berth.

For him, all that matters is next Sunday's away game against Fremantle.

Kangaroos onballer Brent Harvey continued his outstanding season by being best afield against the Tigers, picking up 32 possessions.

"He's probably taken his game to another level because ... more than ever, he's always done it, but he's winning his own football," Laidley said.

"The pressure and his workrate off the ball (have) gone to the next level and that's made him the better player, I suppose.

"He's probably getting the same kicks, marks, handballs that he was previously, I suppose, but certainly in my eyes, that's where his biggest improvement has come from."

Drew Petrie followed up last week's surprise seven-goal haul with another six majors.

But Laidley reserved his strongest praise for the backmen, after Daniel Pratt blanketed Nathan Brown and Michael Firrito worked hard on Matthew Richardson, who was Richmond's best.

Compounding a poor night for the Tigers, young star Brett Deledio will miss at least a month with a broken hand.

He suffered the injury when Shannon Grant went to soccer the ball in the third term.

"We were really disappointed tonight, we thought over the past month we'd made some real ground, played some quite competitive, quite good football," said Tigers coach Terry Wallace.

"We didn't see that we continued that on in the same vein this evening, in the end probably the scoreboard flattered us a little."

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