Damien Hardwick
Damien Hardwick

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick described the Tigers' 10-point loss to reigning premiers Geelong as an opportunity missed rather than an honourable loss.

The Tigers trailed narrowly for most of the match at Simonds Stadium before drawing level with the reigning premiers going into the final 11 minutes.

Kicking with a strong wind they were unable to pinch the lead against a sturdy Cats defence in a frantic final stanza.

"(We) didn't quite take our chances when they presented," Hardwick said at his post-match press conference.

"We had a couple of opportunities where we were out and (then) butchered the ball a little bit."

An example was Reece Conca's smothered kick on the wing during the final term.

A handball to a nearby team-mate was the better option and would have sent the Tigers forward with spare numbers.

"Good sides make you pay. It's disappointing for our playing group. They worked their backsides and just did not quite get the reward we were after," Hardwick said.

The Tigers will also regret a wasteful second term, when they failed to capitalise on their superiority in the midfield.

That quarter, Geelong booted three goals against the run of play while Richmond scored five straight behinds.

Hardwick defended the below-par performance of Jack Riewoldt, who has managed just six goals from four rounds, by pointing out Geelong's forwards also struggled to have an impact in the blustery conditions.

Tyrone Vickey and Brad Miller also had quiet day in the Tigers' attack.

"I thought the backs of both sides were dominant but were always going to be in the conditions that presented today," he said.

Hardwick said gallant performances were no longer acceptable for his up-and-coming side unless they were converted into victories.

"We feel we've let some games slip that we should have won," he said.

"It is a steep learning curve this game, there is no doubt about it. We think we are a better side than what our record presents, but we have got to win ball games.

"There is no doubt we have improved as a side but the next step for us is to be able to transfer that performance into a win."

Richmond host undefeated West Coast at Etihad Stadium next Sunday.


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