Damien Hardwick
Damien Hardwick

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick says his players will draw on last week's loss against Fremantle as they bid to overcome Essendon at the MCG on Friday night.

Hardwick said the Tigers did not play with the required level of intensity in their 22-point loss to the Dockers at Patersons Stadium.

"The scoreboard flattered us last week. We were disappointed with the way we carried out our instructions and the way we played the game," he said.

"We were disappointed with the intensity that we brought, granted the conditions were warm but we certainly should have played a hell of a lot better."

Friday night's blockbuster will showcase the fierce rivalry between the Bombers and Tigers, despite Essendon's fading finals hopes and Richmond coming off the back of a disappointing loss.

The clubs last met in round eight for Dreamtime at the G, when Essendon, then top of the ladder, prevailed by 19 points.

Hardwick said the playing group will not be distracted by the high-profile nature of the Friday night clash.

"It's a really good opportunity for our boys to bounce back and play a good brand of footy against a side that's still clinging to a final eight spot," he said.

"It's more about us this week. We've just got to get our game back on track and play a lot better than we did last week."

Richmond has not made the finals since 2001 and although challenging to make the eight for the first half of the season, they have since fallen to 12th on the ladder.

However, Hardwick said he is determined to ensure the club continues to make steady progress.

"We'll certainly train our guys a hell of a lot harder in the pre-season and improve certain facets of our game that we know need improving," he said.


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