Richmond under fire over 'terrible' detail in AFL loss to Collingwood

The Tigers have copped it from a number of AFL greats after their loss to the Magpies.

Richmond players, pictured here walking off the field after their loss to Collingwood.
Richmond players walk off the field after their loss to Collingwood. Image: Getty

Richmond have been taken to task by a number of AFL greats and commentators after their 14-point loss to Collingwood on Friday night. In wet conditions at the MCG, the Magpies claimed a 8.15 (63) to 7.7 (49) victory in front of 85,241 fans and spoiled Damien Hardwick's 300th game in charge of the Tigers.

Richmond were held to just nine points in the opening two quarters - their lowest half-time score since recording eight points against GWS in round 19, 2016. Without injured trio Dustin Martin, Jayden Short and Jacob Hopper, and suspended defender Nathan Broad, the Tigers lacked their normal punch through the middle.

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"We fumbled and bumbled in and around the contest and I thought they were just cleaner," Hardwick said after the loss. "To their credit they had some great tackles, some great forward pressure.

"We knew that was coming - we just didn't handle it that well ... Collingwood to their credit played a lot better than we did tonight."

According to Fox Footy commentator Cameron Mooney, Richmond were lucky not to lose by more will struggle against the competition heavyweights this year. “23 shots to 14 … I think they got away with one not being absolutely smashed,” he said.

“I think when they are playing the absolutely best teams in the competition, that’s what you are going to see. I don’t think they’re going to match it with those top teams. I still think they’ll play finals but be in the bottom half of the top eight.

“They weren’t missing anything else other than Dusty – Dusty’s your main man. I think your Hopper and (Tim) Tarantos weren’t about this year.

“I just look at Richmond and think everyone thought this was going to be a premiership team or premiership chance and I just didn’t see it. I just think tonight showed me against the top teams, I don’t think they’re going to compete.”

Nick Dal Sato was critical of Richmond's turnovers in the defensive end, saying: “They turned the ball over 28 times in defensive half. They weren’t clean enough. Some of them are just blatant clangers – they probably didn’t get punished as they normally would.”

Brad Johnson added: “They were terrible by foot. Their exit from D50 was no good at all."

Collingwood players, pictured here celebrating after their win over Richmond.
Collingwood players celebrate after their win over Richmond. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

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Altogether the Tigers had 81 turnovers and took just nine marks inside 50. Garry Lyon said the current team look "unrecognisable" to the one that won three flags in four years.

“It could have been a lot worse,” Lyon said of the 14-point margin. “I don’t think they are the Richmond of (the past), they’re not going to maintain the standard of when they won three premierships in four (years). Some of their guns, their most influential players are getting older and that’s just life.

"It’s going to happen to Jack (Riewoldt), it’s happening to Trent (Cotchin), Dylan Grimes. They’re not the players they once were.”

In some good news for the under-fire Tigers, Hardwick said they are set to welcome back Martin, Hopper and Short for next week's clash with the Western Bulldogs. Key defender Robbie Tarrant will also return to action in the VFL on Saturday.

Tarrant dealt with a hip issue through pre-season and is yet to play this season. "He'll play a half tomorrow, which will be good," Hardwick said. "He's had a bit of an indifferent pre-season but he's an experienced campaigner."

with AAP

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