The Courier-Mail

Rioli plays his role perfectly

- CHRIS CAVANAGH

RICHMOND coach Damien Hardwick has leapt to the defence of small forward Daniel Rioli, declaring he should be judged on his “specific role” rather than “SuperCoach points”.

Rioli (pictured) is poised to earn a recall for Thursday night’s crunch clash with St Kilda, after being dropped to the VFL last week following an up-and-down start to the season.

The threetime premiershi­p player had 17 disposals, five clearances and six tackles for the reserves in a scratch match against Werribee, Hardwick saying he played “very well”.

Rioli, who turns 24 on Friday, had kicked two goals from only nine touches against Sydney in Round 3, before being dropped for the third time since the start of last season.

He averaged just 49 KFC SuperCoach ranking points from his first three games this year, down on an average of 66 from 18 matches last season.

“Daniel plays a really specific role that doesn’t require him to get 15 kicks, three goals,” Hardwick said.

Rioli looks set to join Kamdyn McIntosh on the Tigers’ list of ins this week for the clash with the Saints.

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