Hardwick senses his Tigers set to revive
It does take a bit of lag to catch up ... We’re hoping it bounces back ...
Richmond coach Damien Hardwick has predicted a contestedball revival at Adelaide Oval tomorrow night, buoyed by superstar Dustin Martin’s availability and strong remedial work on the training track.
The Tigers’ pressure brand has taken a battering in the past fortnight, losing the contestedpossession count by a collective 55 against North Melbourne and Geelong.
Hardwick said he knew the reasons behind the drop-off and they weren’t only manpower issues.
He said a solution would be found in the coming weeks, starting against Adelaide.
“To be beaten in the contested manner again ... was disappointing and we are working on some things,” Hardwick said.
“We understand what the problem is, we’re just continuing to work through that part of our game to get a better result from that.
“That hopefully will take not as long as we’d think, if that makes sense. It does take a bit of lag to catch up.
“We’re understanding why the issues are occurring, we just need to continue working on a solution, which will take a little bit of time.
“We’re hoping it bounces back on Thursday night.”
Martin copped a knock against Geelong, but seemed to be ready to play, according to the Richmond coach.
“He’s fine,” Hardwick said of Martin. “Our indication is that he will play ... no problems.”
He backed defender Ryan Garthwaite ahead of a likely duel against Taylor Walker or Josh Jenkins, following Tom Hawkins’ domination of the young Tiger last week.
“Garthy is playing against some of the best forwards in the competition, and you don’t often get to do that at the age of 20 in a side like ours,” Hardwick said.
“We’re really confident he’s learning some things. He played better again ... and he’s certainly taken his game to a higher level every time he takes to the park.
“We look at it now in isolation, we sit there and go, ‘he’s probably getting beaten at stages’, but the reality is, it’s only going to help in the long term, and it’ll certainly help us in the long term as well.”
Nick Vlastuin (hip) and Brandon Ellis are likely to play, but Hardwick ruled a line through David Astbury (hamstring).