Below-par Richmond list under microscope


Richmond will spare no player from a gruelling list examination in the wake of their demoralising loss to North Melbourne.


The Tigers were ferocious first-half competitors, streaking to a 35-point lead over the fancied Kangaroos.

But after the main break, Richmond conceded eight goals in 16 mad third-quarter minutes.

It was a heart-breaking spell for fans, and is likely to have repercussions for Richmond’s playing list.

Both players and coach Damien Hardwick were despondent after the final siren.

“When the game was there to be won, they stood up, we didn’t,” Hardwick said.

Ruckman Ivan Maric spared a thought for Richmond fans who thought their side was finally recapturing their 2013 form.

“They’re fantastic supporters and they’ve been patient for a long time and the game’s unfair at times to the fans,” he said.

With just three wins at the half-way point of the season, Richmond’s football department is unlikely to be as patient.

The club’s football boss Dan Richardson foreshadowed a brutal review that could cull both young and old underperformers.

“We need to keep one eye on the future, no doubt, and find out about some of the players on our list,” he told SEN radio.

“Whether they’re young players or more experienced players (we need to) find out whether they want to be part of something successful at Richmond.

“We’ll find out a lot about the group in the coming months.

Richardson said the club may now bring forward plans to enter the free agency market, saying a gap in the club’s salary cap was there.

“We’ve got room to recruit and we’ll be active,” he said.

“Whether it’s this year or the end of next year, (which) was probably more the timing we were planning for.”

Richmond are one win above bottom side GWS Giants, and surely now without hope of making the finals.

Hardwick said that concern didn’t enter his mind.

“We’ve always said we’ll just play every week as it comes, we’re not even worried about (finals) at this stage,” he said.

“We’ve just got to get back to some footy like the first half … we play like that for four quarters, we’re going to beat a lot of sides.”

Chief among Hardwick’s immediate concerns would be the Tigers’ hunger for the ball after a “contested ball smashing”.

“The second-half was 48 to 74. You’re never going to win a game of footy if you get beat that comprehensively in contested ball,” he said.

Maric saw light at the end of the tunnel.

“I’ve been at a lower point than this,” he said.

“Because I’ve been there before, I know how to get out of it. The only way is to keep improving.”

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