Richmond coach Damien Hardwick said his side looked disorganised as they were “smacked around”, “manhandled” and “taught a lesson” by North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium on Friday night.
While Hardwick denied the Tigers were complacent against their less-fancied opponents, the most disappointing aspect of the upset 39-point result for him was that Richmond comprehensively lost the contested possession and tackle counts by 22 and 17 respectively.
“I thought North were outstanding,” Hardwick said after his teams three-game winning run came to an end.
“Their ability to break tackles and clear the ball was very good.
“I think what were finding in the competition at the moment is its very hard to win consecutive games.
“There hasnt been a great sequence of long-streak winning games so the competition is incredibly even, you can be off by 10 per cent and you can get smacked around like we did tonight.
“Tonight was well below our best but thats probably taking a little bit away from North, I thought they were outstanding around the contest and taught us a lesson.
“We got smashed in and around the contest … you can have the best plans in place to play but if youre belted up around the contest, youre always going to look disorganised [in defence].”
Hardwick noticed a drastic change in the way North Melbourne played on Friday night in caretaker coach Rhyce Shaws first game in charge compared to the way they had played for most of the season.
“The last two weeks theyve gone more long down the line which is probably traditionally what theyve done previously, so structurally Im not sure whether looking forward thats how theyll play more so,” he said.
“Prior to tonight theyve been [in the] AFL [number] one from the back-half transition but the game tonight looked a different way. I thought they defended the front half of the ground a lot better, I think they transitioned from the back half atRead More – Source