As it happened
Richmond coach Damien Hardwick was a picture of relief after last night’s win against the Brisbane Lions, after his team kicked 11 of the last 14 goals to end the match.
The Tigers had briefly given up the lead in the third quarter before responding, with Hardwick admitting “we couldn’t quite get the game out of our back half for a while”.
In the end, though, the Tigers took the points. “Any win away’s a crucial win; the competition’s so even at the moment, you’ve just got to make sure when you do get the opportunity to bank those points, you do,” Hardwick said.
“It wasn’t pretty. We probably freed it up a little bit late, when they probably got a little bit tired, their young blokes, which made it a little bit easier to score.
“You’ve got to give credit to Brisbane, obviously – they were playing for a legend [Jonathan Brown, in his 250th match], not only of their club, but a legend of the game. They were always going to come back and come back hard.”
Hardwick praised his senior players for leading the charge, particularly Trent Cotchin, who was best on ground after being held to just 14 possessions by Collingwood’s Brent Macaffer last week, and Jack Riewoldt, who kicked four goals.
Brisbane Lions coach Justin Leppitsch said he was realistic about his team’s position after a challenging start to the season.
“We’ve had some injuries, had a tough fixture, we’ve got all those excuses to lean on, but realistically you still wouldn’t mind, even given all that, to fight it out and get a win,” he said.
“We weren’t able to do that tonight. Maybe we can start next week, over in New Zealand, and have our first win not even in the country. It will happen, but we’ve been hit by a few things in the last few weeks … Things we can control, things we can’t control. It’s common and it turns around.”
Leppitsch said senior midfielder Brent Moloney, who started as the substitute, had simply been rested after the Lions’ short five-day break, with Ryan Lester taking his place after being omitted the previous week.