Richmond coach Damien Hardwick says discipline lapses and a dearth of quality tall forwards cost the Tigers dearly in Sunday’s four-point AFL loss to North Melbourne.
Richmond fought desperately until the end, kicking the game’s final two goals and then a behind to almost snatch victory after being 17 points down deep in the final quarter.
Hardwick conceded earlier lack of polish and gift goals to the opposition really hurt.
In the second quarter, defender Kelvin Moore set up North star Brent Harvey for an easy goal by giving away a 50m penalty when he grabbed the Kangaroo after a mark.
Midfield star Brett Deledio doubled the damage when he followed that by giving North’s Drew Petrie his first major in a seven-goal haul.
Deledio gave Petrie both a free kick and a 50m penalty for umpire abuse while fellow midfielder Shane Tuck coughed up a goal when he was caught holding the ball after grabbing it out of the ruck.
Hardwick said those three avoidable errors were enormously frustrating: “At the end of the day, three free kick goals, what did we lose the game by? Four points, disappointing.”
Two-time best and fairest Deledio blotting his otherwise excellent game by arguing over umpiring decisions was particularly galling.
“Unfortunately it’s cost us, not only his undisciplined act but a couple of others, it cost us the game, no doubt,” Hardwick said.
The Tigers also hurt their chances with a string of missed shots for goal in the second term.
Petrie made Richmond pay, kicking five goals straight in the last quarter, after Alex Rance had been well on top of him until then.
The Tigers lacked a similar dominant target, with Ty Vickery’s injury absence for the season hitting hard and Jack Riewoldt mostly well held by Scott Thompson.
“Rance I thought did a terrific job in the first three quarters, but (Petrie’s) just so big, he’s a big target,” Hardwick said.
“That’s probably what we’re lacking at the moment, our big target’s out injured.”