No AFL bye cobwebs for Tigers: Hardwick

The AFL bye might have come at the wrong time for Richmond, but coach Damien Hardwick is demanding his players pick up where they left off.

The Tigers won four of five games heading into their bye and looked to be gathering some momentum after a six-game losing streak.

Hardwick’s men emerge from their break with a must-win encounter against Brisbane at the MCG on Saturday and the coach is demanding there be no drop off in intensity and focus from his charges.

“We took some pretty good form into the break so we’d love to keep going,” Hardwick said on Friday.

“We had a disappointing performance versus North Melbourne so we’re looking to rectify those sort of results but our consistency level has been pretty good over the last four to five weeks.

“So we’ve got to make sure that we maintain that consistency and get some performances on the board.

“We’ve put it firmly on our playing group to make sure that they start well and get the result we’re after.”

The Tigers brought in Nick Vlastuin and Connor Menadue for the clash, while exciting youngster Daniel Rioli will miss the as he attends a family funeral.

Dustin Martin was in superb form before the break and his battle against Lions tagger Mitch Robinson looms as a key factor.

“It’s going to a challenge for Dustin but he’s risen to the challenge before,” Hardwick said.

“We’ve put it firmly on him to make sure he beats Mitch Robinson. He had a fantastic game versus (Matthew) Priddis last week and he’ll probably get three Brownlow votes accordingly.”

Richmond disappointed on their way to 13th spot with a 5-7 record before the bye, but 17th-placed Brisbane have fared even worse with just win for the season.

The Lions made five changes to their side with Josh Green and Harris Andrews notable inclusions and Dayne Zorko a big out as he takes leave to attend to a family matter.

The Tigers will go ahead with the boycott of Triple M on Saturday in response to the Eddie McGuire-Caroline Wilson furore.

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