Richmond coach Damien Hardwick won’t clutch at straws – or head-to-head records – as his AFL side prepare to face Greater Western Sydney.
The Tigers, playing only for pride in the final five rounds of the season, face second-placed GWS in Canberra on Saturday.
Richmond have won all five of their previous clashes with GWS.
But Hardwick knows the expansion side are a different prospect this season, having won five of their past six matches to all but secure a maiden finals berth.
“We’ve had a good record against them previously but that’s got no bearing on this game’s result,” Hardwick said.
“It’s not something we worry too much about. We did our oppo presentation to the players today (Thursday), they’re an incredible side.
“They are a side that has matured. They’ve come together over 2-3 years and started to formulate a game plan that can be really strong. We look forward to the challenge.”
Hardwick was wary of the Giants’ run but was just as impressed with their contested-ball work in recent weeks.
“Their stoppage numbers are very, very good,” he said.
“We’ll put a lot of work into that area.”
Richmond are coming off a 70-point loss to Hawthorn, with Hardwick lamenting their “shameful” lack of pressure after a final-quarter fadeout at the MCG.
Hardwick insisted his side had plenty to play for this year despite being out of finals contention.
“We’re going to try a few different things with regards to how we play, how we defend and set up around the ball,” he said.
“That’s all part and parcel of building in a springboard to 2017. It keeps us invigorated as a coaching group and playing group.
“There’s certainly some upside for us from that point of view.”
RICHMOND’S RECORD AGAINST GWS
R14, 2015: 9 point win at MCG
R19, 2014: 27 point win at MCG
R10, 2014: 113 point win at Showgrounds
R22, 2013: 121 point win at Showgrounds
R12, 2012: 12 point win at Showgrounds.