More misery for Tigers in loss to Port

Port Adelaide have heaped further pressure on Richmond coach Damien Hardwick, thumping the Tigers by 35 points at the MCG.

The heat was already on Hardwick after an underwhelming start to the AFL season and it proceeded to get hotter as Port triumphed 13.16 (94) to 8.11 (59) on Saturday night.

The upset loss leaves the Tigers, who next face reigning premiers Hawthorn, with one win from the opening six rounds.

Not since 2010, Hardwick’s first season in charge, have Richmond started a season so poorly.

Hardwick temporarily coached from the boundary line after halftime, when Port enjoyed an 18-point lead, but couldn’t spark his charges.

A magnificent goal from Richmond’s returning vice-captain Brett Deledio reduced the margin to 14 points early in the third term.

It was as close as the hosts came to hitting the front after the major break.

An opening-quarter injury to Kane Lambert, who was taken to hospital after reporting breathing difficulties, left the Tigers one short on the bench.

It was a mitigating factor of sorts but couldn’t explain the way Port recovered from a poor start to take control of the contest.

The Power didn’t register a goal until the 17th minute of the game but proceeded to score with relative ease.

Richmond’s defence was rudderless without suspended fullback Alex Rance, while they struggled to hit targets all over the field.

Port had been widely tipped to lose given the enforced omission of stars Robbie Gray, Jackson Trengove and Chad Wingard.

“You could not have got Port Adelaide at a better time .. they just look listless here,” Essendon icon Matthew Lloyd said of the Tigers while commentating for 3AW.

“He (Hardwick) will come under some pressure afer this performance.”

It was a scrappy affair between two sides desperate to regain confidence, having recorded one victory from their combined past eight games.

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