Richmond defender Dylan Grimes says his team will happily accept the tag of AFL bully boys, having beaten unsociable Hawthorn at their own game.
Captain Trent Cotchin set the tone for a physical encounter against the Hawks before the opening bounce on Friday night and his teammates responded, beating the red-hot flag favourites by 18 points.
Grimes said the Tigers wanted to be known as a team that was “uncomfortable” to play against.
He said that was how coach Damien Hardwick played his football during his AFL career with Essendon and Port Adelaide – and how he wanted his team to play.
“It’s been a part of our culture for a while now and I really like the fact that it’s uncomfortable playing against the Tigers,” Grimes said.
“I like being known as that type of playing group and I know Dimma (Hardwick) loves it as well; it’s something he prides himself on.”
Grimes said watching Cotchin initiate some argy-bargy with Hawks stars Luke Hodge and Sam Mitchell revved up his team.
“We love seeing our captain going up to their skipper before the game and showing everyone in the footy world that it’s going to be an arm-wrestle for the next two hours,” he said.
Richmond have now taken the scalps of Hawthorn and Sydney and split results with runaway ladder leaders Fremantle this year.
But Grimes, 24, was quick to point out they have also lost games they should have won, most notably in round for against Melbourne.
“It’s great to beat some really good teams but we’ve shown in the past if we’re not on 100 per cent any side can beat any other so it’s critical we bring our best game like we did on the weekend,” he said.
“The top 10 spots are really up for grabs.”
Grimes said the most pleasing aspect of the 18-point win over the Hawks was that they delivered a four-quarter performance, which had been missing for the past month of football.
He said the performance had boosted their confidence but they needed to back it up against the Crows in Adelaide on Friday night.
“To do it against quality opposition always instils a lot of confidence in the playing group and we’ve got a big challenge this weekend,” Grimes said.
“Hopefully that confidence, we can take it into the game and play really well again.”