Star Richmond forward Jack Riewoldt denies they have a problem in close AFL matches and says it is time to move on from the one-point loss to Collingwood.
Riewoldt has also made a fierce defence of captain Trent Cotchin, pointing out the onballer is only one of the team’s leaders.
The Tigers blew a 17-point lead late in Friday night’s match, inevitably leading to renewed questions about their composure in tight finishes.
They notably also lost to Fremantle last season by five points when they should have iced the match.
But Riewoldt said on Tuesday that they had improved greatly since Gold Coast memorably beat them four years ago with a Karmichael Hunt goal after the siren in Cairns.
“You say ‘repeat offenders’, but if you went over the wins and losses in close games over the last two years … we’ve won a lot,” Riewoldt said on Fox Footy’s AFL360.
“We’ve won more close games – considerably more – than we’ve lost.
“It just stands out because we’re Richmond – people have a perception about us … in my opinion, it’s wrong.
“We have a very, very strong perception of ourselves inside the football club. We have a really supreme confidence about our football club.”
Riewoldt put Friday’s loss down to four crucial errors in the last four minutes.
“Usually in games like that, you can get away with a couple of them, maybe one costing you goals,” he said.
“But it was just … the footy gods aligned and all three or four of them cost three or four goals – and quick-succession goals as well.”
For all the angst, Riewoldt said there was no point sulking.
“It just ruins your mindset for the week coming up against Adelaide,” he said.
“So we’ve addressed it, we’ve spoken about it, we learned from it and we move on.”
Riewoldt also bristled when Cotchin’s captaincy was raised.
He said other senior players, including himself, had to share responsibility for setbacks such as last Friday night.
“I’m sick and tired of hearing about Trent’s leadership,” he said.
“I think he played well on the weekend.
“Unfairly, in my opinion, it’s all lumped onto Trent.
“Trent is the captain, but there is a leadership group.”