Richmond coach Damien Hardwick has bemoaned his side’s lack of killer instinct after the Tigers let an opportunity to boost their AFL percentage slip against Brisbane.
After leading by 56 points at three-quarter time, Richmond settled for a 42-point win – 17.15 (117) to 11.9 (75) – at the MCG on Saturday.
A frustrated Hardwick said he coached the final term from the boundary rather than risk smashing a phone in the coach’s box as the lacklustre contest petered out.
“Instead of the killer instinct that we’re looking for we probably got complacent … I’m after a clinical performance,” Hardwick said.
“That’s probably the difference between us and the upper-echelon sides.
“So we’re a little bit off at the moment.
“It’s not as if they’re deliberately not trying … the game was done and dusted but we’re looking to put our foot on their throats, so to speak. But credit where credit’s due, (Brisbane) fought back pretty well.”
The victory, Richmond’s fifth from their past six games, leaves the door ever-so-slightly ajar for an unlikely finals push.
But the Tigers’ poor finish to the match – they were outscored five goals to three by a team that has now lost 10 on the trot – did little to suggest they’re capable of such heroics.
Richmond and the Lions were 13th and 17th, respectively, going into the clash and those lowly ladder positions were reflected by a game that never reached any great heights.
In-form Brisbane tagger Mitch Robinson went to Martin as expected but the duel didn’t last long, with Robinson leaving the game with a concussion early in the second quarter.
Martin’s class shone through with his 35-possession effort a key factor in the win, with Brandon Ellis, Shaun Grigg and Nick Vlastuin also influential.
Jack Riewoldt was the most dangerous forward on the ground, finishing with four goals.
Tom Rockliff and Daniel Rich were prominent for the visitors, while young forward Eric Hipwood kicked three goals.
“The positive is the last quarter when we started to take the game on and play some bold footy,” Lions coach Justin Leppitsch said.
“But it was too little too late, obviously.
“I thought the never-give-up attitude was the pleasing part but we made some mistakes early and handed them goals.”
Richmond ruckman Shaun Hampson limped from the ground in the dying stages of the match with an ankle injury. It will require scans but isn’t expected to be serious.
The Lions have a bye round to lick their wounds, while Richmond will take on Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval on Friday night.
The Tigers made two late changes – Jake Batchelor (hamstring) and Ben Griffiths (illness) were replaced by Jacob Townsend and Nathan Broad, who made his AFL debut.