Match-winning hero Sam Lloyd admits Richmond would have been shattered if their AFL losing streak had extended to seven.
Lloyd’s goal after the final siren at the MCG on Saturday night gave the Tigers a one-point win over Sydney, sparking scenes of pandemonium on the field and in the crowd.
“We’ve really worked hard and we would have been so disappointed,” he said.
“We won in all areas of the game and if we had lost that one, it would have been shattering.
“Now, with the win, it just gives us more confidence and hopefully we can get the ball rolling and keep it going.”
Coach Damien Hardwick agreed that the win was a great reward, but added that it was up to the players to build on their improved form.
“They can … be happy with it and not perform next week,” he said.
“But the expectation for us is we’ve probably started to gain a little bit of momentum.
“We have a long way to go.”
Hardwick had the same sentiment about key forward Ben Griffiths, who starred with five goals – three of them in the last quarter.
“He’s been up and down,” the Tigers coach said.
“The kid has ability, there’s no doubt about that, he can do some things that not many other players can.
“It’s the consistency level we’re looking for. It’s what he does with this game that’s really important.
“He can rest on his laurels, and that can be the best game he can ever plays, or he continue to work hard and be the player we all think he can (become).”
Anthony Miles and Brett Deledio were also outstanding, while ruckman Shaun Hampson worked tirelessly.
Key defender Alex Rance was mighty, despite conceding five goals to Swans star Lance Franklin, and newcomer Daniel Rioli kicked two crucial goals in the last quarter.
Hardwick noted that Richmond nearly shot themselves in the foot with goalkicking.
They kicked 8.11 from set shots, with Lloyd among the offenders, while Sydney kicked 10.3.
“He’s a good shot for goal, Lloydy, although the one he missed earlier from 15m out … probably put a line through that one,” Hardwick said.
“We were probably pretty confident – we practise those a fair bit.
“We were fortunate in the end to get the result we did, through our own misfortune with our inaccurate kicking.”