Richmond turned a corner on Friday night, only to find themselves hitting another brick wall.
Coach Damien Hardwick admitted feeling torn between the good and the bad after Hawthorn won their AFL match by 46 points.
It leaves the Tigers mired in a six-game losing streak.
Richmond played some of their best football this season in the first three quarters and led the defending premiers by 12 points midway through the third term.
But the Hawks steadily took control and then blitzed Richmond in the last quarter.
Hawthorn kicked 12 of the game’s last 15 goals.
“Don’t get me wrong, we’re incredibly disappointed to lose games,” Hardwick said.
“But three quarters of the game, (we) were pretty good in the contest.
“So it’s easy to just look at the last quarter and feel down, but the reality is we played pretty reasonable football for three quarters.
“There were certainly some positives to come out of the game.”
There are also positives heading into next Saturday night’s match against Sydney at the MCG, despite the Swans already looking strong favourites.
Hardwick said captain Trent Cotchin would play after missing one game with a fractured cheekbone.
Alex Rance will return from suspension and Dylan Grimes will return from a hamstring problem.
As much as Hawthorn were undermanned – Sam Mitchell was a late withdrawal with a calf muscle problem – so were the Tigers without Cotchin and Rance.
But Hardwick admitted the match became an opportunity lost.
Their No.1 ruckman Ivan Maric was a notable omission from Friday’s game and Hardwick said he simply needed to regain form in the VFL.
“He’s an outstanding leader of our footy club – a spiritual leader,” Hardwick said.
“He just isn’t playing as good … as we’d like.
“It’s just a bit of a circuit breaker to go back and get some form.”