Main content

Tigers won't ride 'emotional rollercoasters' despite win over Collingwood, says Hardwick

Hardwick praises a 'great captain's game' Trent Cotchin has improved enormously as a leader according to Damien Hardwick
Trent Cotchin was inspirational against Collingwood, pleasing coach Damien Hardwick - ${keywords}
Trent Cotchin was inspirational against Collingwood, pleasing coach Damien Hardwick
RICHMOND coach Damien Hardwick has praised his club's resilience and determination to stay the course after a memorable win that will ease pressure at Punt Road Oval.
 
With their season moving into dangerous territory at 2-4, the Tigers responded with one of their best wins under Hardwick, beating Collingwood by five points in a thriller at the MCG.


Pre-game, Hardwick received the backing of president Peggy O'Neal, who said the club did not make "reactive decisions based on the latest view in the media or in the vocal minority".
 
The coach, who is contracted to the end of 2016, said the support of O'Neal and the club's entire leadership structure had been "really important" for him this season.  
 
"That's why she's our president … she doesn't say a lot, but she says incredibly smart things," he said.
 
"People always say they have the support of the board, but [that's] the great thing about our organisation now.
 
"Our club speaks about not riding emotional rollercoasters, from a president, to a CEO, to a senior coach, to our leadership group.
 
"The maturity of our organisation now has moved on."


Hardwick praised an "unbelievable" performance from captain Trent Cotchin on Sunday and said it was the team's leaders who stood up and changed the game when Collingwood built momentum in the third quarter.
 
 
He also explained his surprise early coaching moves that had second-game defender Todd Elton manning Collingwood star Travis Cloke, and key defender Alex Rance playing in the midfield.
 
Rance would finish the match on Cloke, but Hardwick said he had been keen to look at his All Australian backman in a new role.
 
"My wife all week was bugging me about it, saying ‘what are you doing’ (but) it's something we thought we'd trial and see how it went," he said.  
 
"We feel at stages we've needed that big-bodied midfielder through there and Alex does present that.
 
"(But) fair to say it's probably not an experiment we'll be replicating next week."
 
With his team falling victim to concentration lapses and skill errors this season, Hardwick said he was pleased his players didn't drop their heads when they let a 24-point lead slip in the third quarter. 
 
He praised his youngsters, including midfielder Corey Ellis, substitute Connor Menadue and debutant Liam McBean, who finished with seven possessions and two marks but attacked the contest.
 
"Liam presented really well, he probably didn't get used a couple of times when he was open (but) he makes his way to smart places on the ground," Hardwick said.
 
"We're really pleased with the growth in those players.
 
"They probably played a little earlier than we would have liked, considering we have some injuries, but it's great for those players to experience an injury like that."
 
Hardwick said Ty Vickery, who took his chance with three important goals and five inside 50s, had shown his value to the team if he can perform at a consistent level.
 
"I was really happy for him," the coach said.
 
"I have no doubt he'll build on that game and show us the player we think he can be.

"It's going to be hopefully the start of something, if he continues to work hard."