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Composed Tiger unfazed by early blunder

Highlights: Adelaide v Richmond The Crows and Tigers clash in the 2017 Grand Final

NICK Vlastuin could be forgiven for thinking it wasn't going to be his day when he fumbled, slipped over and coughed up a goal to Eddie Betts in the opening minutes of the Grand Final.

Adelaide had burst out of the blocks, and when Betts swooped and thumped through the Crows' second major the Tigers were on the back foot against the rampant minor premiers.

But moving on from the past has been a theme at Richmond over the past 12 months, and Vlastuin never lost confidence, knowing that a bad moment doesn't have to lead to a poor performance. 

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"Close losses have really taught us something during the year, you just have to try and stick to your strengths," the Richmond defender said post-match.

"Don't think about the past moment, you've got to worry about the next moment.

"We've been practicing that all year.

"I just look at it as an unlucky bounce. Fumbles are always going to happen and it just happened that Betts was there to capitalise.

"It didn't faze me too much, we weren't 10 goals down or anything.

"It was just a little slip-up.

"Straight after I was pretty confident that I would be alright."

 

Vlastuin regained his composure quickly, offering plenty of drive from half-back (six rebound 50s) and taking six marks, and playing with a confidence in his ability instilled by coach Damien Hardwick.

Hardwick faced the sack last year after Richmond finished 13th, but he loosened up and placed trust in those around him this season, unshackling the Tigers to play with freedom and tenacity that carried them to a remarkable flag.  

"Dimma's been huge," Vlastuin said.

"We love him and we backed him all year last year. There was a lot of external pressure from media.

"We just love him as players, and he loves us, so I couldn't be happier for him.

"It's pretty good (to be a premiership player), pretty cool.

"It's an unreal feeling."

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