Darcy Byrne-Jones and Ben Miller during the round two match between Richmond and Port Adelaide at the MCG, March 24, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

THE NUMBERS are matching the eye test. Richmond, famed for its high-pressure game style across its premiership dynasty, is in recession.

Sunday's loss to Port Adelaide saw Richmond register its lowest pressure rating in nine years. Champion Data ranked its pressure at 150 – making it as poor as the Tigers have been in the statistic since 2015, when they registered a rating of 149 in round 20 of that year.

Worryingly for new coach Adem Yze, it is a number in decline already for the Tigers, who had a -4 differential in pressure rating against Gold Coast in the AFL's Opening Round, then a -22 differential against Carlton in round one and a -32 rating against the Power at the MCG.

Even despite an encouraging second term against the premiership hopefuls, where Richmond kicked four goals to two to take an 11-point lead into half-time, the Tigers' weren't able to sustain the heat on Port, who ran out winners by five goals.

It sees the Tigers with the worst pressure differential ranking of any team this season – an average of -20 – and has them ranked 17th in the AFL so far for their pressure rating (average of 165).

Pressure was a key stake in the Tigers' triple flag era. They ranked in the top-five for pressure between 2017-2020 when they secured the 2017, 2019-20 premierships, with their pressure at its highest in the truncated 2020 campaign when they were the second-best in the AFL.

But the drop-off has been dramatic in recent seasons. In 2021, when Richmond missed the finals, its pressure ranked in a similar range at 10th in the AFL. In 2022, it dropped further back to 13th and last year it was 14th best in the League in a season of change for the Tigers, as Damien Hardwick departed mid-season after 14 years at the club.


The Hardwick-steered glory was built on a manic, high-pressure game style that saw incredible buy-in from its top guns but found role players who committed to the pressure cause.

But as the Tigers begin a revamp under Yze, and after a 0-3 start to this year, the new senior coach will need a focus on pressure if Richmond is to regain its trademark.