RICHMOND coach Damien Hardwick has slammed his side's "diabolical" performance after their finals hopes took a hit in a stunning four-point upset loss to North Melbourne.

Cam Zurhaar kicked six goals - including the match-winner - as the Kangaroos snapped their 14-match losing streak four days after David Noble was sacked as coach.

The Tigers won the inside-50 count in a landslide (67-46) but failed to make their territorial dominance count on the scoreboard.

06:53 Mins
Published on

Highlights: North Melbourne v Richmond

The Kangaroos and Tigers clash in round 18

Published on

The Tigers are now clinging to eighth spot on percentage alone.

"Our general intent in the first half was poor and our pressure rating of 1.6 was abysmal," triple-premiership coach Hardwick said.

"Our system itself held up...we just didn't execute.

KANGAROOS v TIGERS Full match coverage and stats

"It's not as if they were hard shots on goal - we kicked 1.9 from inside 30 metres.

"We're paid to kick goals, we didn't, and that's the reality of it.

"It was a good win by North - their hardness and their ability to play quick was good - but all in all, if you look at that template, we should win."

03:58 Mins
Published on

Full post-match, R18: Tigers

Watch Richmond's press conference after round 18's match against North Melbourne

Published on

Veteran spearhead Jack Riewoldt was the worst offender in front of goal with 2.6 to his name, while third-gamer Noah Cumberland kicked 3.4.

Hardwick said Aarts would have gone back to take his set shot in the dying seconds if he had his time again, but the coach refused to blame that moment of madness for the defeat.

"There's numerous reasons and the last defensive-50 goal (to Zurhaar) was poor," Hardwick said.

"We can't let a guy come from the other side of the pack and just stroll through.

"It was ridiculous and probably sums us up really - it's Richmond killing Richmond at the moment."

The shock result came in Leigh Adams' first match as caretaker coach and was eerily similar to the Kangaroos' maiden outing under Rhyce Shaw in 2019, when they upset flag-bound Richmond immediately following Brad Scott's exit.

"We knew they were going to come back at us really hard and, to the boys' credit, when we lost that lead, the character they showed to dig in was sensational," Adams said.

"We got some real reward in the end."

06:07 Mins
Published on

Full post-match, R18: Kangaroos

Watch North Melbourne's press conference after round 18's match against Richmond

Published on

The 34-year-old said it had been a whirlwind week for himself, and the club.

"I started work on Monday as a development coach getting ready to coach the VFL team and by the end of the week I'm sitting here after a great win," he said.

"I actually don't know what to think at the moment.

"It's been a really busy, enjoyable week that's finished off really well."

A courageous midfielder, Adams played 104 games for North Melbourne before his premature retirement in 2015 because of concussion issues.

He began his coaching journey at suburban South Croydon, winning an Eastern Football League premiership, and spent two years in charge of VFL club Coburg before returning to the Kangaroos as a development coach.

Adams said the win over Richmond now sits at the top of his highlights list.

"That's by far better than any playing moment that I've had," he said.

"I always said coaching the South Croydon flag was right up there, but sorry South Croydon boys, this might've gone past it."

Both sides lost players to injury, with North forward Nick Larkey (heel) and Tigers youngster Josh Gibcus (shoulder) substituted out in the second half, while Richmond ruckman Toby Nankervis was reported for kneeing Flynn Perez.