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Ivan Maric feels sorry for Richmond supporters

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North all over the Tigers

Richmond drew first blood at Etihad Stadium but it was North Merlbourne that piled on the second-half pressure to turn the tables on the Tigers.

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Richmond's wretched season will not affect its long-term strategy, with the club set to be major player in coming free agency periods.

Speaking after Richmond meekly surrendered a 35-point half-time lead to lose by 28 points to North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium on Sunday night, the Tigers' football manager Dan Richardson indicated that they had a sizeable war chest that would be utilised over the next two years.

“The bottom line is we’ve got room to recruit and we will be active in that regard," Richdardson said. Despite the Tigers being 3-8 and seemingly out of finals contention, he said plans at Punt Road would not be "thrown out the window."

The Tiger Army continues to support Richmond, despite a deflating season.

The Tiger Army continues to support Richmond, despite a deflating season. Photo: Getty Images

He also suggested that Richmond would be faced with a balancing act in continuing to strive for wins, while simultaneously testing players with limited senior exposure.

“Certainly over the next few months our list strategy over will be a big focus."

With three decades of torment for Richmond supporters showing few signs of abating, Tigers ruckman Ivan Maric has expressed his sympathy for the club’s diehards.

Tiger players trudge off after their defeat to North Melbourne, perhaps their most disappointing loss of 2014.

Tiger players trudge off after their defeat to North Melbourne, perhaps their most disappointing loss of 2014. Photo: Justin McManus

“They’re fantastic supporters and they’ve been patient for a long time, and the game’s unfair at times to the fans,” Maric said. 

Reflecting on his team’s capitulation, Maric pinpointed two fundamental areas in which Richmond had fallen away after half-time.

“North Melbourne got a bit of a run on, and we couldn’t stop it, so we’ve got to get better at that, and it’s really simple things … contested ball and defending really well.

“It’s hard to stop when a team’s got a run on like that, but it doesn’t mean you can’t. We’ve just got to look at why we couldn’t stop it and make sure it doesn’t happen again. It’s hard to accept the way we’re playing because I feel like we’re so much better than that.”

Maric denied that a lack of on-field leadership was to blame for the fadeout, despite the largely anonymous second-half showings of captain Trent Cotchin and Brett Deledio, as well as the monstering of key defender Troy Chaplin by previously out-of-form North forward Drew Petrie. Deledio and Cotchin came under particularly pointed criticism from former Demon champion Garry Lyon on radio.

Lyon argued that Cotchin "had no presence when the game was on the line", while Deledio shirked his responsibility by walking lackadaisically from the wing into the centre square during the second half. Maric, also a member of the leadership group, also copped flak from from Lyon, condemned for giving away a 50-metre penalty in the final quarter for umpire abuse.

Maric was also forced to defend the side’s fitness; an area also mentioned as cause for concern by some pundits.

“I can honestly say I was running hard the whole game. Compared to last week where the effort wasn’t there, last night there was a huge improvement in effort,” Maric said.

Opposing ruckman Todd Goldstein was arguably the most influential player on the ground on Sunday night as he drove the Kangaroos’ resurgence with artful tapwork. Maric said his teammates needed to apply more pressure and prevent easy opposition exits from stoppages.

“I didn’t feel they were getting really clean ball out of the centre, it was more so what was happening afterwards.”

Maric vowed to remain optimistic, and indicated that his team was capable of beating Fremantle next Saturday at the MCG. The Tigers defeated the Dockers there last season.

“We need to slowly build our confidence. I’ve been at a lower point than this. Because I’ve been there before, I know how to get out of it. The only way is to keep improving.”

6 comments

  • Does this mean we are finally going to be spared radio commentators endlessly talking up this second rate bunch?

    Commenter
    Chris J
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    June 09, 2014, 1:10PM
    • I'm a Saints supporter and even I feel sorry for the Richmond supporters!

      Commenter
      Sophie
      Date and time
      June 09, 2014, 1:26PM
      • This season is beyond disappointing. I was disheartened after the ugly win against Carlton in Round 2, let alone all the subsequent losses. As a long time member, I've stuck with them through thin and thinner, but can't see myself ever giving this mob my hard-earned money again.

        Commenter
        Patricio
        Location
        Moonee Ponds
        Date and time
        June 09, 2014, 2:02PM
        • More comedy gold from those yellow and black jokesters!!!

          Commenter
          Tom
          Date and time
          June 09, 2014, 3:19PM
          • After 30 years of false dawns, I actually thought we'd make it to the finals this year, or if we didn't then we at least give it a good crack. Feeling sorry for the RFC supporters does little to help me understand why the players are playing so poorly. Stop feeling sorry for us, and just play quality football.... the rest will take care of itself

            Commenter
            Lowster
            Location
            Melbourne
            Date and time
            June 09, 2014, 7:32PM
            • As one of the long suffering members, I had to ring the membership dept as once again they failed to send my pack out. This has happened twice in 4 years.

              It really irks me that there wasn't even an apology. But am sure they will sprout the usual bs next year that members are so important and we need you to sign up.

              My spouse got her Hawthorn pack within 3 days of ordering. Speaks volumes about who has the right stuff.

              Commenter
              AGM
              Date and time
              June 09, 2014, 11:11PM
              Comments are now closed
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