JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Toothless Tigers

Date

Michael Gleeson and Matt Murnane

Touchy subject: Jack Riewoldt found the going tough against Carlton.

Touchy subject: Jack Riewoldt found the going tough against Carlton. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

THEY have one of the most exciting full-forwards in the AFL and one of the most promising centre half-forwards. They should be among the most potent forward lines, but this year the Tigers have been toothless.

The problem is Jack Riewoldt has been missing in action, Tyrone Vickery has been desperately out of form, and back-up forward Brad Miller has offered little, which has created a self-perpetuating cycle for Richmond where the poor form of one exacerbates the problems of the other.

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick yesterday admitted he was troubled by his out-of-form forwards, but also pointed out it had not been a season for any tall forward yet.

Brad Miller is spoiled by Paul Bower.

Brad Miller is spoiled by Paul Bower. Photo: Pat Scala

''They're not playing to their potential,'' Hardwick said of Riewoldt, Vickery and Miller, admitting he had considered dropping one of the trio already this year. ''The funny thing about it is that the key forwards in general [have been down]. I think the leading goalkicker is on 13 goals this year, which is just over three goals a game.

''So overall there hasn't been a great deal of goals kicked by the key forwards. I think [Josh] Kennedy kicked a bag of seven, but he's on 11 for the year. So I think it's club-wide where key forwards aren't firing. We've got no doubt our guys will come through it, [and] hopefully deliver a blow this week, which would be nice.''

Riewoldt has kicked just six goals in four games after booting 78 and 62 goals in the past two seasons. His scoring accuracy of 40 per cent is the worst of the top 50 goalkickers. He booted 4.3 in the first-round loss to Carlton, but most of his goals came late in the match once the result was known. He took six marks against Melbourne in round three, but just two or three in the other matches.

Riewoldt remains the primary target for Richmond's midfield going inside 50, but his scoreboard output (not just his own scores but his score assists) is down from an average of 24 points a game last year to 18.8 points a game. He is taking fewer marks but has won 16 ground balls inside 50 this season, which is the most of any player, and he ranks sixth for disposals inside 50.

The result of this misfiring forward line has been that last year Richmond ranked third for scores from forward-50 entries; this year it is 14th.

Hardwick remains troubled by the defensive work Riewoldt is doing or, rather, not doing. ''His defensive area of his game is [what] we're probably a little bit concerned about,'' he said.

''The goals will come. I think he kicked … two out on the full. But if he keeps working on the defensive aspects and the intensity of his work-rate, that's where he'll get the results on the scoreboard.

''He can play better. There's no doubt about that.''

In part, Riewoldt's form line is a product of the quality of some of the opponents he has confronted. Ben Reid (Collingwood), James Frawley (Melbourne) and Tom Lonergan (Geelong) are all tailor-made to play against Riewoldt, each of them being taller, quicker and stronger.

He has also been hurt by Vickery's poor form as sides have been able to sag off Vickery in the belief he won't hurt them and concentrate on Riewoldt.

Riewoldt and Vickery both had extensive surgery in the off-season: Riewoldt had five operations but was back in full training by Christmas, while Vickery had shoulder surgery. Some at the club believe Vickery has yet to recover the confidence in his body since the surgery when flying for marks.

Riewoldt has normally played from behind a lot due to the fact he reads the ball better than most defenders and either runs at the pack to mark or he folds back towards goal and catches the defender out.

This year, though, he has been playing from behind more often, yet not been able to exploit his advantage.

Despite his lack of speed, he has a good leap and good hands and so marks over the back of packs rather than body-on-body with an opponent. His opponents have taken to playing him closer and keeping body contact.

Riewoldt has been criticised for poor body language, but that appears a relic of petulance in more recent years which has now made him an easy target for this criticism when his form is down.

''It's pretty hard to dull Jack's confidence on the field. He's fine,'' Hardwick said. ''He knows his form will turn around.''

Hardwick said he contemplated changing the mix in the forward line by dropping one of the tall forwards but had so far resisted the temptation.

''It's something that has come up,'' he said. ''Certain sides are playing three key forwards, some are playing two.

''But the hard thing about us this week is that with the Cox-Naitanui double, it's very hard to play with a smaller forward line when they've got four talls at the other end. So it's probably something that we haven't spoken about this week.''

Richmond has only won one game this year after a taxing early season draw which Hardwick admitted had him ''screaming throughout the night, for the first three nights'', when the AFL released the draw late last year.

''We've just got to make sure we try to get over the top of one of these sides and hopefully this is the week versus West Coast,'' he said.

13 comments so far

  • The problem is that the Tigers forwards have been overrated by the media. Friends of mine who are Tigers supporters don't rate their forward line as much as sections of the media do. Miller is well past his prime and can only ever provide 'encore' support, Vickery has barely VFL pace and stamina as well as poor goalkicking technique and Riewoldt's second and third efforts are typically lacking.

    Not a Tigers supporter myself, but an idea from left-field is they could play Dustin Martin from time to time as a pack-crashing half-forward. Has the aggression, body strength and the booming kick. That would allow Riewoldt to stay near the square where he is most dangerous. Houli also could also play on a HF flank and be a 2-3 goal a game player, but the problem is the Tigers don't have the depth to be flexible enough.

    Commenter
    Forever ninth
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    April 27, 2012, 11:34AM
    • As a Tiger supporter, can I just thank you basing your opinions on the opinions of others! Ty Vickery at his best has the potential to be a game winner. He's an accurate kick too, when he's playing well. The issue so far this year is that he's been well out of form. Jack too is well out of form, but in form, is one of the most dangerous forwards in the game. You don't win a Coleman medal, especially in a team that lost most of it's games that year, if you can't play.

      As for the Dustin Martin idea, ummmm how do I say this politely.....Dimma Hardwick thought of that one a long time ago! Dusty plays in the forward line regularly, pretty much since he started in the AFL, and is a very difficult boy to match up! He'll be brilliant when he 'grow's up'!

      All I'm saying, is watch us play before you judge the team!

      Commenter
      Mr Plow
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      April 27, 2012, 12:57PM
  • Miller is just filling space until another tall forward develops, either Griifiths or Arnot. In fact I'd bring in Griffiths for Miller right now.
    Vickery could do with a spell in the VFL but taking on West Coast this week (Cox & Natinui), he'll get a reprieve.
    Reiwoldt is out of form yes, but rarely gets a crack at a contest one-on-one any more.

    Commenter
    Jeff
    Location
    Westmeadows
    Date and time
    April 27, 2012, 1:37PM
    • Arnot's short - what are you on about?

      Also check the photo of Miller and you'll see another part of the problem so far this year - Bower's hand is across Miller's head, should get a free kick for that, but it doesn't happen for Tiger forwards.

      Commenter
      cardtrader
      Location
      Richmond
      Date and time
      April 27, 2012, 4:38PM
    • Sorry, meant Elton not Arnot.

      Commenter
      Jeff
      Location
      Westmeadows
      Date and time
      April 27, 2012, 5:17PM
  • Watch Riewold and see Matthew Richardson in his early days. Too busy arguing with umps and looking for frees. Richo lost ten years of his career being petulant. Really came good at the end when he just concentrated on the ball. Hope the same doesn't happen to Jack.

    Commenter
    kepler22b
    Date and time
    April 27, 2012, 2:23PM
    • I find it impossible to vote in that poll. At the moment it looks like Jack has no idea when/where to lead so instead asks for the ball to be bombed to a pack to he can jump on top of it.

      If Jack can turn his form back to pre-concussion levels, he will kick 70+ and be AA again. If he keeps playing like he is now (and if Vickery returns to '11 form and Griffiths can remain injury free), Jack will be lucky to avoid a stint at Coburg. Who knows.

      Commenter
      The Shire
      Date and time
      April 27, 2012, 2:33PM
      • Gees the media come up with some utter nonsense sometimes. Being critical of the Tigers on the back of playing Carlton, Collingwood, Geelong in the opening 4 rounds is nothing short of ridiculous.

        Tigers have been competitive in all these games and unlucky not to win a couple. The one easy game they have had (Melbourne) they walked away easy winners.

        Expect to eat your words as the season rolls on Gleeson and Murnane. This article is nothing but a troll......

        Cheers,

        Two eyed cats supporter.

        Commenter
        what_you_got
        Location
        Melbourne
        Date and time
        April 27, 2012, 2:34PM
        • As a tigers fan, I don't think the authors got much wrong given that the article was about the forward line. The forward line has been poo.

          Thankfully our midfield, back-line and overall team play are vastly improved. If our forward line had been as good we would be 3 and 1 so far this season, if not 4 and 0.

          Commenter
          The Shire
          Date and time
          April 27, 2012, 3:53PM
        • Will have to agree to disagree then The Shire...it seems to me that these reporters are ignoring the massive improvement the Tigers have made this year and only focusing on what they perceive as a negative because of their 1-3 win-loss.

          Perhaps the most significant of these improvements is that they no longer rely on a gun forward like Riewoldt or Richo to kick a bag and win them a game of footy. Look at the cats and pies at their best....Mooney and Hawkins were bit players when it came to scoreboard pressure. It was a team effort that flattened the opposition week in week out. Richmond is starting to look very likely with a plethora of gun midfielders coming through who are improving all the time. Keep your heads up Tiger supporters many trolls in the media world just looking for a bite.

          Commenter
          what_you_got
          Location
          Melbourne
          Date and time
          April 27, 2012, 5:27PM

      More comments

      Make a comment

      You are logged in as [Logout]

      All information entered below may be published.

      Error: Please enter your screen name.

      Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

      Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

      Error: Please enter your comment.

      Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

      Post to

      You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

      Thank you

      Your comment has been submitted for approval.

      Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

      HuffPost Australia

      AFL 2015

      Round 1
      Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
      CAR 78vs RIC 105 Report Stats
      Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
      MEL 115vs GCF 89 Stats
      SYD 72vs ESS 60 Stats
      BRI 74vs COL 86 Stats
      WBU 97vs WCE 87 Stats
      Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
      STK 78vs GWS 87 Stats
      ADE 140vs NTH 63 Stats
      FRE 75vs PTA 68 Stats
      Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
      HAW 123vs GEE 61 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 2
      Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
      WCE 131vs CAR 62 Stats
      Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
      RIC 66vs WBU 85 Report Stats
      GWS 101vs MEL 56 Stats
      COL 63vs ADE 90 Report Stats
      GCF 76vs STK 104 Stats
      PTA 44vs SYD 92 Stats
      Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
      GEE 60vs FRE 104 Stats
      ESS 78vs HAW 76 Stats
      NTH 133vs BRI 51 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 3
      Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
      COL 140vs STK 66 Stats
      Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
      CAR 84vs ESS 105 Stats
      ADE 80vs MEL 55 Stats
      SYD 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
      NTH 105vs PTA 113 Stats
      BRI 58vs RIC 137 Stats
      Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
      HAW 127vs WBU 57 Stats
      GEE 105vs GCF 96 Stats
      WCE 81vs FRE 111 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 4
      Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
      RIC 51vs MEL 83 Stats
      Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
      STK 81vs CAR 121 Report Report Stats
      ESS 49vs COL 69 Report Stats
      GWS 119vs GCF 53 Stats
      PTA 99vs HAW 91 Stats
      FRE 74vs SYD 60 Stats
      Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
      BRI 65vs WCE 118 Stats
      GEE 67vs NTH 83 Stats
      WBU 125vs ADE 68 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 5
      Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
      CAR 45vs COL 120 Stats
      Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
      RIC 76vs GEE 85 Stats
      SYD 73vs WBU 77 Stats
      GCF 118vs BRI 54 Stats
      NTH 70vs HAW 130 Stats
      WCE 120vs GWS 33 Stats
      Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
      MEL 50vs FRE 118 Stats
      STK 80vs ESS 82 Stats
      ADE 91vs PTA 115 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 6
      Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
      COL 59vs GEE 100 Stats
      Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
      NTH 109vs RIC 74 Stats
      WBU 87vs STK 94 Stats
      GWS 108vs HAW 98 Stats
      GCF 78vs ADE 119 Stats
      MEL 50vs SYD 88 Stats
      FRE 80vs ESS 52 Stats
      Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
      CAR 75vs BRI 84 Report Stats
      PTA 68vs WCE 78 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 7
      Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
      ESS 82vs NTH 93 Stats
      Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
      ADE 119vs STK 73 Stats
      HAW 155vs MEL 50 Stats
      CAR 57vs GWS 135 Stats
      SYD 120vs GEE 77 Stats
      WCE 135vs GCF 43 Stats
      Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
      WBU 88vs FRE 101 Stats
      RIC 105vs COL 100 Report Stats
      BRI 102vs PTA 65 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 8
      Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
      GEE 140vs CAR 63 Report Stats
      Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
      STK 78vs WCE 131 Report Stats
      GWS 108vs ADE 84 Report Stats
      GCF 63vs COL 132 Report Stats
      HAW 69vs SYD 73 Report Stats
      FRE 115vs NTH 42 Report Stats
      Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
      ESS 136vs BRI 78 Report Stats
      MEL 103vs WBU 64 Report Stats
      PTA 43vs RIC 76 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 9
      Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
      SYD 122vs CAR 62 Report Stats
      Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
      HAW 93vs GCF 40 Report Stats
      MEL 54vs PTA 115 Report Stats
      WBU 113vs GWS 68 Report Stats
      RIC 72vs ESS 59 Report Stats
      ADE 57vs FRE 68 Report Stats
      Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
      BRI 86vs STK 108 Report Stats
      COL 112vs NTH 95 Report Stats
      WCE 120vs GEE 64 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 10
      Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
      FRE 70vs RIC 97 Report Stats
      Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
      CAR 90vs ADE 99 Report Stats
      GCF 41vs SYD 93 Report Stats
      ESS 53vs GEE 122 Report Stats
      PTA 100vs WBU 62 Report Stats
      Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
      GWS 97vs BRI 67 Report Stats
      NTH 85vs WCE 75 Report Stats
      STK 69vs HAW 132 Report Stats
      Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
      MEL 85vs COL 110 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 11
      Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
      PTA 69vs GEE 92 Report Stats
      Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
      GCF 46vs FRE 53 Report Stats
      WCE 96vs ESS 46 Report Stats
      NTH 75vs SYD 91 Report Report Stats
      Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
      COL 119vs GWS 77 Report Stats
      STK 85vs MEL 83 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 12
      Thu, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
      ADE 85vs HAW 114 Report Stats
      Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
      RIC 70vs WCE 90 Report Stats
      Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
      CAR 110vs PTA 106 Report Stats
      GWS 61vs NTH 117 Report Stats
      WBU 146vs BRI 74 Report Stats
      Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
      GEE 89vs MEL 113 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 13
      Thu, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
      FRE 80vs COL 73 Report Stats
      Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
      SYD 77vs RIC 95 Report Stats
      Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
      HAW 114vs ESS 76 Report Stats
      BRI 69vs ADE 82 Report Stats
      STK 56vs WBU 62 Report Stats
      Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
      CAR 103vs GCF 69 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 14
      Thu, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
      SYD 94vs PTA 84 Report Stats
      Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
      COL 91vs HAW 101 Report Stats
      Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
      RIC 78vs GWS 69 Report Stats
      GCF 125vs NTH 70 Report Stats
      WBU 64vs CAR 53 Report Stats
      MEL 60vs WCE 114 Report Stats
      Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
      ESS 52vs STK 162 Stats
      ADE vs GEE 15:20Adelaide Oval
      FRE 84vs BRI 48 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 15
      Thu, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
      PTA 66vs COL 63 Report Stats
      Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
      RIC 71vs CAR 41 Report Stats
      Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
      ESS 69vs MEL 60 Report Stats
      WBU 95vs GCF 73 Report Stats
      NTH 120vs GEE 79 Report Stats
      WCE 147vs ADE 91 Report Stats
      Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
      GWS 84vs STK 49 Report Stats
      HAW 115vs FRE 43 Report Stats
      BRI 49vs SYD 70 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 16
      Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
      NTH 93vs ESS 68 Report Stats
      Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
      GEE 72vs WBU 64 Report Stats
      GCF 79vs GWS 94 Report Stats
      COL 56vs WCE 87 Report Stats
      SYD 57vs HAW 146 Report Stats
      FRE 95vs CAR 53 Report Stats
      Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
      MEL 60vs BRI 36 Report Stats
      PTA 113vs ADE 116 Report Stats
      STK 73vs RIC 89 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 17
      Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
      CAR 35vs HAW 173 Report Stats
      Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
      GWS 42vs GEE 69 Stats
      ADE 125vs GCF 80 Stats
      RIC 78vs FRE 82 Stats
      ESS 116vs PTA 129 Stats
      BRI 38vs NTH 110 Report Stats
      Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
      WBU 104vs COL 86 Report Stats
      MEL 46vs STK 83 Report Stats
      WCE 103vs SYD 51 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 18
      Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
      HAW 53vs RIC 71 Report Stats
      Sat, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
      GEE 113vs BRI 57 Stats
      COL 54vs MEL 91 Report Stats
      SYD 117vs ADE 65 Report Stats
      CAR 54vs NTH 118 Report Stats
      GCF 83vs WCE 83 Report Stats
      Sun, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
      PTA 112vs STK 49 Report Stats
      ESS 40vs WBU 127 Report Stats
      FRE 84vs GWS 63 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 19
      Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
      ADE 88vs RIC 52 Report Stats
      Sat, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
      COL 105vs CAR 87 Report Stats
      WBU 128vs PTA 64 Report Stats
      BRI 100vs GCF 114 Report Stats
      GEE 95vs SYD 63 Report Stats
      WCE 74vs HAW 88 Report Stats
      Sun, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
      MEL 92vs NTH 127 Report Stats
      GWS 93vs ESS 61 Report Stats
      STK 59vs FRE 96 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 20
      Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
      SYD 87vs COL 76 Report Stats
      Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
      ESS 59vs ADE 171 Report Stats
      NTH 120vs STK 83 Report Stats
      PTA 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
      GEE 85vs HAW 121 Report Stats
      BRI 131vs CAR 67 Report Stats
      Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
      RIC 138vs GCF 55 Report Stats
      WBU 153vs MEL 55 Report Stats
      FRE 80vs WCE 104 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 21
      Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
      HAW 86vs PTA 108 Report Stats
      Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
      COL 56vs RIC 147 Report Stats
      GWS 44vs SYD 133 Report Stats
      GCF 97vs ESS 95 Report Stats
      STK 97vs GEE 97 Report Stats
      ADE 131vs BRI 44 Report Stats
      Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
      NTH 94vs FRE 83 Report Stats
      CAR 78vs MEL 55 Report Stats
      WCE 162vs WBU 85 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 22
      Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
      GEE 62vs COL 110 Report Stats
      Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
      GWS 132vs CAR 51 Report Stats
      HAW 134vs BRI 62 Report Stats
      NTH 73vs WBU 96 Report Stats
      ESS 47vs RIC 74 Report Stats
      GCF 51vs PTA 88 Report Stats
      Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
      ADE 126vs WCE 69 Report Stats
      STK 38vs SYD 135 Report Stats
      FRE 108vs MEL 54 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 23
      Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
      RIC ($1.29)vs NTH ($3.60) 19:50ES
      Sat, 05 SepTimes shown AEST
      GEE ($2.60)vs ADE ($1.50) 13:05SS
      BRI ($4.50)vs WBU ($1.20) 13:45G
      PTA ($1.10)vs FRE ($6.50) 15:50Adelaide Oval
      HAW ($1.01)vs CAR ($17.00) 16:40MCG
      SYD ($1.04)vs GCF ($11.00) 19:20SCG
      WCE ($1.04)vs STK ($11.00) 19:40Domain Stadium
      Sun, 06 SepTimes shown AEST
      MEL ($3.20)vs GWS ($1.36) 13:10ES
      COL ($1.28)vs ESS ($3.70) 15:20MCG
      View All Fixtures
      AFL 2015
      Overall standings
      Team P W L D % Pts
      Fremantle 21 17 4 0 125.10 68
      West Coast Eagles 21 15 5 1 143.00 62
      Hawthorn 21 15 6 0 156.77 60
      Sydney Swans 21 15 6 0 124.11 60
      Richmond 21 14 7 0 121.39 56
      Western Bulldogs 21 14 7 0 116.76 56
      Adelaide Crows 20 13 7 0 119.10 54
      North Melbourne 21 13 8 0 109.08 52
      View all
       

      Follow Us on Facebook

      Featured advertisers