Richmond coach Damien Hardwick has laid the blame at the foot of the Sydney Swans’ tactics after what he deemed a “horrible game of football”.
Incredibly, Richmond was able to win the match despite kicking just four goals in the 4. 10. (34) to 3. 8. (26) win in driving rain at the Gabba on Sunday afternoon.
Richmond’s tally of 34 was the second-lowest winning score in the AFL era, narrowly beating out Port Adelaide’s 4. 8. (32) against the Tigers in Round 11, 1999.
Following the win, Hardwick offered a grim assessment of the contest between the two sides.
“It was a horrendous game of football,” he said in his post-match press conference.
“There’s no doubt about that. It was hard to watch, it was hard to play, it was incredibly frustrating. Unfortunately it’s sometimes how games pan out.
“You have a lot of players in one D50, they can’t get out and we can’t score. I think we had 50 odd inside 50s for what was it, four or five goals. Which is farcical in nature really. Horrible game of football.”
According to Hardwick, central to the Swans’ success in keeping the game close was the execution of the spare man behind the ball.
“We just couldn’t execute to use our spare as well as theirs,” Hardwick said.
“The fact of the matter is the spare’s down there. The ball was played in our half. I think it was 29 forward half turnovers to nine. It was down there for the vast majority of the game.
“I didn’t think we were much chance of scoring, but they were no chance of scoring. I think they got two goals from 50-metre penalties but outside that they kicked one goal for the game.
“There’s not much I can do. We’re attacking, we’ve got 75,000 people in our forward 50. It’s pretty hard. It’s become a tactic in the AFL. Foldback mentality is really keeping sides in games.”