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Richmond coach tells Tigers to lift
By Melissa Woods
18:00 AEST Thu Aug 22 2013

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick says he delivered a few home truths to his AFL team following their surprise loss to Carlton.

The Tigers stumbled on their way to the AFL finals with a 10-point loss to the Blues but Hardwick hopes to see his strong words make an impact as they face Greater Western Sydney at Skoda Stadium on Sunday.

"We were pretty hard on our players after that game," Hardwick said.

"We felt that defensively we weren't anywhere near where we wanted to be and offensively we kicked eight goals in the first quarter but it sort of covered a few cracks and we thought we were pretty sloppy.

"We certainly addressed a few home truths on Monday and Tuesday."

Richmond are hopeful goal-kicking ace Jack Riewoldt will line up despite suffering bone bruising in his knee.

Riewoldt hyper-extended his right knee when he landed awkwardly in a marking contest late in the Carlton loss.

Hardwick dismissed a report that the Coleman Medallist would be sidelined for the next few weeks and possibly miss their opening final as "premature".

"He's a pretty durable character, Jack, so if he gets through training he'll be OK to play," Hardwick said.

"We'll see how he pulls up.

"Obviously he's a pretty important player to us so we won't put him at risk of further damage."

The 24-year-old was out on the training track at Punt Road Oval on Thursday and didn't appear troubled by his knee as he completed team drills.

Skipper Trent Cotchin, Chris Newman, Shane Edwards and Matt White also trained and are available for selection.

Riewoldt has extra incentive to play at Skoda Stadium, reaching the 100-consecutive games milestone if he lines up against GWS.

He hasn't missed a match since round 10 of the 2009 season and in his 99 games since then has booted 286 goals, at an average of just under three goals per game.

On paper it should be a cake-walk for fifth-placed Richmond but the last-placed Giants will be looking to give coach Kevin Sheedy a fitting send-off in his final home game.

Hardwick, who played 153 of his 207 AFL games under the coach at Windy Hill, was aware of the Sheedy factor.

"They'll certainly be up for it," he said.

"He'll get them fired up like he did when I used to play for him."

Small forward Jake King, who hasn't played since round 17 because of a hamstring injury, will play this week but most likely in the VFL with Coburg.


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