“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.”
Longmire said the Swans did not deploy an extra player in defence. Callum Mills was able to repeatedly clean up in defence, finishing with a game-high 29 possessions.
“We kept our six defenders, they had an extra up at the ball. Our six defenders played behind the ball. We didn’t have seven defenders,” Longmire said.
“We didn’t go with them, which is what they often want up around the footy. We held our structure and needed to punch through a bit quicker when we got opportunities as well.”
But Hardwick disagreed with that assessment.
“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.”
Richmond ruckman Ivan Soldo said that while the game was ugly, it had been a rewarding performance for the undermanned Tigers.
“It was more of a grind. It was a good win. Those are the wins you enjoy, the ones where it was more of a grind,” Soldo said.
Hardwick added that the Tigers could regain defender David Astbury (knee) for next Saturday night’s match against North Melbourne at Metricon Stadium but that Trent Cotchin (hamstring) was at least another week away from returning.
Soldo said the Tigers’ depth would be able to cope should the AFL opt to condense matches in the coming weeks.
“It’s nothing that we’re not ready for,” he said.
“It’s out of control, it’s something we’ve got to accept.”
Daniel is an Age sports reporter
Andrew Wu writes on cricket and AFL for The Sydney Morning Herald