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Richmond swing the changes after Swans shock

“He has played half back, back pocket. He is really strong at the ball really aggressive … pretty neat with his skills. He has been playing well for us in the VFL over the last month and when he is asked to do a job he generally does a really good job of it.

“So he will play on one of the Port Adelaide smaller guys, one of the speedy guys.

“Will Martin was a Brisbane academy guy we picked up a couple of years ago. He is an inside mid, good runner, really really tough so we are excited to see him particularly at Adelaide Oval which is generally more of a contested game.”

Sources close to Richmond said the challenge to the depth of the list was a bigger issue for Richmond than the team’s game style.

Ordinarily they would have players like Oleg Markov, Dan Butler or Connor Menadue coming into the team who are familiar with the style and method.

As an insider at Richmond said this week it was was misleading to think Richmond just played a zone unlike anyone else as no one played “arm across” man on man defence any more.

Their defenders would adapt but the bigger issue was the team defence across the field.

The issue that those close to Richmond say Damien Hardwick will have spent his time on this week was defending the 30 metre arc around the opposition kicker. This zone around the kicker – stopping the player being able to find a target to kick to within 30 metres has been a hall mark of Richmond’s game but it fell apart dramatically against Sydney.

Partly that was because Sydney was excellent by foot and found targets to hit at close range. Partly Hardwick implied in his press conference mid week, was that Sydney were awarded marks from kicks of dubiously short distance.

But partly too it was because Richmond’s game was off and they were allowing those kicks to stick within 30 metres of the player with the ball.

“Dimma is a smart coach that is what he will have been going to work on all week with the group (and not the backline zones). They will have worked on the 30m arc around the kicker.”

Losing an early season game is not the issue for Richmond it is only the fact that they lost heavily and then the question of whether Sydney’s method of beating them, under new rules in place this year, offered a pointer to how to play them that other teams will seek to exploit.

The bigger immediate concern for Richmond was that last week they gave away 38 turn overs, a very high number for Richmond, and one that explained their inability to apply pressure to Sydney.


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