Garry Lyon’s stern message for AFL players, coaches on goal kicking

Five-time All-Australian Garry Lyon is frustrated by the state of set shot kicking for goal in the AFL right now.

Singling out Essendon forward Joe Daniher and Carlton co-captain Patrick Cripps, who have both had their issues this year in front of goal, Lyon called for teams to put more work into the craft and wants greater scrutiny for players who struggle.

“When are we going to make assessments of players on that (goal kicking) as well? Tell me Joe (Daniher) is a star. He is not a star because Joe can’t kick for goal,” Lyon told AFL Nation.

“Patrick Cripps, he can’t kick for goal, I’m sorry, you’ve got to mark him down. Patrick is limiting himself by what he does when he goes forward.

“Then the next question is, who’s coaching these blokes? You’re an assistant coach, your job is to coach football, you’re getting paid $300,000, you’re failing as a coach if you can’t fix someone. How are you fixing this goal kicking problem?”

Lyon emphasised that his issue is players who consistently miss by a wide margin.

“I don’t care if you’re missing by a metre to the left or a metre to the right, everyone misses those, these blokes are missing the set,” the former Melbourne captain said.

“Not just the goals, they’re missing the set. On $700,000, this year is different, but full time, access to every resource you want, given every single physical preparation tool and mechanism you can want, and we just go ‘oh well’ (when they miss).

“I’ll give you the cricket analogy. The bloke fielding at first slip drops 10 out of 11. Do you reckon we would go ‘oh well’? You’d banish him and he’s out.

“Do your job. If you’re a cricketer – catch the damn thing. If you’re a golfer – putt the thing in hole. If you’re footballer – kick it through the two big things.”

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NRL 2020: Assistant coaches, Dean Young, John Cartwright, Steve Georgallis, David Furner, Cowboys, Dragons, Knights

The assistant coaching merry-go-round continues to go into overdrive with the game’s deputies scrambling for positions for 2021 and beyond.

Find out where all the off-contract assistants are potentially heading after the 2020 season.

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LATE MAIL: Manly star ‘confident in Turbo return; Broncos Gamble on unknown half

TRANSFER WHISPERS: Cashed-up Sea Eagles’ targets, three clubs chase Cowboys star

TRANSFER CENTRE: Manly show faith to young gun; Barrett lands another signing

NRL: Courier Mail’s Pete Badel told NRL360 that the Broncos will kick off interviews for their coaching job later this week – and with10 applicants, 5 of them being genuine contenders.


Dean Young is on his way out at the Dragons.
media_cameraDean Young is on his way out at the Dragons.


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Dean Young will leave the Dragons at the end of the season after being in the running for the head coaching job prior to Anthony Griffin’s appointment.

Griffin initially wanted to keep Young as an assistant, but he will serve his apprenticeship elsewhere after informing the club on Wednesday that he will depart at season’s end.

He does however have an eye for potentially coaching the Dragons down the track.

The 36-year-old has been linked to the Knights and the Cowboys.

“The Cowboys are the favourites because Young has great respect for Todd Payten,” Dean Ritchie said on The Big Sports Breakfast.

“There is a line of thinking that Young is an NRL coach in waiting and he has a great football brain, but maybe he just needs to get out of the Dragons system to enhance his coaching future and round out his skills before a probable return to Kogarah one day.”


Shane Flanagan has one year to run on his head coaching ban.
media_cameraShane Flanagan has one year to run on his head coaching ban.

Dragons assistant Shane Flanagan is on the outer since the announcement of Anthony Griffin as the new St George Illawarra coach on a two-year deal.

There was a suggestion that Flanagan would take over the Dragons when his head coaching ban ends in 2022, but Griffin’s appointment scuppered that notion.

Flanagan coached the Sharks to 102 wins from 186 games from 2010 to 2018 for a win percentage of 55 and also won a drought-breaking premiership in 2016.

The 54-year-old has repeatedly been linked to a return to the Sharks, but a lot of that will depend on how John Morris performs throughout this year’s finals series and next season.

Flanagan has been mentioned as a possible assistant at the Broncos, particularly if they go with rookie Kevin Walters in the head coaching role.


Title – The Best and Worst

Full Synopsis – A fun one this week from the Fox Sports panel…..Matty, Paul Kent and Blocker talk about the best and worst performances in

their career.

Check it out below. If you can’t see it, click here.


John Cartwright is set to leave Manly.
media_cameraJohn Cartwright is set to leave Manly.

Former Titans head coach and current Sea Eagles assistant John Cartwright is set to move on from his Manly post at the end of the season.

Cartwright was the inaugural coach of the Titans and took the Gold Coast to 86 wins from 186 games from 2007 to 2014.

The 55-year-old has been happy in an assistant role to Trent Barrett and then Hasler at Manly, but he did miss out on the Cowboys head coaching role to Todd Payten.

There was a suggestion that he would join Barrett at the Bulldogs, but that won’t be happening.

Ironically Cartwright would be the ideal choice to take Barrett’s place at Penrith, given the famous history of the Cartwright family at the Panthers.

Ivan Cleary is on the lookout for an assistant and there aren’t too many more experienced candidates than Cartwright doing the rounds.


Steve Georgallis is on the lookout for a new gig.
media_cameraSteve Georgallis is on the lookout for a new gig.

The 2020 interim Bulldogs coach took over when the club parted ways with Dean Pay mid-season.

Georgallis coached the Panthers to four wins and seven losses in 2011 and has led the Bulldogs to one win from nine games in 2020 for an overall win percentage of 25 as a head coach with limited opportunities in difficult circumstances.

The 52-year-old was disappointed not to be retained under incoming head coach Trent Barrett, who signed a three-year deal to take over at Canterbury in 2021.

“It’s hard to handle for the fact that you work really hard to get in a certain position as a coach, you work your way back after this happening to me in 2011, so it’s taken me a while to get back to this position, but it’s happened,” Georgallis said of his Bulldogs departure.

“I’m probably more equipped to handle it this time. What do you say? It’s a hard pill to swallow.

“I’m hopeful that the experiences I’ve had and the junior competitions that I’ve won put me in good stead for someone else to look at me going to their club.”

Georgallis could be an option to swap with Barrett and make a return to Penrith, if John Cartwright doesn’t beat him to it.

He suggested on Wednesday he had put the feelers out and said he is open to any coaching role at any club — including lower grades. But Georgallis isn’t expecting any clubs to bite until they get other things sorted first.

“I would be interested in any sort of coaching job in the NRL,” he said on Wednesday.

“At the moment a few of those clubs that are having a few changes are going through the processes of what they are looking for next year.

“It probably won’t be until around the finals in October when I get some information back.

“I have a passion for (coaching), but unfortunately with the circumstances this year with COVID-19 no one really knows what is happening next year in relation to reserve grade and things like that.”


David Furner wants to return to the Knights.
media_cameraDavid Furner wants to return to the Knights.

Knights assistant David Furner is keen to move back to Sydney after serving under Adam O’Brien at Newcastle in 2020.

Furner coached the Raiders to 47 wins from 109 games from 2009 to 2013 for a win percentage of 43.

The 49-year-old also coached the Leeds Rhinos to just five wins from 15 games before being shown the door in 2019.

Furner is expected to be unveiled as Trent Barrett’s assistant at the Bulldogs, according to The Daily Telegraph’s Dean Ritchie.

“David Furner will be confirmed as the Bulldogs assistant coach,” Ritchie said on The Big Sports Breakfast.

“He wants to move back to Sydney.”


Huddersfield coach Simon Woolford.
media_cameraHuddersfield coach Simon Woolford.

Huddersfield coach and Canberra Raiders legend Simon Woolford is reportedly homesick and keen to continue his coaching career back in Australia.

The 45-year-old has coached the Giants to 23 wins from 48 games since 2018 for a win ratio of 48 per cent.

Woolford played 262 games in the NRL from 1994 to 2008 for the Raiders and Dragons and knows what it takes to succeed in the NRL.

“Simon Woolford is the Huddersfield coach and he is looking to come home,” Ritchie said on The Big Sports Breakfast.

“He has been messaging people in key positions at the Bulldogs, Dragons and Penrith.”

Originally published as The NRL’s coaching landscape is a moveable feast. Here’s where the best deputies could land

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AFL 2020: Essendon coach, Mark Harvey, Ben Rutten, John Worsfold, Bombers, Essendon coaches, James Kelly

Essendon have reportedly moved club great Mark Harvey out of his role as stoppages coach, in what could be the first of several moves by soon-to-be sole senior coach Ben Rutten.

The Age is reporting Harvey, a three-time premiership player and former senior coach of Fremantle, has been replaced by fellow assistant coach James Kelly effective immediately, with Harvey being moved to a different role outside of the coaching department.

With Kelly moving from his previous position as defensive line coach, Rutten is set to take ownership of the backline for the final round of Essendon’s season.

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Round 18

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AFL 2020: Cuts to soft cap, Western Bulldogs, Dale Morris gone, assistant coaches, salary cap, financial impact of COVID-19

The Western Bulldogs have been forced to cut four key members of the football department, including club favourite Dale Morris, due to the shrinking AFL soft cap.

Due to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, all clubs have been forced to reduce their staff spend by around $3.5 million, causing hundreds of jobs to be lost across the league.

On Monday the Bulldogs confirmed Morris, who became a development coach after retiring last year, had been let go as one of a number of “agonising” cuts.

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Round 17

Also leaving are assistant coaches Joel Corey and Jordan Russell, who along with Morris were stood down in March when the season was placed on hold.

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Coaches deny shutting down Charlie Dixon can shut the Power down too

Changes are “likely” for Port Adelaide this week after the worst performance of the season against Geelong.

But forwards coach Nathan Bassett dismissed any suggestion that by stopping big man Charlie Dixon, opposition teams effectively stop the Power.

Dixon has booted 21 goals this season but didn’t manage a single score against the Cats from just three disposals, as Bassett conceded the Geelong defence “really did break us down”.

The power forward has only gone goalless in one other game this season, the Round 5 loss to Brisbane, one of just three defeats this season.

“I don’t think stopping Charlie … he could have kicked nine goals on the weekend as we still would have lost,” Bassett said.

“We were well beaten for the entire game. Charlie didn’t have a good day, but he’s been a very good footballer for us this year.

“Geelong are very well organised, they are the best team we have come up against.

“We had a lot of players down on form, down on performance. It can be difficult to play well when so many around you are struggling.

“Geelong really did break us down and did a great job of it.”

Bassett conceded that any return meeting against the Cats in the finals would require changes to the way Port played.

“I don’t think there’s necessarily a lot we would change in how we play other sides, but we might make some adjustments given how Geelong play,” he said.

Some “red flags” were also raised after the 60-point smashing, easily Port’s biggest loss this year. But Bassett said it was more likely an outlier for the premiership contenders.

“When you lose by 10 goals there is always a red flag and a place of concern,” he said.

“But we’ve shown much better resilience this year, we’ve fought through some tougher games where we haven’t been playing our best footy.

“This wasn’t one of them.”

Bassett said Conor Rozee remained unavailable, but Brad Ebert could be among the inclusions for Saturday’s clash with Hawthorn.

“I think there is a likelihood there will be some changes,” he said.

“There’s been a few players who have been down on form for a period of time.

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The sacking of St George Illawarra Dragons’ Paul McGregor underlines why coaches have never been more vulnerable

The salary cap has added to the problem in that a club such as the Broncos can’t buy its way out of the embarrassment. Some coaches, such as Wests Tigers’ Michael Maguire, are forced to wear a “bad cap” in that they inherit overpaid players.

When his team lost three successive matches, there were reports Maguire was eyeing off the vacant position at the Cowboys. Fortunately, a few “footy heads” in the Ashfield boardroom saw this as a ploy by an agent manoeuvring to install his client at Wests Tigers. A trigger-happy board may have reacted otherwise.

After a tough split with the Knights, Nathan Brown is back for more at the Warriors.

After a tough split with the Knights, Nathan Brown is back for more at the Warriors.Credit:Getty

Agents didn’t exist 40 years ago. Now, a player is closer to his manager than his coach. It means, therefore, that the player often doesn’t hear the unvarnished truth. No wonder modern coaches approach some players they are dropping with the fear of someone handling a 15th Century Ming vase.

Once, when coaches asked players to take their customary places in the dressing room, wingers stood in front of the mirror. Now, half a team lines up behind them.

There is no way the fire and brimstone coaches – more tormentor than mentor – could exist today. However, coaches these past 20 years have brought some of the problems on themselves by too much player empowerment. One of the first actions of Dragons’ interim coach Dean Young should be to sack the player leadership group. With James Graham and Gareth Widdop gone, there isn’t a leader in the place. Ditto the Broncos.

An effectively policed salary cap, with coaches of approximate equal ability, means that every club should be closing the gap on everyone else. Yet rule changes designed to speed up the game, introduced after the COVID-19 shutdown, have exacerbated defensive weaknesses in 2020.

There are gaps between the top four teams, middle six and bottom six, with occasional swapping of places. The corporate types on the boards of the bottom clubs ask “why isn’t our coach a Trent Robinson or Craig Bellamy?” In the days of three grades a club, the top coach kept a close eye on those in reserve grade. Now, there is a fuzzy line between the top-30 player group and the development squad.

McGregor may have lost touch with this latter group, given his reliance on senior non-performing players but, in 2020, with abandoned State Cup competitions, the players in the lower group receive no “development”.

The online world has also added to the pressure on coaches. Whereas talkback radio was once a lightning rod for ridicule from angry fans, they now have a voice through a myriad of social media platforms. It means those who Americans call “Monday morning quarterbacks” now question NRL coaches on Thursday.


The ubiquitous eye of TV and mobile phone cameras brings us close-ups of the coach in all his agony during games. Yet, despite fans saying “who would want to be a coach?”, some, such as new Warriors coach Nathan Brown, keep coming back.

There’s something addictive about the job. It’s matching wits against a rival. It’s watching the marginal player improve. For the bleary-eyed lifers such as Wayne Bennett, it’s also the comfort of the routine, the nourishing of the ego, the pay cheque. Ask the Skinny Coach in 10 years time about the job and he’ll echo Robert Duvall in Apocalypse Now, wistfully describing the smell of napalm in the morning.

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AFL coronavirus rules breached by Collingwood coaches Nathan Buckley and Brenton Sanderson

Collingwood has been hit with an effective $25,000 fine from the AFL after senior coach Nathan Buckley and assistant coach Brenton Sanderson broke coronavirus protocols by playing a tennis match with people outside their club contacts.

In a statement, the AFL said the Magpies reported the breach of the Return to Play protocols to the league today after Buckley and Sanderson played the tennis game on Friday with “two people from outside of the approved club people”.

“Both Buckley and Sanderson immediately reported the inadvertent breach to Collingwood officials when they realised they didn’t have the appropriate approval to partake in the activity,” the statement said.

AFL general counsel Andrew Dillon said the league appreciated Collingwood’s self-reporting of the breach and had sanctioned them $50,000, half of which would be suspended.

“We note that tennis is an approved exercise activity however approved participants are limited to approved club staff, players, household members and immediate family,” he said.

“Notwithstanding the inadvertent nature of this breach, it doesn’t excuse the responsibility to abide by the protocols.”

Buckley and Sanderson ask to pay fine

In a separate statement, Collingwood said Buckley and Sanderson had accepted responsibility for their actions and had asked to personally pay the effective $25,000 fine themselves.

“At the time, we believed we had followed and adhered to the protocols as required but after returning to the hotel and readdressing the circumstances it became crystal clear that we had breached the current AFL protocols,” the pair were quoted as saying.

“The competition is asking its constituents to make great sacrifices for the show to go on and we have all accepted these for the long-term future of the industry and the privilege of participating within it.”

The club’s chief executive Mark Anderson said the breach was a “very disappointing reminder” of the vigilance required to keep the competition running.

“Our game has been granted the right to continue to play by governments around the country,” he said.

“In exchange for that right, we simply must do all that we can to protect the health of our players, staff and the communities in which we are living and playing.

“As a club, we apologise, vow to be better and fully accept the penalty.”

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AFL directives and coaches’ complaints on holding the ball are leading to uncertainty and pressure on umpires

In recent months, the regular of umpiring has come to be an escalating source of frustration for supporters who are rightly perplexed by the from time to time-inconsistent software of the procedures. But is it truly the umpire’s fault or much more a symptom of micro-management?

Coaching terrific David Parkin suggests there’s no additional challenging game to officiate than Australian Regulations Soccer. Becoming an umpire is a thankless occupation carried out in a prolonged-set up ecosystem of ridicule and derision.


The ‘umps’ make break up-next conclusions frequently beneath actual physical tiredness and with their see obscured by the present day game’s mass congestion.

Gamers are also learn manipulators, who just take advantage when umpires are blindsided and use refined approaches to coerce them into having to pay unwarranted free kicks.

In regular seasons, heaving crowds also build a flamable environment that whistle-blowers should obtain mind-boggling.

But maybe the biggest problem for umpires is that football, the quick-paced 360-diploma recreation, has extra grey than a London summer season and also will come with varying levels of interpretation.

What could appear a blatant holding the ball in the eyes of a Collingwood supporter could also spark a Carlton fan’s screams for a force in the again, even though the umpire may ascertain it is really merely a ball up — one incident, 3 distinctive viewpoints, three people certain of their interpretation.

Clarkson memo a catalyst for enthusiast stress

Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson’s comments on the holding the ball rule have increased the pressure on umpires.(AAP: Michael Dodge)

To my eye, the fans’ irritation with umpiring has coincided with the Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson’s phone calls for a stricter interpretation of holding the ball.


The AFL responded by issuing a memo to the umpires requesting a tighter software of the rule relating to gamers building a real attempt to dispose of the footy.

Ever since, the umpires have looked clouded in uncertainty when it arrives to holding the ball, major to an increase in choices that perplex.

The league felt compelled to place out a statement soon after Monday night’s clash in between Adelaide and St. Kilda acknowledging umpiring glitches and that a lot more work was wanted to make sure extra regularity in conclusion producing, significantly with regards to holding the ball choices.

What the AFL failed to admit was the function it experienced performed in creating umpire confusion by demanding variations to how they interpret keeping the ball.

The ‘Clarkson memo’ only established a further shade of grey, major to higher uncertainty and improved tension on umpires.

AFL players have long held the look at that the league also normally makes an attempt to impact the way the match is officiated.


Geelong premiership captain Cameron Ling generally speaks of the ‘rule of the week’ whilst Fellow ABC Grandstand professional and 300-game participant Brendon Goddard has also expressed his annoyance with regular shifts in interpretation.

Goddard thinks umpire mistakes are just a feature of football and has bemoaned the weekly umpire opinions that direct to reactive actions.

“I have in no way understood the emphasis space [of the rules] week to week,’ he claimed.

“The umpires are only human, so it is really entrance of their brain heading into following week.

Greene the vital for erratic Giants

If you were being seeing Friday night time football this week you were lucky plenty of to witness one of the AFL’s most harming players, Toby Greene, at his match-profitable ideal.

A GWS Giants players pumps his right first as he looks to his right while celebrating a goal against Richmond.
Toby Greene booted five treasured ambitions for GWS as the Giants got the much better of Richmond on Friday night.(AAP: Dean Lewins)

With 3 wins and 4 losses heading into the clash from final year’s grand closing opponent Richmond, Greater Western Sydney’s season was on a knife’s edge.


In his return from personal injury, Greene kicked 5 aims such as the only significant in a tense last phrase to encourage the Giants to a essential 12-stage gain. Greene is a hard-nosed previous-college footballer with exceptional aerial skill, a good footy mind, wonderful poise and harmony.

He is also a dependable shot at aim, which is an significantly uncommon top quality. Experienced Greene not played on Friday evening the Giants would by no means have gained and a time that started out with great optimism would have just about lay in ruin.

I am battling to consider of a player additional critical to the results or failure of his staff than Larger Western Sydney’s star selection four.

Speaking of the four, that is exactly where West Coastline finds by itself soon after an 11-goal thrashing of competitors heavyweight Collingwood.

In holding with the pattern of their season, the Magpies started strongly and led by 14 details at quarter-time. From there, it was all West Coast with Tim Kelly making his ideal performance for his new club and veteran forward Josh Kennedy winding again the clock with a seven-intention haul.

You will find no place like residence and with the worries of Queensland hub-daily life seemingly a distant memory, the Eagles are rising as the premiership threat most anticipated them to be.

Saints on the rise with Ratten

An AFL coach smiles before the game.
It really is been a struggle for St Kilda in modern a long time, but less than coach Brett Ratten, the Saints are again in the major four.(AAP: Dave Hunt, file image)

This spherical also even more emphasised the emergence of St Kilda as a side to be reckoned with.

In 2016 the unheralded Western Bulldogs based their exhilarating finals assault around the motto: ‘Why not us?’. The Saints have every single appropriate to borrow from the ‘Bullies’ as they too chase a prized next premiership.

The sight of coach Brett Ratten sitting down contented on the bench close to the end of Saturday night’s win above top rated-of-the-table Port Adelaide was a genuinely attractive moment.

A premiership successful midfielder with Carlton, Ratten has endured huge periods of hardship publish his adorned participating in profession. He is been unceremoniously sacked as mentor of the club he represented with good difference and lived through every parent’s worst nightmare, the tragic reduction of a youngster in a car crash.

Ratten’s infectious personality, caring mother nature and sharp soccer intellect has made an huge affect at St Kilda and the aspect has developed much more than a hint of the dedicated and immediate technique that outlined their coach as a player.

A great deal like that trademark Ratten grin, the Saints of 2020 are a single of footy’s excellent sights.


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Why it will become harder than ever for clubs to sack coaches

Sacking a coach before the end of their contract has been a part of football for a very long time, but Craig Hutchison believes it’s about to become much harder for teams to do.

With COVID-19 severely impacting the financial situation at all 18 clubs, their ability to pay out coaches with years left on their deal becomes much harder.

Hutchison feels clubs will struggle now to make the decision to part ways with a coach given the monetary side of things.

“There’s an extra layer to the coach sacking that hasn’t been there before,” he told The Sounding Board Podcast.

“The angst overpowers the economics in a coach sacking.

“Normally in a coach sacking, ‘we can’t afford to do this, but we can’t afford to put up with the cost of the angst in our supporters because they pay us so much money and we’re going to have to take a deep breath and write this check’.

“This is the first time the ledger of economics versus the necessity of reality have swung in the favour of the coach.

“The cheque is going to be harder to write than ever before.

“I don’t think there is a coach by the way of 18 who deserve to lose their job, but if there were, I don’t think the economics of the times would allow for it.”

Simon Goodwin was the example used on Sounding Board as a coach under pressure who is likely safe given he is contracted until the end of 2022.

This comes as Melbourne aims to raise $1 million from their supporter base to avoid needing aid from the AFL financially this year.

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‘Bizarre’ game leaves coaches scratching their heads


“It was different. You come off eight weeks off, three week pre-season, training in groups of eight … it’s going to take some time. The guys aren’t where they were at when they came back from the pre-season for round one. And the dew was an enormous factor tonight. The ground was incredibly wet.”

Buckley said the absence of a crowd where there would normally be 80,000 and the fact that the game finished in a low-scoring draw compounded the weird effect.

“Draws are a hollow feeling at the best of times, but draws in front of no crowd is an interesting feeling,” he said.

“It was that bizarre. ‘Dimma’ and I ended up walking side by side through the empty car park basically talking about how crap that feeling is and how we probably are not going to review it and go straight to round three.”


Both expected improvement, but slowly. “Three weeks pre-season, a pretty hard game to play,” said Hardwick. “We’ve got to be a little bit patient.”

Buckley echoed him. “Maybe our expectations should be suitably adjusted,” he said. “The footy will get better as the year progresses.

“You feel like you are a little bit dumber after watching a game like that don’t you?”

Collingwood kicked the first four goals of the match, but only one after the seven-minute mark of the second quarter. But Richmond could manage only four for themselves from that point. Both frittered winning opportunities in the last quarter.

“We were good early and saw everything we wanted to see and I suppose if you start like that the expectation is you are going to continue,” said Buckley. “[After that] there’s a lot that we saw that we don’t see as us. It wasn’t us executing our brand or playing great footy.”

Hardwick rejoiced in a lively return for small forward Jack Higgins and was pleased with Ivan Soldo’s contribution and that the one-ruckman-only ploy worked. “The shortened quarters … they were going about 22 minutes tonight … which is really short. Soldo can do the majority and we can pinch-hit,” he said.

But Hardwick cautioned against the mooted idea of reducing bench rotations further to tire out players and create a more open game. “Ever since we’ve reduced rotations, scoring’s gone down,” he said. “You can reduce them again, but you’ve got to be careful. You’ve got to give the game time to work it out.”

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