Published by Sam Edmund, 17 August 2018 on news.com.au
RICHMOND coach Damien Hardwick has expressed frustration over how his side is treated by the umpires.
The Tigers are 18th for free kick differential and were again on the wrong side of the ledger in Friday night’s win over Essendon, losing the count 27-15.
Hardwick said he didn’t have an issue with the free kicks his side gave away as much as those it should get.
“It was a frustrating night, there’s no doubt,” Hardwick said.
“It’s not the free kicks we give away. The vast majority, the 80 per cent (of those) are there.
“It is the one’s you don’t get that I find a little bit frustrating. I look at Jack (Riewoldt) tonight and I thought, ‘You know what? He doesn’t get much’.
“And I look at the other end and think, ‘Hmm, I wish he was playing at the other end’, but it is what it is.”
Riewoldt gave away three free kicks in the second quarter alone, but didn’t receive a free for the entire game despite Hardwick believing he was held at times.
“Once again, it’s a very, very hard game to adjudicate,” he said.
“Jack normally perseveres with that. He doesn’t complain, doesn’t blame; he just gets on with it and jumps at the ball.
“There’s not much we can do about it. We’ll just take it for what it is and hopefully get a better result next week.”
The Tigers led by 33 points five minutes into the last quarter, but were made to sweat by a fast-finishing Essendon side with its season on the line.
“It was a terrible game of footy I thought. I was happy with the win. We persevered,” Hardwick said.
“We probably could have shut the gate in the first half, but didn’t take our chances inside 50 and left a couple on the ballpark and as you do when sides gain momentum as they did in the last quarter, they scored.
“Essendon were playing for everything tonight so they threw everything at us and they played quite well in patches and made us defend quite hard.”
Hardwick said injured trio Dion Prestia, Trent Cotchin and David Astbury would all return next week.
He added that Kane Lambert would “probably miss another one”, while Dan Butler was “a couple of weeks away.
“We’ll get the majority of our best side up and going next week, get them back playing together and get a little bit of clunkiness out that we’re probably seeing at the moment,” he said.
“We are a work in progress. We’re not playing our best footy, but we don’t think it’s too far away.”