Hardwick tips steady rise in AFL scoring

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick has forecast far greater offensive output from both his side and Collingwood in round three after their dour draw sent the AFL world into meltdown last week.

The highly-anticipated season re-opener turned into a fizzer in front of a huge television audience as the Tigers and Magpies managed just five goals apiece in slippery conditions.

But Hardwick says the reigning premiers have put a heavy emphasis on improving their scoring avenues in Thursday night’s clash with Hawthorn at the MCG.

“I expect both Richmond and Collingwood to be a little bit better at going across the (forward 50m) arc this week,” Hardwick said.

“We had pretty much the same amount of inside-50s each as everyone else, we just couldn’t score because we’re going up against the two best defensive sides in the AFL.

“We did a fair bit of work on that this week, it would be fair to say, and hopefully we come across with a better result.

“More goals is always good.”

Richmond’s 5.6 (36) against Collingwood was their lowest total since 2016 but can be partly attributed to playing about 20 per cent less game time this season.

The Tigers’ coaching staff have been monitoring scoring trends as teams adapt to shorter quarters, though Hardwick noted there is only a small sample size available after two rounds of an interrupted season to date.

“Our game was incredibly short last week and the scoring I think will improve as the season goes on because you need to get that score on the board relatively early,” Hardwick said.

“But the problem is what’s happened is that sides score generally more towards the back end of the quarters as compared to the front end.

“It’s something I think will change over the course of the season as we do evolve and look at it.”

Hardwick dismissed injury concerns over Tom Lynch after the key forward was on light duties at training on Wednesday.

Josh Caddy is likely to overcome a minor calf injury that saw him miss the Magpies match but Richmond will be without Liam Baker for at least one week.

The premiership defender has returned home to Western Australia to deal with a private family matter.

“He’s had a family issue that he’s gone home for so we wish him and his family all the very best,” Hardwick said.





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